Einstein papers to be published on Web
Los Angeles, May 17
Genius goes online next week with the establishment of a new Web site of Albert Einstein's scientific and other writings, the California Institute of Technology said on Friday.
A collaborative effort of the Einstein Papers Project at Caltech and the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Web site will allow users access to 3,000 digitized images of the Nobel prize winner's writings, Einstein Papers editor Diana Buchwald said.
Among them are papers on the special theory of relativity, his never-published travel diaries, various humanitarian statements, and his frequent pleas for peace.
Einstein Archives Online will be launched on Monday during a daylong symposium on Einstein's life and work at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
The site also will provide a catalog of the 40,000 pieces of writing and correspondence that make up the body of Einstein's work, much of it written in the scientist's own hand, Buchwald said.
"The most exhilarating experience is to read the manuscripts," Buchwald said. "He expressed himself very clearly and concisely. He had a very elegant prose and ... very readable and beautiful handwriting, so one has a feeling of intimacy with the material."
The original papers, collected during Einstein's life and after his death in 1955 by his secretary Helen Dukas, are kept at the University of Jerusalem.
About 25 years go, the Einstein Papers Project, centered since 2000 at Caltech in Pasadena, California, began publishing the material in chronological order and has completed eight of 25 planned volumes.
His papers show that Einstein was well regarded in the scientific community and was a strong voice for peace long before confirmation of his special theory of relativity in 1919 made him a household name, Buchwald said.
Nevertheless, many still equate him with "the old frazzled scientist in a worn-out T-shirt," she said.
"It's difficult to get a completely fresh picture of Einstein because he has been such an icon for 75 years," Buchwald said.
The site: www.alberteinstein.info.
(will start functioning on Monday at 3pm EDT)