Albert Einstein’s complete archives to be posted online 2012-08-20


“Albert Einstein's complete archives – from personal correspondence with half a dozen lovers to notebooks scribbled with his groundbreaking research – are going online for the first time. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which owns the German Jewish physicist's papers, is pulling never-before seen items from its climate-controlled safe, photographing them in high resolution and posting them online – offering the public a nuanced and fuller portrait of the man behind the scientific genius... Now, with a grant from the Polonsky Foundation UK, which previously helped digitise Isaac Newton's papers, all 80,000 items from the Einstein collection have been catalogued and enhanced with cross referencing technology... The updated web portal, unveiled on Monday, features the full inventory of the Einstein archives, publicising for the first time the entirety of what's inside the collection and giving scholars a chance to request access to items they previously never knew existed... Einstein... was one of the founders of the university. He contributed the original manuscript of his famed theory to the university when it was founded in 1925, four years after he was awarded the Nobel prize in physics. He bequeathed the rest of his papers – and the rights to the use of his image – to the university upon his death in 1955. The portal now offers a close look at an initial 2,000 documents, or 7,000 pages, from Einstein's personal and public life up to the year 1921. In the coming years, archivists will slowly upload the remainder of the collection. The online project is part of an initiative with Princeton University and the California Institute of Technology to publish annotated scholarly work on all of Einstein's papers... The collection includes 14 notebooks filled with research notes in small cursive handwriting, letters to Einstein's contemporaries on his physics research, and a handwritten explanation of his theory of relativity and its summarising equation e=mc2... One document made public for the first time denies the commonly held view that Einstein's Jewish identity developed later in his career, as Hitler rose to power... The curator of the archives, Roni Grosz, said the letter makes Einstein's priorities clear. Eastern European Jewish refugees in Germany had been denied entry to universities after first world war, and Einstein saw it as an injustice... The curator said the university would publish a copy of Einstein's grades as a young student, hoping it would dispel a popular myth that Einstein did poorly in school. The university is also posting a 20-year-old Einstein's correspondence with scientists, showing how advanced his research already was at that early age. Other parts of the collection expose the scientist's private life, especially a trove of letters to his lovers, and his interest in a host of social issues, from nuclear disarmament to African-American rights and the Arab-Jewish conflict. The Hebrew University holds rights to Einstein's image, and prohibits advertisers from inappropriately using his likeness... Hanoch Gutfreund, former president of the university now responsible for Albert Einstein's intellectual property, said the collection's online exposure put Einstein's best face forward. ‘More than anyone else, he expressed his views on every agenda of mankind,’ Gutfreund said. ‘Now we have a complete and full picture of that person.’”



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.comment oa.physics oa.princeton.u oa.funding oa.digitization oa.archives oa.cit oa.hebrew.u oa.announcements



Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 18:51

Date published:

03/20/2012, 16:18