In early 2003 the Papers of Henry Laurens published the sixteenth and last volume of its letterpress edition. Since its inception over forty years ago, the project has been a microcosm of the changes that have occurred in historical documentary editing. The project pioneered the use of computers to create more accurate and comprehensive indexes. It went further than most projects in adopting a literal transcription policy. Over the past twenty years, the Laurens Papers' difficulties in maintaining a staff and producing volumes in the face of budget constraints mirror the problems faced by other projects as federal support for documentary editing has decreased or remained stagnant.

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