Creating a Federal Government is a collaborative project that has benefits from the contributions of historians, project managers, and technologists.

The Project Team

  • Peter J. Kastor is the project author and principal investigator.  The author or editor of a half-dozen books as well as numerous articles and essays he is a professor of history and a professor American culture studies at Washington University in St. Louis.  A scholar of the early republic, he combines this research background with over twenty years of experience in digital humanities.
  • Douglas W. Knox, the assistant director of the Humanities Digital Workshop at Washington University in St. Louis, provides overall project management.  Previously the director of publication and digital initiatives for the Newberry Library in Chicago, he served as the managing editor for the Encyclopedia of Chicago.
  • Stephen Pentecost, the senior digital specialist at the Humanities Digital Workshop, provides principal programming support for the project in addition to supervising the digital architecture of the project.  An experienced programmer with extensive experience in the business sector, he combines those technical and organizational skills with the keen awareness of humanities research he gained during graduate study in English.


Creating a Federal Government has benefited from extensive institutional support at Washington University in St. Louis.  The Humanities Digital Workshop (HDW) provides development support, including database organization, software design for search and analysis tools, and supervision for student research assistants. Among the most important forms of support has been a robust digital architecture that provides for data acquisition and preservation as well as future development through additional data forms and new user functionality. Once the project is ready for public release, Digital Library Services (DLS) will provide Web serving, backup, and maintenance. DLS is committed to providing support for the development of digital projects, encouraging development of digital projects as a scholarly activity, and promoting this development in a disciplined way that will help to ensure the successful execution of digital projects and to most effectively leverage digital resources.


Creating a Federal Government has been sponsored by a Digital Innovation Fellowship through the American Council of Learned Societies.

The project has also been sponsored internally at Washington University by the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy; the Undergraduate Research Office in Arts & Sciences; and the Graduate School in Arts & Sciences.