National Constitution Center's Founders' Library Project Launch

Jonathan Gienapp

Professor Jonathan Gienapp has been working for the past year on the National Constitution Center's Founders' Library Project, which was just recently made public. Following the launch of the project, Professor Gienapp also appeared on a "We the People" podcast episode to discuss the selections and promote the project.

Historic Documents Library - The National Constitution Center’s Founders’ Library includes primary texts that span American constitutional history—from the philosophical works that influenced the Founding generation to the most important speeches, essays, books, pamphlets, petitions, letters, court cases, landmark statutes, and state constitutions that have shaped the American constitutional tradition. To ensure nonpartisan rigor and ideological diversity, we assembled a group of leading scholars from diverse perspectives to help choose the sources included in the document library. The document library also includes sources curated by the National Constitution Center team.

The Founders' Library: Founding Era - The Historic Documents in this set cover the Founding era from 1750 to 1790.  During this period, Americans declared and won their independence from the British empire.  They experimented with new forms of government, including a wave of state constitutions and America’s first framework of national government, the Articles of Confederation.  And after vigorous debates at the Constitutional Convention and during the battle over ratification, the American people—acting through specially elected state ratifying conventions—approved the U.S. Constitution.

"We the People": The Intellectual Inspirations Behind the Constitution