People of the Founding Era

PFE Main PagePeople of the Founding Era, or PFE for short, was one of the first digital projects I worked on as a graduate student employee at Documents Compass. By the time I left the project in order to do research for my dissertation, I had risen from a entry-level employee to an editorial assistant in charge of training other employees in our workflow and procedures.

What is PFE? Here’s a short snippet from the project website:

PFE is a scholarly reference work that provides biographical information on over 25,000 people born between 1713 (the end of Queen Anne’s War) and 1815 (the end of the Napoleonic War), drawn from the digitized papers of the Founding Fathers and other documentary editions of the Founding Era. It has two components. First, it provides fully searchable biographical statements that vary greatly in scope and extent. Second, it provides identically structured data for each person allowing for group, or prosopographical, study. The editors invite users to contribute information on new people records as well as corrections and new information on people already in the system.

The number of people in the database continues to grow and the project has a promising future ahead of itself as it begins to incorporate more and more individuals. For more information, please visit the project’s website, (note: a subscription is required to use the full site), and our many write-ups and blog posts about PFE on the Documents Compass website: