About the collection

Handwritten letter
Elizabeth Kortright Monroe to Richard Smith Note, 1815. Mrs. James Monroe requests Mr. Richard Smith to send by bearer Tom one hundred dollars to the account of Mr. Monroe, January 21, 1815. Special Collections Research Center, William & Mary Libraries.

The World of James Monroe Online (WMJO) assembly of documents brings together and provides free, open access to materials starting with archives from three Virginia-based institutions: William & Mary, the University of Virginia, and the University of Mary Washington. Beginning in 2022 with collections from William & Mary and the University of Virginia, high quality digital scans of manuscripts accompanied by searchable transcriptions will be made available. WJMO complements the print edition Papers of James Monroe from the University of Mary Washington, now offered through subscription at Rotunda, which offers edited transcriptions of selected letters. WMJO will be a new way to understand the fifth U.S. President, and also the complex world he lived in. His 50-year career in public service, his multiple landholdings, and most significantly, 175 enslaved people, are best known through the documents that make up Monroe’s written record. An example of the information drawn from Monroe’s writings can be found on the James Monroe Highland website in biographical sketches of individuals enslaved at Highland, known from historic documents. 

William & Mary's James Monroe Project

William & Mary's collection consists of over 300 manuscripts, chiefly correspondence, written and received by James Monroe (1758-1831) and his family. The project brings together Monroe materials from six distinct collections held by William & Mary Libraries Special Collections Research Center.

The materials include the correspondence of James Monroe during his many years of public service, an exchange between Monroe and his nephew James Monroe (1799-1840) at West Point, letters to US Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford, and correspondence between James Monroe’s daughter, Eliza Kortright Monroe Hay (1787-1840), and Hay’s daughter, Hortensia M. Rogers.

The University of Virginia Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

The University of Virginia Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library provides access to Monroe-related papers and letters with friends, family, and politicians about foreign relations, politics, the War of 1812, and personal and family affairs in the James Monroe Papers (1778-1831). Manuscripts from several other collections complete a set of nearly 300 documents about Monroe’s political and personal affairs.

University of Mary Washington's Papers of James Monroe

The Papers of James Monroe is a documentary editing project based at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  The goal of the project is to publish a scholarly ten-volume collection of selected letters and papers documenting the life and career of the fifth president of the United States. Volumes published to date feature Monroe’s earliest documented correspondence, including items written from Valley Forge during the winter of 1777, and continue through his service as Secretary of State and War in 1814. The Papers project is administratively linked to UMW’s James Monroe Museum, which maintains an archive of over 600 documents pertaining to Monroe and related subjects. 

The Papers of James Monroe: Digital Edition provides access to a wide selection of original material, inviting a fresh assessment of this important figure and his legacy. This digital edition is now available by subscription through Rotunda, at the University of Virginia. The digital format includes the complete contents of the seven volumes in print to date. Three additional volumes will follow.