Albert Einstein (1879–1955), one of the foremost scientists and public figures of the 20th century, revolutionized our views of time and space, matter and light, gravitation and the universe.
The Einstein Papers Project is engaged in one of the most ambitious scholarly publishing ventures undertaken in the history of science. The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein provides the first complete picture of Einstein’s massive written legacy.
The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein series now covers Einstein's life and work up to his 48th birthday. It presents, as annotated full text, 484 writings by Einstein and 3,450 letters written by and to him. An additional 3,441 documents appear in abstract.
Job Opportunity: We seek an Assistant or Associate Editor to join our staff. Please see the job announcement. We gladly answer all inquiries.
This week, while Einstein's "God letter" sold at auction for a record-breaking sum, the Einstein Papers Project marked four years since we launched the Digital Einstein Papers (DEP). Since its launch, over 460,000 new users have visited the site to view the digital versions of our Collected Papers volumes. The site mirrors the layout of our physical books; its embedded links enhance their functionality multifold. Users can move smoothly from documents in German to their English translations and back again with mere clicks.
Each full text document, on paper and online, is annotated. Each document has an archival ID. In the DEP that ID is linked to our publically accessible database. As of last month, high resolution images of manuscripts used in Volume 14 of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein are visible to the public, via the database and links in the DEP.
This example, archive item 29-375, is a birthday letter Einstein wrote to his uncle, Caesar Koch. In it, the contrite nephew hints at his aversion to letter writing, reminisces about childhood visits with his uncle and sketches a gift he once received from Koch. Below are the high-resolution images from the database and here is a link to its English translation on the DEP: Document 229, Volume 14.
The DEP provides free access to our published volumes. The letter featured in this post may not be as dramatic as the so-called "God letter," but it might provide other insights. Even world-famous icons have favorite uncles and send birthday greetings. The more than 3,000 letters to and from Einstein, that we have published so far, can be explored in the DEP. The deeper one can explore, the fuller a picture one can gain, in any subject.
The How To page on the DEP is a good place to start if you have not searched on the site. For a detailed explanation of the site’s function and form see this video created when the DEP first launched. Listen to EPP Director, Diana Kormos Buchwald, interviewed regarding the auction of the “God letter” via the links below. 12-6-18
Photo Credits: Einstein Papers Project and Albert Einstein Archives