Sir William Johnson Papers, Revised Edition

image of the Johnson CD.

Twenty volumes of papers and correspondence of Sir William Johnson have been released in a revised second edition digital CD format by the New York State Library. The papers are part of the Manuscripts Collection of the New York State Library.

The CD is available from the New York State Library for $20. To purchase a copy, contact Aimee Pelton in Documents and Digital Collections via phone at (518) 474-7492 or email at You can also purchase a CD onsite at the New York State Library by contacting staff at the Reference Desk or the Local History Desk.

Johnson was British Superintendent of Indian Affairs in New York from 1755 through 1774. He is best remembered for his diplomatic achievements among the various Native American tribes and as a military leader during the French and Indian War. This set of primary documents dating from 1738 to 1808 provides a fascinating glimpse into the pre-Revolutionary interactions among the British, French, and Iroquois empires.

black and white copy of a portait of Sir William Johnson.
Portrait of Johnson, from volume 1 of the Sir William Johnson Papers

The Sir William Johnson Papers were originally published in 14 volumes of print, including a general index, from 1921 to 1965. Valuable for colonial research, the earliest six volumes have been out-of-print for years. The second edition CD is a revised and expanded version of an earlier CD released in 2007. It includes the complete 14-volume set along with the "Calendar of the Sir William Johnson manuscripts in the New York State Library" compiled by Richard E. Day in 1909. The CD also features several enhancements, including:

  • More than 100 newly digitized illustrations from the New York State Library¬†collections.
  • Dozens of new color digital photographs of locations and scenes from the Mohawk Valley and Lake George appropriate to Johnson's legacy, including Johnson Hall and Fort Johnson.
  • Improved accuracy of scans to nearly 98%.
  • Electronic indexing allowing simultaneous searching of the entire collection.
  • Bibliographic consistency in volume and page numbering with printed volumes.

The New York State Library digitized the Johnson Papers as part of an ongoing project to provide researchers with greater access to rare historical documents in its collections. For more information, see Selected Digital Historical Documents from the Collections of the New York State Library.

Last Updated: June 15, 2015