Launched on 5 December by Princeton University Press, The Digital Einstein is a free website offering full public access to the 5,000 documents in the first 13 volumes of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. Further instalments of the likely 30-volume series will come on stream roughly 18 months after their print publication.
Scientific landmarks include Einstein’s 1905 paper “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”, the paper on “the production and transformation of light” that won him the Nobel Prize, and the 1915 article setting out the general theory of relativity.
His correspondence features revealing and often intense exchanges with many leading scientists, philosophers and political personalities as well as love letters to his first wife and letters to his children.
The private Einstein can also be found in a high school essay where he notes that “young people especially like to contemplate bold projects”; his first job offer from the Swiss Patent Office in 1902; and a letter to a friend reflecting on how famous people are “worshipped today, scorned or even crucified tomorrow”.
The Digital Einstein is published in partnership with Tizra, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the California Institute of Technology. Sophisticated search technology enables users to navigate easily between texts in their original languages and the English translations, while introductory essays and explanatory footnotes provide the essential context.
The website also contains links to the Einstein Archives Online, which contains thousands of high-quality digital images.