Here is an interesting new experiment in scholarship. The Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier has put online a copy of James Madison’s Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787. What is unusual is that they are allowing scholars and the general public to add notes and commentary to the text. Using software called ConText developed in conjunction with the Brookings Institution, the site allows registered users to add historical and theoretical notes to specific paragraphs as well as relate paragraphs to current events. You can then search the text as well as the notes. The Center promises that more documents will be made available for crowdsourced annotation in the future.
Right now, the annotations are fairly rare. It will be interesting to see if the experiment takes off and if the the online version can become an authoritative reference. You can find the resource at http://context.montpelier.org/, and you can read more about the project in this article.