The Clusius letters
The correspondence of Carolus Clusius comprises more than 1550 letters, of which some 1300 are kept in the University Library Leiden (facsimiles can be consulted on the website of the University Library Leiden). The letters are written by Clusius and a range of persons from all social layers with an interest in natural history, gardening, literature, travel, politics, religion and everyday life. Over the course of the last two centuries, these letters have attracted the attention of several historians and biologists, but a complete edition of the correspondence was never realized.
Online edition in e-Laborate
Huygens ING and the Scaliger Institute made a big step towards a complete digital edition of the Clusius correspondence, by assembling and digitizing all existing transcriptions of the letters in eLaborate (an online transcription tool developed by Huygens ING). The beta release of this edition, which contains the possibility to perform full text searches, has now been placed online for registered users. Included are the metadata of all known letters, mostly accompanied by facsimile reproductions from the University Library Leiden, and 450 transcriptions of letters made by different researchers in the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Texts of the approximately 630 published letters are to be added in the course of 2012.
The expected web edition is not a scientific edition in the classical sense. Due to the many different sources of the (published and unpublished) transcriptions, the quality of the edition is not uniform. Furthermore, virtually no annotation will be added. But by publishing this edition as work-in-progress, we expect to offer an invaluable source that can be searched, improved and elaborated by everyone.
Search and collaborate!
Researchers and students are invited to browse and search the beta release of the online edition and to join the project with new transcriptions, translations, improvements of existing transcriptions, annotations etc. Those interested may send an email to the project manager, email@example.com.
Here you can read the instructions for the use of the Clusiuscorrespondence in eLaborate: Instructions Clusiuscorrespondence eLaborate