The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has announced the launch of a new Web site dedicated to Albert Einstein. The site’s archive contains more than 40,000 documents from Einstein’s personal papers, and more than 30,000 additional documents from the Einstein Archives, and the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. The collection is a result of a collaboration between the Hebrew University, the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology, and the Princeton University Press.
The new site was made possible, in part, by donations from the same charitable foundation that funded development of online access to Sir Isaac Newton’s manuscripts at Cambridge.
The newly launched digitization project is funded by the Polonsky Foundation UK. Through his foundation, Dr. Leonard Polonsky has initiated similar enterprises, such as the digitization of the writings of Sir Isaac Newton at the University of Cambridge, which attracted 29 million hits within the first 24 hours after its launch.
The initial version of the new site includes a gallery of selected documents in five categories: Science, Personal Life, Public Life, The Jewish People, and The Hebrew University. (Einstein was a founder and ongoing supporter of the University.) Included in the Science section is the original 46-page German manuscript of Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie [“Foundation of General Relativity Theory”], Einstein’s first systematic exposition of General Relativity, published in 1916 in Annalen der Physik.
The archive database also has facilities for indexing and cross-referencing documents.
Advanced search technology will enable the display of all related documents by subject, and, in the case of letters, by author and recipient. The first line or title of each document will also be displayed, alongside information on date, provenance and publication history.
As with the Newton manuscripts, it is terrific that these landmark scientific and cultural documents are being made available to anyone with an Internet connection.