Working with the Financial Records of George Washington: Document vs. Data

Jennifer Stertzer


The Papers of George Washington Financial Series is a born-digital project that will publish all of Washington’s financial records – a total of several thousand distinct documents. These are not only numerous, but very diverse and complicated documents, including receipts, invoices, day books, and double entry ledgers that each comprise thousands of discrete transactions. These documents record in depth and in detail every aspect of Washington’s business enterprises, from the account books detailing activities at Mount Vernon and his farms to the books he kept while away at war and during his presidency. This article briefly examines some of the major issues faced in early project development and how they were handled in our content management system, DocTracker.

La série financière des écrits de George Washington est un projet sous forme numérique qui vise à publier tous les registres financiers de Washington—soit au total plusieurs milliers de documents distincts. Ces documents sont non seulement nombreux, ils sont aussi très divers et complexes, incluant des reçus, des factures, des écrits et des registres en partie double qui comprennent chacun des milliers de transactions distinctes. Dans ces documents, chaque aspect des entreprises commerciales de Washington est consigné en détail et en profondeur, depuis les livres comptables détaillant ses activités à Mount Vernon et dans ses exploitations agricoles jusqu’aux livres qu’il gardait alors qu’il était à la guerre et durant sa présidence. Cet article examine brièvement certaines des questions majeures rencontrées au stade précoce de développement du projet et la façon dont celles-ci ont été traitées dans notre système de gestion de contenu, DocTracker.


History, documentary editing, digital humanities


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