The purpose of this web site is to make Benjamin Franklin's correspondence and other writings widely and conveniently accessible to the public, for personal study and for educational and classroom use.
The magnificent series of printed volumes entitled The Papers of Benjamin Franklin (Yale University Press 1959–) contains modern editorial introductions and footnotes providing extremely valuable historical information about each document. None of this copyrighted modern editorial material is reproduced on this web site. We urge the interested reader to consult these printed volumes.
The majority of the texts on this web site are based directly on the Yale volumes (through March of 1782) with the addition of various unpublished papers collected by the editorial team working at Yale. We have attempted to make the web versions as accurate as possible, but scholars should always consult the printed volumes for purpose of citation.
These writings are more than two hundred years old, and the content of the original texts should be considered in the public domain. Nevertheless, if you wish to reproduce any of these materials for commercial purposes or on a scale beyond "fair use" you will be responsible for ensuring that you are not violating any rights of the publisher or the people who provided some of these documents.
The Yale volumes contain the following language: "Much of the textual material is included by special permission of the owners of the original manuscripts or holders of existing copyrights and should not be reprinted without their authorization."
Inquiries may be directed to: The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, Attn: Ellen Cohn, Editor, Yale University Library, P.O. Box 208240, New Haven, CT 06520-8240.
Wholesale downloading or reuse of the contents of this website is prohibited under all circumstances, whether commercial or otherwise.
For inquiries concerning access to the complete digital data for research purposes, please contact The Packard Humanities Institute, Attn: Wilkins Poe, 300 Second Street, Los Altos, CA 94022.
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