Albert Einstein's Entire Collection of Papers, Letters is Now Online

Albert Einstein's Entire Collection of Papers, Letters is Now Online

Albert Einstein 1921 310x

One of the world's brightest now has his correspondence digitized, and online.

Have you ever wanted to do a deep dive into the mind of Albert Einstein? Now's your chance, as Princeton is putting every letter, paper, and correspondence of the father of modern physics study.

In a project called The Digital Einstein Papers, all of Einstein's known papers and writings will eventually be digitized, and released online for free. So far, the project has covered roughly 25 percent of the collection, covering Einstein's writings up through 1921. Thirteen volumes are currently available, along with accompanying translated (into English) volumes. While Einstein's later work would appear in English, his earlier writings are largely in German.

In total, 30,000 documents will be part of the The Digital Einstein Papers project. Of these, roughly 450 papers were published works (meaning they were published academic papers during his lifetime). So far, "approximately 7,000 pages representing 2,900 unique documents have been digitized."

I don't think anyone here is going to pour through 7,000 pages of writings (much less the eventual total of 30,000), but having unfettered access to one of the greatest scientific minds ever seen? We are lucky students, indeed.

Oh, and the first document (birth certificate excluded) that references Einstein directly? It's a letter from his mother to a relative (Fanny Einstein), talking about how little Albert was ranked first in his class again.

Source: Princeton

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The original creators of the internet probably like this and get nice warm fuzzy feeling.

Oh holy shit. 450 papers in his lifetime? I knew he was a crazy guy, but 450? Damn man that is a lot of papers, and most likely in the area of physics and relativity theory. Jesus mother of God, and add on top of that 29550 letters and other stuff. Give me a few minutes, I need to pick pieces of my brain from the grill behind me.

Edit: of course he was ranked first in his class again. AN IQ of such level as his can only make wonderful things. But also remember batshit insane.

Scorpid:
The original creators of the internet probably like this and get nice warm fuzzy feeling.

Yeah, because arpanet was all about storing historic documents. Right.

Haerthan:
Oh holy shit. 450 papers in his lifetime? I knew he was a crazy guy, but 450? Damn man that is a lot of papers, and most likely in the area of physics and relativity theory. Jesus mother of God, and add on top of that 29550 letters and other stuff. Give me a few minutes, I need to pick pieces of my brain from the grill behind me.

Edit: of course he was ranked first in his class again. AN IQ of such level as his can only make wonderful things. But also remember batshit insane.

im not all that surprised about letters. a letter does not have to be long, it can be 5 sentences too. i often write a hundred of forum posts of that lenght in a day. its not that hard to write letters, we just do it electronically now. science papers on the other hand yes, thats a lot.

blackrave:

Scorpid:
The original creators of the internet probably like this and get nice warm fuzzy feeling.

Yeah, because arpanet was all about storing historic documents. Right.

They kinda were. its just that they focused on storing military documents in case of nuclear war and communication in such case rather than einstein work.

Strazdas:

Haerthan:
Oh holy shit. 450 papers in his lifetime? I knew he was a crazy guy, but 450? Damn man that is a lot of papers, and most likely in the area of physics and relativity theory. Jesus mother of God, and add on top of that 29550 letters and other stuff. Give me a few minutes, I need to pick pieces of my brain from the grill behind me.

Edit: of course he was ranked first in his class again. AN IQ of such level as his can only make wonderful things. But also remember batshit insane.

im not all that surprised about letters. a letter does not have to be long, it can be 5 sentences too. i often write a hundred of forum posts of that lenght in a day. its not that hard to write letters, we just do it electronically now. science papers on the other hand yes, thats a lot.

blackrave:

Scorpid:
The original creators of the internet probably like this and get nice warm fuzzy feeling.

Yeah, because arpanet was all about storing historic documents. Right.

They kinda were. its just that they focused on storing military documents in case of nuclear war and communication in such case rather than einstein work.

WEll yea the letters are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, unless viewed from a historical perspective to shed light on the culture of Germany pre-WWI. So still pretty damned important. What I was impressed and had my mind blown by was the 450 papers he published. And knowing what I know of academic publishing, there had to be someone who really hated him, having to read through all those papers.

Scorpid:
The original creators of the internet probably like this and get nice warm fuzzy feeling.

I don't know about the guys that worked on ARPANET and the early internet, but I bet Sir Tim Berners-Lee (the creator of the World Wide Web) is ecstatic. I get the feeling that things like this are more or less exactly what he had in mind for the WWW and the internet.

This is very exciting news though. I hope to see more scientific works put up for all to access. It'd be nice for people to be able to educate themselves at their own pace as well as having the option for more formal/traditional education.

Now I must learn German. I mean, I could always read the translations, but if I could read a digitised version of the source material? Then I could also read Wernher Von Braun's work, and Hans Von Ohain, I could even find out if Mein Kampf is as poorly written as everyone tells me it is (I have been told that German schoolchildren could write a better book than Hitler, though I'm not sure if this is a dig at Hitler's writing skill (grammar, spelling, structure, etc) or just simply at the contents/messages of the book).

Haerthan:

WEll yea the letters are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, unless viewed from a historical perspective to shed light on the culture of Germany pre-WWI. So still pretty damned important. What I was impressed and had my mind blown by was the 450 papers he published. And knowing what I know of academic publishing, there had to be someone who really hated him, having to read through all those papers.

Since i posted i have looked at what these letters on the site consists of.... and its not even Einsteins work. These "letters" include anything from his birth certificate to his grade card to his teacher writing a single sentence about "Albert doing good in school again". Out of the first 5 pages only two things have been written by Albert himself (and one of them was a meaningless letter to his uncle, while other was his thoughts on a ma thematic theorem proof being pointless). If the trend continues in other volumes then most of those thousands of letters weren't even written by Albert.

Does anyone have a ZIP file of everything together?

 

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