‘Letters in the Digital Age’ and Richard ‘Dutch’ Thomson

thomsonIn a week during which the editing of scholarly correspondence rises to the fore in Oxford, EMLO is delighted to announce publication of a catalogue of the correspondence of Richard Thomson. Best known as a translator of the Bible and as an early Arminian, ‘Dutch’ Thomson (as he tends to be known) was admired widely during his lifetime for his learning and scholarship. Active in the decades surrounding 1600 — he died in 1613 — he was a correspondent and friend of both Joseph Justus Scaliger and Isaac Casaubon, and he travelled extensively to work with manuscripts in Europe’s great early modern libraries.

Earlier this year, the first biography of Thomson, written by Paul Botley (one of the editors of the impressive eight-volume Scaliger edition brought out by Librarie Droz in 2012) was published by Brill together with Thomson’s surviving correspondence of seventy-eight letters. Dr Botley has contributed a calendar of the correspondence to EMLO where it joins the catalogue of Scaliger’s correspondence and will, in the years to come, sit alongside that of Casaubon.

Correspondence editions are the focus of a one-day student-organized conference to be held in the Bodleian’s new Weston Library tomorrow (Tuesday, 21 June). Entitled Speaking in Absence: Letters in the Digital Age, the conference includes discussions between intellectual historians (including our own Project Director, Howard Hotson) and scholarly editors, presentations by curators of the Bodleian’s Special Collections, and a panel session bringing together representatives from Oxford University Press and Blackwell’s bookshop. Should you be interested in attending, a full schedule and details regarding registration may be found here. EMLO will be present and I look forward greatly to recreating the journey metadata takes from a manuscript in the Bodleian’s Special Collections all the way through to our rapidly expanding catalogue of correspondence as we try to define and map the shape and constituent parts of the ‘respublica litteraria’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.