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.
We move forward through time, but the ephemera we generate becomes disorganized. Ongoing research projects obtain historical materials out of chronological order. Einstein moved and traveled a great deal throughout his lifetime. Consequently, he generated and dispersed correspondence and work from various points on the globe. Even with an established archive, long-term publishing projects, such as ours, continually find new materials. Frequently we learn of items long after our volumes, covering the periods to which they belong, have been published.
For such dilemmas, we have an Editorial Method. The method appears in the front of each of our volumes, The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein; it includes the following: "Documents that have come to the attention of the editors after the publication of the volume in which they would have appeared chronologically are presented at the front of a subsequent volume."
In house we call these items "catch-up". What we refer to as "Volume 13, Document 323a"—a catch-up item, to be included in Volume 16 of the CPAE—is a letter by Einstein, written to his sister Maja, in August of 1922. The Associated Press website currently features that same letter in Aron Heller's article: Letter shows a fearful Einstein long before Nazi's rise. Senior Editor and Assistant Director of the Einstein Papers Project, Dr. Ze'ev Rosenkranz commented on the letter for Heller's article. Rosenkranz contextualizes the letter, revealing a pattern to Einstein's modus operandi for dealing with pressures from the outside world. 11-12-18
Photo Credits: Christie’s generously provided high quality images of its spring 2018 lot of Einstein materials to the EPP earlier this year.