The Quill Project

The Center for Constitutional Studies has a close partnership with The Quill Project of Pembroke College, Oxford, whose mission is to digitally model the creation of constitutions and other similar documents.  CCS directors and students work on a near-daily basis with the Project’s director, Dr. Nicholas Cole.  A previous CCS team helped build the Quill platform for the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, and our current team is modeling the proceedings of the Utah Constitutional Convention of 1895.  The platform for the Utah Convention is currently unavailable to the public, but we will make an update when it is published.

Immerse yourself in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 with the Quill Project!

Graphic visualization of the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Deliberations on what would become the U.S. Constitution began on May 25, 1787, and proceeded through the hot Philadelphia summer until September 17. If you've wanted to read about these debates, there is no better way than over a parallel time-frame. Books we would recommend include James Madison's Notes, Max Farrand's classic The Framing of the Constitution of the United States, and Richard Beeman's more recent Plain Honest Men. And now, they can be supplemented with the most advanced tool for studying the convention, the web platform from the Oxford Quill Project. It allows users to precisely trace what debates were about and changes to the Constitution were made on any given day. It was designed by Professor Nicholas Cole of Oxford University (Senior Research Fellow, History), and was partly executed by our own CCS Wood Assistants Lance Merrell, Matthew Nolte, and Colten Sponseller. We are proud of the results and invite you to visit the Quill platform. It really is the best way to learn, "21st-century style," about the momentous summer of 1787. More details to come on our current work to also make the proceedings of Utah's Constitutional Convention  available on Quill.

Visit The Quill Project website.