News-sheet — Winter 2010–2011

. . . A hundred happinesses attend you every new year! That is better than a hundred new years.

— Alexander Pope to William Broome (Saturday, 8 January 1724)
(EE letter id: popealOU0020211a1c)

Latest news — what's new and improved?

I. New services for users

The NEW EE classroom

Teach & learn with Electronic Enlightenment — this month we open the doors of the Electronic Enlightenment Classroom. This area contains our first collection of Lesson plans, submitted by academics from various countries, who use EE as part of their teaching. Topics covered include: history of science and medicine; diversity of opinion and intellectual rivalry; multi-culturalism; censorship & moral action; 18th-century theatre. We've also created a section called "Talking points", all of which can be consulted in the Classroom.

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Tours

As the adage goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". In this vein we have created some new, pictorial guided tours giving a fresh overview of how Letters & Lives are presented in EE.

To learn more, take a tour — guided tours.

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II. Changes to the main website

NEW "Print-house"

This month we launch the NEW Electronic Enlightenment Print-house. What is it, and why have one, you might ask? The Print-house is a place for our serialised and occasional publications, including our Anniversarial, News-sheet, Miscelleny and The Letterbook, where various occasional papers will be published.

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Refined "Coffee-house"

The "Coffee-house" has been reorganised, emphasizing its primary focus on scholarly communication, research and teaching materials, supporting the main resource. It houses information about Electronic Enlightenment's

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Restructured "Information" section

The "Information" section has been restructured and the area's inside reorganized to make it easier to find what you need. We have now made it easier to find information about EE, about our content, about collaborating with us, about publishing with us, what subscriber services we offer and how to contact us.

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III. Changes to information about letters

A refinement of presentation

The envelope, manuscripts and print information sections of EE's letters have gone through a significant refinement in detail and presentation.

Envelope information

From early sources to instances

More information about the instances

To see an example of the new displays, please click on the following image links:

Manuscript instance
Print instance
Digital instance

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Annotations get accreditation

Electronic Enlightenment is a "critical edition" of "critical editions", and in the process of preparing material for publication in EE we often discover errors or out-of-date information, particularly in the critical apparatus: for example, to date we've discovered nearly 200 notecalls without an associated annotation, and as many annotations for which there is no notecall in the base text edition. Additionally, our active user community regularly submit corrections and new information for review and inclusion.

More than that, because EE returns letters to a historical, inter-personal exchange, far more fluid than can be accomplished by any print edition, readers can come to the letters in any of a number of ways, including a context of their own making: a search on "nature", for example, might link documents from multiple continents across several centuries. Since any particular gathering of letters in EE is most likely to occur outside the context of the original, linear print format, we have an increasing need to help inform and orient our users by creating new annotations or new instances of annotations already attached to other letters.

This "natural" digital side-effect of amalgamating multiple editions of letters, produced over a number of decades, means we have decided to implement a scholarly protocol for accrediting the source for all annotations, whether drawn from EE's base text, or having been corrected, changed or newly created by EE. Over the next few months, we will be adding a revision history with reasons for these changes and additions, where they occur.

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"Searching Sources" becomes "Searching Instances"

EE is both digital project and digital publication platform, as such it contains editions that have their roots in print and editions that have never been previously printed (born digital editions). We are getting more and more of these born digital editions and have decided to make them findable and distinct within our search pages.

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IV. Content

A Scientific Correspondence during the Chemical Revolution

EE is pleased to announce inclusion of A Scientific Correspondence during the Chemical Revolution: Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau and Richard Kirwan, 1782–1802. Ed. Emmanuel Grison, Michelle Goupil & Patrice Bret. (Berkeley: University of California, 1994).

Although the selection is relatively small (thirty-eight letters), it adds a significant scientific exchange to EE. Most of these letters were written between 1782 and 1788 — at the height of Lavoisier's Chemical Revolution and are of particular interest due to the celebrity of the two correspondents: Guyton de Morveau and Richard Kirwan.

Guyton de Morveau, along with Lavoisier, was a primary author of the Méthode de Nomenclature chimique (1787). Richard Kirwan authored the Essay on Phlogiston — later refuted by Guyton and Lavoisier.

Here are some sample letters from the edition —

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Digital correspondence of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre

March 2011 marks publication of the second tranche of the Bernardin de Saint-Pierre correspondence, a collection being prepared specifically for unique, born-digital publication in EE. This month adds 189 previously unpublished letters between Bernardin de Saint-Pierre and Pierre-Michel Hennin (representing about a tenth of the total corpus), covering a period from the 1760s through to the Revolution. An administrator and diplomat of considerable influence, Hennin was a trusted friend of Bernardin, and for some 30 years he loyally supported Bernardin in all his activities, from his early military endeavours before he became an accomplished author through to the fulfilment of his literary ambitions.

Here are some sample letters from the edition —

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Miscellany, Winter 2010–2011

Banks, bankers and banking: why I'm on the verge of the road?

In this month's Miscellany, "Banks, bankers and banking: why I'm on the verge of the road?", EE's Director goes off in search of "banking" among EE's riches, but soon finds himself distracted, neither by notes nor specie, but by the wealth of information and interconnections.

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V. Last year's Review

2010 was a busy year for the Electronic Enlightenment Project — our second full year since launch. During the course of the year we have added significant amounts of content and refined many aspects of the display and functionality of EE.

January

February

March

April

May

June

Summer

September

October

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