News-sheet — Winter 2015–2016
I. Technical changes
Electronic Enlightenment is now in the Cloud!
As part of our development plan we have recently changed the way we deliver the Electronic Enlightenment website. We have retired our original servers and our new infrastructure is running on Rackspace® cloud hosting. This will enable us to use new technologies to improve the way you can search and access the content of the Electronic Enlightenment project.
II. 2015–2016 update — Correspondence
Now over 69,000 items of correspondence!
A. SVEC Compendium:
This update provides a broad range of facinating “in-fill” to the Electronic Enlightenment Scholarly Edition of Correspondence.
For more than a half-century the Voltaire Foundation, University of Oxford, has provided the scholarly community with an outstanding source of primary and secondary materials focused on the European Enlightenment. First called Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century (1955–1999); then SVEC (2000–2015); and now Oxford Studies in the Enlightenment (2015–); this serial publication has published, across the years, various constellations of letters: some small and perhaps less easily noticed, others more substantial and well known. However, with the passage of time many of these epistolary gatherings are long out of print and not otherwise available. EE’s initial issue of the SVEC Compendium will be followed by further materials in future updates, reintegrated into the great global conversation of which they were an original part.
Here is a sample of what’s now on offer:
- Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes (French aristocrat, diplomat, politician, civil servant)
— Foreign minister under Louis XVI, who, among other things, supported the American Revolution
— To date, EE has had a total of 25 letters of this highly important figure (6 from and 19 to).
— We now add 421 letters (102 as author / 319 as recipient), most of which are either to or from Louis XVI of France, and so of considerable historical interest.
— We now move from 25 letters in total, to over 440.
- As for Louis XVI of France,
— we are now adding 285 letters.
- David Hume (Scottish author, historian, philosopher)
— Adding 6 letters
— EE now publishes the largest, integrated collection of Hume letters in print or on the web!
- James Boswell (Scottish author, biographer)
— Adding 52 letters not available any where else online.
- Pascal Paoli (Corsican army officer, patriot, governor)
— Adding 52 letters by this cultured, Corsican revolutionary.
- David Garrick (English actor, theatre owner, author, playwright)
— Adding nearly 50 letters focusing on the stage in the 18th century
- Marie Jeanne Riccoboni [née Dujac] (French author, novelist, actor)
— Adding 141 letters focusing on the stage in the 18th century
- Frederick II, king of Prussia [the Great] (German monarch, author, soldier, musician)
— Adding 170 letters
— EE is now the largest collection of his letters on the web.
- Beaumarchais, (author, playwright, government agent)
— to date EE had only 5 letters
— we are now adding over 170 letters to the collection.
B. Correspondance du chevalier Blondel de Nouainville:
A unique collection of regional letters from 18th-century France (mostly to or from Brittany).
The chevalier is interesting both as a Revolutionary and then counter-Revolutionary hero. This collection is a good example of how an academic discovery, in a regional archive, can combine with EE as the perfect publisher — this small collection is now being published within the interconnected context of thousands of other documents of the period. Moreover, this “outlier” collection (not geographically or historically central), can have impact on other, more famous correspondents, by being published in EE, providing information often missing until now — in this case by providing biographical information about Catherine Charlotte Edmée Blondel d'Azincourt [née de La Haye des Fossés], who is a Rousseau correspondent not previously identified.
C. Correspondance du J-H Bernardin de Saint-Pierre:
This update publishes tranche 7 of the correspondence of Jacques Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre adding 125 letters to this growing edition.
III. 2015–2016 update — Biographical Dictionary
Now over 8,400 correspondents!
This years’s major update has over 500 additions and revisions to EE’s Biographical Dictionary giving a total of 8,485 entries! The Project’s editorial team has worked hard to identify and provide biographical notes for hundreds of famous and not so famous people, from abolitionists and autobiographers to watchmakers and writers of memoirs.
We continue to work on the identification of unknown figures and to augment information about little known figures. You can help by sending any additional information or corrections to Electronic Enlightenment care of the .