AB, Wellesley College, 1964; Master of Arts, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1967; Doctor of Philosophy, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1973.
Associate editor Papers of Philip Mazzei Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey, 1978-1981. Editor Papers of Albert Gallatin Baruch College of City University of New York, New York City, 1981-1986. Editor-in-chief Papers of Benjamin Franklin Yale University, New Haven, 1986-1998, senior research scholar and lecturer history, since 1986.
Professor, general editor Papers of Thomas Jefferson, lecturer Princeton University, since 1999. Chairman editorial advisory committee Founding Fathers, Inc., 1988-1997, 2001-2003. Reviewer, panelist National Endowment of the Humanities, since 1980.
Presenter, speaker, lecturer in field.
Member of American History Association, Pennsylvania History Association, Society for History of Authorship Reading and Public, Institute Early American History and Culture, Organization American Historians, Society Historians of Early American Republic (member editorial board Journal Early Republic 1982-1987, co-chair program committee 1986, advisory council 1987-1993, member editorial board Journal Early Republic since 1997, president since 2003, member editorial board The Works of Jonathan Edwards, member editorial board the Papers of Albert Einstein, member editorial board The Papers of Eleanor Roosevelt), Society Textual Scholarship (executive board 1983-1988, co-chair program committee 1987, conference, chair conference sessions 1987, 1989, 1995, executive board since 1995, president 2001-2003), Association Documentary Editing (chaired panels or presented papers 1979, 1981, 1984, nominating committee 1984-1987, executive council 1988-1990, program committee 1989, chaired panels or presented papers 1989-1991, executive council 1992-1995, president 1993-1994, federal policy committee 1999—2002, chaired panels or presented papers 2002), Massachusetts History Society, American Philosophical Society (executive council since 2001), American Antiquarian Society, International Center for Jefferson Studies (advisory board).
Married Arthur Kenneth Oberg, June 6, 1964 (deceased February 1977). Married John Perry Leavell, Junior, July 24, 1982.