News-sheet — December 2009
We join Edward Young in saying:
May the new year . . . make you a present of health, spirits, and peace; and, as for a good prospect beyond the reach of new years, that I know you give yourself.
(Edward Young to Samuel Richardson, 3 January 1758)
I. EE awarded international research grant!
A partnership by the Electronic Enlightenment Project and the Stanford Humanities Centre is one of just eight international academic teams to be awarded a grant under the 2009 Digging Into Data Challenge. This major international research award, funded by JISC (UK), NEH and NSF (USA) and SSHRC (Canada), sets out a creative challenge to academics working with digital resources:
The idea behind the Digging into Data Challenge is to answer the question "what do you do with a million books?" Or a million pages of newspapers? Or a million photographs of artworks? That is, how does the notion of scale affect humanities and social science research? Now that scholars have access to huge repositories of digitised data — far more than they could read in a lifetime — what does that mean for research?
(JISC: Digging into Data Challenge)
This initiative involves mining and interpreting details relating to people, places, times and subjects drawn from Electronic Enlightenment's corpus of over 55,000 letters from the long 18th century. EE and Stanford's Mapping the Republic of Letters project will explore ways to visualize and annotate these relationships, developing sophisticated new tools to map and explore the complex geographical interconnections between these tens of thousands of letters to and from forty countries across Europe, Asia, and North and South America that can be found in the EE collection.
II. New editions
Adam Smith — the definitive collection, exclusive to EE
EE now offers the only comprehensive collection of the correspondence of Adam Smith available anywhere — whether in print or electronic format!
Already containing the Mossner & Ross scholarly edition of the Correspondence of Adam Smith (OUP, 1987), EE has just added the following Smith (and related) materials:
- "'This very awkward affair': an entanglement of Scottish professors with English lords", ed. D. D. Raphael, D. R. Raynor, I. S. Ross. SVEC 278 (1990): 419–463.
- "Adam Smith an Thomas Cadell: Zwei neue Briefe", ed. Heiner Klemme. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 73 (1991): 277–280.
- "An unpublished letter from Adam Smith to Sir John Macpherson", ed. F. P. Lock. The Scottish Historical Review 85 (2006): 135–137.
III. EE records now listed in WorldCat!
As its name suggests, WorldCat offers the largest network of library content and services in the world. Now, WorldCat contains all of EE's thousands of records for individual letter writers.
Over the course of the last year, selected libraries have been loading EE MARC21 records into their catalogues, thereby populating WordCat. Now all libraries can download free EE MARC21 records incorporating the rich details of this resource into their online systems.
IV. This year's summary
The Electronic Enlightenment Project has had a busy year — our first full year since launch. During the first half of the year, we concentrated on adding new content, and on researching and enriching our existing content with extended metadata.
The last half of the year has seen a major rewrite of the site — EE2 — including code, content and design.
- 1400 new biographical notes;
- 100 new documents;
- an initial batch of MARC21 records;
- celebrating the 250th anniversary of Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments.
- cross-linking between ODNB and EE;
- 150 new and updated biographies.
- EE is basis of two original research papers, one of which is presented at the ACRL conference in Seattle;
- celebrating the 300th anniversary of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.
- 40 new biographical notes;
- 200 letters from the new born-digital edition of Jacques Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's correspondence — unique to EE;
- 42 new documents, including 24 previously unpublished translations of Latin letters from the Halley correspondence.
- 500 new biographies, taking the number of correspondents in the resource to nearly 6,500;
- first volume of correspondence from the Documentary history of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, adding five American presidents to our list of correspondents.
- work begins on the new-look Electronic Enlightenment.
- launch of Electronic Enlightenment 2: Letters & Lives Online, with a sleeker design, enhanced searchability and improved functionality;
- 249 documents from the correspondence of Gustavus III of Sweden;
- three new collections of letters associated with Adam Smith, making EE's the most comprehensive collection of Smith correspondence available anywhere;
- new MARC21 records available for download direct from the site.
V. Coming in 2010...
We have plenty of plans for next year!
Our first update will add letters and lives citation exporting for Reference Manager and EndNote.
There's lots more content to come, such as Gentlemen of Science, a fascinating collection of correspondence from the British Association for the Advancement of Science, including major figures such as Babbage, Dalton, Davy, Faraday, Herschel and Watt.
And in the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society we will be adding the correspondence of one of the founders, Robert Boyle, with such British figures as John Aubrey, Kenelm Digby, John Evelyn, John Locke and Isaac Newton, as well as an international circle including Bayle, Leibniz, Leeuwenhoek and Malpighi among many others...
In Paris on 16th January?
Pop in to the Université Paris Ouest (Nanterre-Université on the RER line A) for the conference on Bases de données et espaces informationnels and see Alain Kerhervé (Université de Bretagne Occidentale) present a paper based on research using Electronic Enlightenment. Salle des Conférences, Hall du Bâtiment B (ground floor), 9.45 a.m.
We hope you have enjoyed using Electronic Enlightenment this year! We wish you season's greetings, and look forward to the coming year together.