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Einstein online archive expands

Thousands of docs hit the ‘net

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As a commemoration of the 133rd birthday of Albert Einstein, the online archives of his work are being expanded to contain more than 80,000 documents.

According to Caltech, which conducts the Einstein Papers Project, the site will ultimately hold all the documents held jointly by Caltech and the Einstein Archives at Hebrew University. There are more than 40,000 of Einstein’s personal papers, and more than 30,000 additional Einstein-related documents discovered since the 1980s.

The long work of digitizing the hoard is funded by the UK’s Polonsky Foundation, whose patron, Dr Leonard Polonsky, also drove the digitization of Isaac Newton’s papers at the University of Cambridge.

That project attracted huge interest, with 29 million hits in its first 24 hours, and Dr Polonsky expects the Einstein archive to be similarly popular.

Currently, the site offers access 43,000 document records and 900 manuscripts. The new material currently includes 7,000 pages in 2,000 documents covering Einstein’s life, work and science to 1921. Since most of Einstein’s papers were originally written in German, the archive also presents English translations of the documents. ®

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