This scholarly enterprise is sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and housed at the Foundation's Jefferson Library under the auspices of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies. Publication in 2004 of the first of an estimated twenty-three volumes in the Retirement Series represents a milestone in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, the definitive edition of the papers of the author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States. The project began in 1943 with the goal of printing, noting, or otherwise accounting for "everything legitimately Jeffersonian by reason of authorship or of relationship," as Julian P. Boyd, the first editor, put it. Some forty volumes, covering much of the earlier period of Jefferson's life and related topical materials, have already been prepared in an ongoing effort located at Princeton University and published since 1950 by Princeton University Press.
The Retirement Series is documenting Jefferson's written legacy between his return to private life on 4 March 1809 and his death on 4 July 1826. During this period Jefferson founded the University of Virginia and sold his extraordinary library to the nation, but his greatest legacy from these years is the astonishing depth and breadth of his correspondence with statesmen, inventors, scientists, philosophers, and ordinary citizens on topics spanning virtually every field of human endeavor. More information on the Retirement Series project can be found online at http://www.monticello.org/papers/
The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition
The Papers of Thomas Jefferson at Princeton University