Einstein fans, rejoice. The Einstein Papers Project, a decades-long effort by the Princeton University Press to collect and compile the physicist’s personal and professional works is now available online.
The thousands of documents relating to Einstein’s life span forty-four years, and can be found here at Digital Einstein Papers. As the man is a huge figure in both English and German history, his papers will searchable in both languages. Though, for those of you hoping to be able to easily copy and paste paragraphs from the works will find that it’s an exact digital copy of the printed editions… which is to say they are essentially PDFs.
“The best Einstein source is now available to everyone, everywhere through the web,” says Dr. John D. Norton, a University of Pittsburgh professor of the history and philosophy of science. “From a researchers point of view — it’s extraordinary,” states Dr. Diana L. Kormos-Buchwald, a professor of history at Caltech, and director and general editor of the Einstein Papers Project.
After Einstein’s death in 1955, an effort was made to collect documents, from seminal works such as “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” to letters to friends and family, grant applications, and even academic recommendations. Since his death, thirteen volumes have been released, covering his writings through March of 1923. The set is expected to reach 25 volumes.
New volumes will be added to the digital collection approximately 18 months after each print publication.
So why now? The publisher simply states that digital publishing is finally at a point where it can recreate the print version faithfully.
For you history and science buffs, this looks like a promising way to spend a few days. Go ahead and go over to the Digital Einstein Papers site, and read primary sources about arguably one of the world’s move famous scientists.