The First Amendment Center has just launched a new online encyclopedia devoted to all aspects of the First Amendment. The site includes a comprehensive timeline, an excellent and accessible overview of the history and meaning of the First Amendment, and a plethora of articles about different events, controversies, and court cases surrounding the First Amendment freedoms. This great new tool arrives in felicitous conjunction with Jack Miller Center’s own new website devoted to the freedom of speech and press protections of the First Amendment.
From the Encyclopedia’s about page:
In 2009, CQ Press published a two-volume Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. The reference included more than 1,400 essays and entries covering court decisions and doctrines; people, laws and events; and issues and organizations. Totaling more than 700,000 words, the set contained more entries on the First Amendment than any other work of its kind. As its preface says, no other encyclopedia devotes such exhaustive attention to First Amendment freedoms.
In October 2016, Middle Tennessee State University, on behalf of the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, purchased the exclusive license to publish and display the work on a new website developed at MTSU. In addition to creating a searchable database of the 1,400 entries, the chair worked with two of the scholars who edited the original work, John R. Vile and David L. Hudson Jr., to update entries and produce new ones to bring the encyclopedia up to date. Dr. Vile is a professor of political science and dean of the University Honors College at MTSU, and Hudson is a former scholar at the First Amendment Center in Nashville who now teaches at the Nashville School of Law and Vanderbilt Law School.
With the updates, the encyclopedia now has more than 1,500 entries. The Associated Press, as well as other news organizations, granted MTSU and the Seigenthaler Chair permission to use historical photos with many of the online entries.