Cumberland University announced today that it received a grant for $143,888 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Papers of Martin Van Buren (PMVB) project. The funds will continue to support the creation of a digital edition of the Van Buren papers, which will make accessible approximately 13,000 documents belonging to the eighth president.
Mark Cheathem, PMVB project director and Cumberland University history professor, involves students with transcribing the difficult-to-decipher papers, many of which are written in 19th-century handwriting.
“This is the third year in a row that the NHPRC has funded our project, which speaks to the National Archives’ commitment to see its progress continue,” said Cheathem. “We look forward to providing more insight into Van Buren’s vice-presidential years and his successful campaign to win the presidency in 1836.”
By transcribing Van Buren’s papers, including his letters, speeches, notes, and miscellaneous material, this project is providing fresh insight into the founding of the Democratic party, the evolution of formal politics between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, and the changes in political culture that occurred during Van Buren’s lifetime. Additionally, it is helping scholars, students, and the public understand the maturation of United States politics during its early development.
The Papers of Martin Van Buren project is sponsored by Cumberland University and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and is produced in partnership with the Center for Digital Editing at the University of Virginia.
For more information about the Papers of Martin Van Buren Project, visit http://vanburenpapers.org.