What You Can Do

Introduction to Ben Franklin by Edmund S. Morgan

You can read a wonderful introduction to Ben Franklin, written especially for our website by one of America's most distinguished historians. This essay contains many links to the writings of Benjamin Franklin, and you can read Franklin's papers on the right side of your screen while you read Professor Morgan's essay on the left. (Read essay)

Browsing by date

You can browse the complete Franklin papers according to their chronological order in The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, edited and published at Yale. You will see a list of volumes on the left side. When you click on a volume, you will see its table of contents on the right side. You can then click on any item to view it. (Begin browsing) (More information)

Browsing by name

You can browse a list of all the people with whom Franklin corresponded. If you select a name on this list, a short biography will appear on the right, followed by a list of links to the correspondence between Franklin and that person. (Begin browsing) (More information)

Searching for words or phrases

At the bottom of the window there is a box where you can enter words for searching. A list of matches will appear at the right. You can click on any item in this list to view the complete document. Please be aware that spelling was very irregular in Franklin's time. (Search) (More information)

The Franklin Papers at Yale

All of the papers available on this website were collected and edited by a team of scholars at Yale University beginning in 1954. (About the Yale Project) Yale University Press has so far published thirty-seven volumes of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. (How to order the volumes)

The Digital Edition

Since 1988, The Packard Humanities Institute has been working with the editorial team at Yale to create a digital archive of Franklin's papers (initially available as a CD ROM with limited distribution). (More information)