Developing, Connecting, and Understanding Epistolary Resources

The Project is driven by seven research and editorial case studies organized around the letters and legacies of six key figures in early modern science – many of them members of the fledgling Royal Society – as well as the card catalogue of correspondence in Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

Our engagement with these rich resources consists primarily of the creation of digital calendars, online archives, and critical editions designed to improve scholarly understandings of each corpus and to make it more accessible to international audiences. Metadata and other spin-off materials generated by these ventures also forms the core of material for our union catalogue of early modern letters:

Bodleian Card Catalogue

Firstly, we are digitising the card catalogue of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century manuscript correspondence in Duke Humfrey’s Library and making it freely available online.

John Aubrey (1626–97)

Aubrey was a pioneer of archaeology and antiquarianism and one of the foremost gatherers and disseminators of learning in late seventeenth-century England.

Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670)

An educational theorist, a utopian visionary, the last bishop of the Czech Unity of Brethren, Comenius’s career as refugee intellectual took him through most of the Protestant world.

Samuel Hartlib (c.1600–62)

Famous as the ‘Great Intelligencer’ of Europe, this Anglo-German philanthropist was one of the most active reformers of the late 1630s and the ensuing civil war and republican period.

Edward Lhwyd (c.1660–1709)

The second keeper of the Ashmolean museum, Lhywd was an important naturalist, archaeologist, and linguist who corresponded extensively with the leading figures of the age.

Martin Lister (1639–1712)

A prominent member of the Royal Society, this naturalist and physician travelled extensively and founded the disciplines of arachnology and conchology.

John Wallis (1616–1703)

A pioneer of geometry, grammar, music theory, and logic, Wallis is renowned as one of the leading mathematicians of the early modern period.

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