We aim to create a central repository of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century correspondence populated with metadata drawn from the widest variety of sources worldwide, and increasingly representative of the early modern Republic of Letters as a whole. We are pursuing this aim by experimenting with a variety of methods and approaches to metadata aggregation simultaneously:
- Ingesting the digital catalogues of major scholarly projects in this field and linking through to their digital archives where available;
- Ingesting the digital catalogues of collections and archives with rich holdings of relevant material;
- Collecting the digital files of recent and forthcoming printed editions and inventories of correspondence, from which metadata can be extracted efficiently and accurately;
- Scanning existing printed inventories of correspondence and outsourcing their keying;
- Piloting controlled crowd-sourcing of metadata for key correspondences via a distributed community of EMLO Digital Fellows;
- Publishing digital images of corpora of learned correspondence within EMLO and inviting collaborators to catalogue these letters directly within the editorial interface.
The volume of material, in digital and print form, potentially included in the catalogue by combining these methods is vast. For a checklist of some relevant material, see our Links page. Expanding organically from our current focus on the scientific correspondences of the mid- to late-seventeenth century, we aim by the end of 2014 to have assembled metadata on the letters of the following epistolary superstars. More will be added to this page on an ongoing basis, as negotiations with relevant colleagues are completed.
- Johann Permeier
- 89 letters