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The Online Republic of Letters

My first blog post for the Voltaire Foundation.

Voltaire Foundation

Moll_-_A_new_map_of_the_whole_world_with_the_trade_winds

Welcome to the Voltaire Foundation’s first blog. We are the publishers of the first critical edition of Voltaire’s Complete Works, as well as monographs in the SVEC series touching on all aspects of eighteenth-century culture, history and literature. As a publisher and research department of the university of Oxford, we are fascinated by networks. After all, if Voltaire were alive today he would no doubt be a prolific social networker, blogging incendiary material, fuelling large Facebook thread debates and over-using #infâme on twitter.

In this spirit, this first post is a gateway to the online eighteenth-century community with links to interesting blog posts, databases and projects, to further encourage a network of exchange.

Network Databases

  • Epitomising the spirit of this blog post is the Mapping the Republic of Letters project. Based at the University of Stanford, this interdisciplinary and international project has been shepherding huge amounts of data acquired…

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Digital 18th Century

The digitization of eighteenth-century resources is an ongoing project, here are some of my favourite iPad apps, designed to enhance teaching, facilitate research, or simply entertain:

ARTFL's Encyclopédie app

ARTFL’s Encyclopédie app

  • An enriched edition of Candide: naturally, I am biased since this was created by the BnF and Orange in collaboration with the Voltaire Foundation. Useful to both researchers and students, this beautiful edition offers multiple entry points into Voltaire’s text.
  • Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie: ARTFL have recently launched an app as a companion to their incredibly useful website. This is in no way inferior to their online version, allowing the reader to search by volume or theme, and including scans of the original edition.
  • Gallica: not just restricted to the 18th century of course, this app makes available some of the incredible resources of the BnF. Also of note, the BnF’s 14th to 18th century marine maps app.
  • MAU M&L Natural History: High-resolution images of rare books from the Musashino Art University Museum and Library, with a focus on Anatomy, Natural History and Voyage from 17th to 19th century.
  • The French Revolution seems particularly popular, veering from useful apps (such as French Revolutionary calendar), to interactive historical drama (Time traveller tour with Charlotte Corday), to a full-on educational game in which you play the role of the French army as it wages war against the coalition (Levée en masse).

Happy downloading!