As of July 6th, APS offices are open to staff and invited visitors. The Society will remain closed to the public for at least the rest of the summer. Library & Museum staff now have access to our collections and will respond to reference and photoduplication requests as soon as possible. However, please note that response times may be delayed due to increased demand. The Society will continue a robust slate of virtual programs throughout the summer and fall. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. For further information on the APS reopening and its COVID response, please click here.

The Art of Making Data for Every Scholar’s Pocket: Opening Benjamin Franklin’s Account Books

11:00 a.m. EDT

Register for this event online via Zoom.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EDT


For decades, scholars have studied the many letters, notes, and account books that Benjamin Franklin produced over the course of his eventful lifespan (1706-1790). The American Philosophical Society holds the majority of these items, including the less frequently analyzed ledgers and documents that Franklin created while working as Postmaster of Philadelphia.

"Franklin's Philadelphia Post Office Ledgers: A Glimpse Into Colonial Correspondence Networks" is a multi-year digital initiative by the American Philosophical Society's Center for Digital Scholarship intended to remedy this gap in the scholarship by bringing Franklin's post office documentation to the foreground. This project is a part of the Society's Open Data Initiative.

Join Bethany Farrell, 2019-2020 Digital Franklin Fellow, for an overview of the newest phase of the CDS's Benjamin Franklin’s Ledger project. The talk will explore the tricky process of making computer-readable datasets out of eighteenth-century account books. She will also share some of the preliminary findings and visualizations from the data as well as reflect on the potential of making Franklin’s account books more widely available to scholars.

The event will take place on Wednesday, June 24, at 11:00am EDT via Zoom. The event is free of charge; registration is required to attend.