05/14/2003 07:00:00

Einstein Archives to Be Available Online

PASADENA, Calif. –More than 900 scientific and nonscientific documents of one of the most influential intellects in the modern era, Albert Einstein, will soon be available online for the first time.

The Einstein Archives Online website, at http://www.alberteinstein.info, will also be accompanied by an extensive database of archival information. It will be launched on May 19 during a daylong symposium on his life and work, to be held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The new website is the result of an ambitious cooperative effort between the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology. It will enable access to some 3,000 high-quality digitized images. Thirty-nine documents will also be provided (in PDF format) as they appear in The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, published in German by Princeton University Press, with historical and scientific annotations in English; some of the documents are accompanied by English translations.

An extensive archival database and finding aid will allow for the direct searching and browsing of more than 40,000 records of Einstein and Einstein-related documents. These concern his scientific and nonscientific writings, his professional and personal correspondence, notebooks, travel diaries, personal documents, and third-party items.

The website was developed in collaboration with the Information Technology and Photo-Reprography Departments of the Hebrew University's Jewish National & University Library (JNUL), the David and Fela Shapell Digitization Project at the JNUL, and with Princeton University Press. The archival database will present records for all items that have been edited and annotated by scholars, and that have appeared since 1987 in The Collected Papers. These will include some 500 items that were not part of the original collection, but that were uncovered during the past 25 years. The eight volumes that are available so far contain Einstein's writings and correspondence from his youth to age 40. They include his major papers on the theory of special relativity, general relativity, the quantum theory of light and matter, as well as a wealth of lesser-known contributions to many aspects of science, education, international reconciliation, Zionism, and pacifism.

Einstein's personal papers were bequeathed to the Hebrew University in his last will and testament of 1950. The Albert Einstein Archives has been housed at the Hebrew University's JNUL since 1982.

The Einstein Papers Project at Caltech is a multidisciplinary research and editorial team engaged in the collection, selection, and scholarly annotation of The Collected Papers, an edition of 25 planned volumes of Einstein's writings and correspondence.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was envisaged by its founders as a "university of the Jewish people." Its foundation stone was laid in 1918, and its doors opened in 1925. Today, its student body totals around 23,000 and its tenured academic faculty numbers 1,200. The university is Israel's leading academic center for research and postgraduate study.

Founded in 1891, Caltech has an enrollment of some 2,000 students, and a faculty of about 280 professorial members, 65 research members, and some 560 postdoctoral scholars. Over the years, 30 Nobel Prizes and four Crafoord Prizes have been awarded to faculty members and alumni.

The Jewish National & University Library is the central library of the Hebrew University and the national library of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Founded in 1892 as a world center for the preservation of books relating to Jewish thought and culture, it assumed the additional functions of a general university library in 1920.