Welcome to the website for the Jefferson’s University—Early Life Project, 1819-1870 (JUEL), a place to encounter what life was like in the first years of the University of Virginia. Jefferson’s vision of a secular university, dedicated to enriching public life and sustaining the new republic, was both embodied in and transformed by the people who lived, worked, and studied at the University. Bringing together a trove of personal and administrative documents, as well as archival images of the university and three-dimensional digital renderings, JUEL invites users to discover the people and places of the University’s early years, stretching from its founding in 1819 through the end of the Civil War.
JUEL was cofounded by Maurie McInnis, former University of Virginia Professor of Art History and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (presently at University of Texas at Austin), and Kirt von Daacke, Associate Professor and Dean, Department of History. The current Principal Investigators of JUEL are Professors Kirt von Daacke and Louis P. Nelson (School of Architecture). JUEL is funded by The Jefferson Trust, an Initiative of the University of Virginia Alumni Association, and the University of Virginia.