Episode 007: Sara Georgini, John Adams & The Adams Papers Editorial Project

King George III

On June 1, 1785, King George III received his first diplomat from the United States, John Adams.

Do you know what happened when His Majesty came face-to-face with Adams?

Sara Georgini, Assistant Editor at the Adams Papers Documentary Editing Project, joins us to discuss John Adams’ experiences as the first U.S. Minister to Great Britain and what it is like to work with the more than 250,000 documents that Adams and his descendants have generated.


About the Show

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.

It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.

Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.

Episode Summary

Presidential AdamsIn this episode we explore John Adams’ experiences as the first United States Minister to Great Britain and the world of documentary editing with Sara Georgini, Assistant Editor at the Adams Papers Editorial Project.

Sara provides us with a behind-the-scenes look at what a documentary editing project is and the types of work documentary editors perform. Her insights into John Adams' service as Minister to Great Britain reveal how documentary editing projects help us better understand the people, places, and events of the past.


What You’ll Discover

• Information about Sara Georgini, Assistant Editor, Adams Papers Editorial Project
• How Sara transitioned from Tiffany & Co. Sales Associate to Documentary Editor and Historian
• What a documentary editing project is
• What the job responsibilities of a documentary editor are
• Information about the History of the Adams Papers Editorial Project
• The 5 Steps the Adams Papers Editorial Project team uses to produce a published volume of papers
• More about transcription and how documentary editors transcribe a document
• What annotation is and how documentary editors annotate a document
• How many documentary editing projects exist & why our tax dollars fund them
• More about John Adams, Revolutionary & U.S. Minister to Great Britain
• Information about the tasks the United States Congress ordered John Adams to undertake as Minister to Great Britain
• More about the unresolved issues between the United States and Great Britain after the definitive peace of 1783
• What it was like for John Adams to come face-to-face with the British Empire
• Why John Adams’ dream job turned out to be different than he envisioned
• What happened when John Adams met King George III
• What happened when John Adams and his family met Queen Charlotte
• Whether John Adams accomplished any of the diplomatic goals Congress tasked him with
• How John Adams’s diplomatic skills surprised his documentary editors


Links to People, Places, and Publications

Sara Georgini
The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History
Tiffany & Co. Archives
The Adams Papers Editorial Project
Founders Online
The Association for Documentary Editing
Massachusetts Historical Society
Adams Family Resources
• Adams Family Papers Digital Collection
Contact the Adams Papers Editorial Project Reference by E-mail
Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Conferences
Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Annual Conference


Time Warp PlainTime Warp Question

• What might have happened if Congress had ordered Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, or some other American to serve as the first minister to Great Britain instead of John Adams, would any of these other men might have been able to resolve the United States’ outstanding issues with Great Britain?


Questions, Comments, Suggestions

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