What is the Mather Project?

The matherproject.org © is an outgrowth of an ongoing effort to publish Cotton Mather’s holograph manuscript “Biblia Americana” (1693-1728), a huge commentary on the Bible, currently edited by an international team of scholars, and collaboratively published in 10 volumes by Mohr Siebeck (Germany) and Baker Academic (USA). In focusing on the Mather Family, a renowned dynasty of Puritan ministers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, our aim is similar to that of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University and its online database of The Works of Jonathan Edwards: to stimulate interest in the intellectual contributions of some of the foremost founders and leaders of the New England Way and to provide access to the unpublished and select number of published family papers of Richard Mather (1596-1669), Increase Mather (1639-1723), and Cotton Mather (1663-1728). Their more than 700 published titles are well known and accessible through such online databases as Early English Books Online (Chadwyck-Healey), Eighteenth-Century Collection Online (Gale), and Readex (NewsBank). Their unpublished works, however, are not easily available; they are dispersed in several repositories for historical documents, including the American Antiquarian Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Boston Public Library, or are housed in Rare Books and Manuscript departments of major university libraries in the United States and Europe.

By transcribing, annotating, and introducing this body of documents and by presenting them in an electronically searchable online database, the editors of the Mather Project invite general readers, students, and scholars to (re)discover the pleasure of archival research.

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