Nora Gädeke

Work in Progress: Leibniz’s Correspondence Network

2011 Seminar Series / Thursday 12 May, 2011


Dr Nora Gädeke (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek) provides a privileged insight into the edition of Leibniz’s correspondence currently being reconstructed by the Akademie-Ausgabe, a group of collaborators in Potsdam, Münster, Hannover, and Berlin, under the aegis of the Academies of Science of Göttingen and Berlin-Brandenburg. In a detailed and reflexive analysis, Gädeke outlines the epistolary activities and contacts of this prolific correspondent, whose surviving letters number c.15,000-20,000, and who saw letter-writing as ‘one of the main characteristics of his life’. She also describes the editorial principles and strategies of the definitive, multi-volume Akademie-Ausgabe edition, which include reproducing all items of Leibniz’s corpus chronologically and topically (including all extant copies), as well as the creation of a full critical apparatus, and considers the practical and conceptual challenges posed by such an ambitious, ‘cinematic’ enterprise. Gädeke concludes her talk by discussing and demonstrating the database of Leibniz’s correspondence, one of a series of innovative online tools developed by the project to facilitate editorial work on the hard-copy volumes and disseminate some key findings beyond the edition itself.

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