Born-digital collections: publishing small numbers of letters

EE offers scholars the opportunity to publish born-digital critical editions online, integrated into our network of biographical and documentary links. As the letters are edited and prepared for online publication they will be fully integrated into EE's architecture and will benefit from links to thousands of other documents, persons and themes.

Born digital collections in EE:

Updating Voltaire! — new letters and substantial revisions of existing letters to, from and about one of the outstanding figure of the 18th Century will be published in Electronic Enlightenment beginning later in 2011.

Electronic Enlightenment already publishes, in its entirety, the best critical edition of Voltaire's complete correspondence (Correspondence and related documents. Ed. Theodore Besterman. 2nd ed. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1968–1977). Of course, since that edition was completed, additional Voltaire letters have been discovered. These are now being edited for inclusion in EE, making it the only source for Voltaire's "complete correspondence".

This major updating of the Besterman edition begins with a collection of new and unpublished letters by (or concerning) Voltaire in New York libraries, consisting of 13 unknown letters (and 19 substantial revisions of existing letters), from three libraries in New York, as follows:

New York Public Library

  1. Letter signed by Voltaire, London, 17 and 20 May 1727
  2. Letter, Voltaire to Lord Bathurst, 18 October 1729
  3. Voltaire to Mlle Mignot [Mme Denis], 7 December 1737
  4. Letter/poem, Voltaire à ‘R’, c.1750
  5. Letter, Voltaire à Guillaume Claude de Laleu, 3 December 1754
  6. Mme Denis to D’Argental, 7 September 1755
  7. Letter, Voltaire to René Lépine, 4 September 1772
  8. Letter, Voltaire à Joseph Vasselier, 24 February 1776

Plus substantial revisions of editions of 9 further letters.

Morgan Library

  1. Letter, Voltaire to René Hérault, 19 April 1729
  2. Letter, Voltaire to Choiseul (?), 9 November 1771
  3. Document signed by Voltaire, 6 January 1776
  4. Letter, Jean-Louis Wagnière to Jean-Ribote Charron, 19 May 1784

Plus substantial revisions of editions of 14 further letters.

Columbia University Library

  1. Letter, Henri Pitot to Voltaire, 17 August 1738

Further material for the Voltaire re-edition

Twelve hitherto unpublished letters were first published recently in the Revue Voltaire (RV): a small journal published in Paris, which is not available online and is almost impossible to access in the UK and the USA. The Société des études voltairiennes which publishes the journal has given the Voltaire Foundation and EE permission to digitize these letters and so make them available online for the first time. These include documents of major importance to historians (e.g. the last letter written by Frederick the Great to Voltaire) and philosophers (e.g. the only known private letter from Voltaire to Hume).

  1. Letter, Mme Du Châtelet to Jean-François du Resnel, 27 June 1734 (RV, 3)
  2. Letter, Mme Du Châtelet to Cideville, 18 May 1741 (RV, 3)
  3. Letter, Catherine II to Voltaire, 28 November 1765 (RV, 4)
  4. Letter, Frederick II to Voltaire, 15 April 1778 (RV, 5)
  5. Letter, Mme Denis to duc de Richelieu, 8 February 1753 (RV, 7)
  6. Letter, Mme Denis to Lekain, 12 May 1755 (RV, 7)
  7. Letter, Mme Denis to Lekain, 27 July 1755 (RV, 7)
  8. Letter, Philibert Cramer to Audibert, 15 August 1762 (RV, 7)
  9. Letter, Lekain to comte d’Argental, 2 August 1776 (RV, 7)
  10. Letter, Mme Denis to Cideville, 15 September 1750 (RV, 8)
  11. Letter, Voltaire to David Hume, 12 November 1763 (RV, 8)
  12. Letter, Voltaire to the baron of Bielfeld, 19 January 1762 (RV, 10)

Plus substantial revisions of editions of 2 further letters (RV, 11)

Editorial team: Nicholas Cronk, Robert McNamee.

If you are interested in publishing a new letter or a small group of letters in EE, please email us about . Your publication will appear with its own credits in our register of EE editions.

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