EINSTEIN MANUSCRIPTS NOW ACCESSIBLE ONLINE
Manila, May 30, 2003 By Cornelius Mondoy, (STAR) Albert Einstein formulated the theory of relativity and divined the speed of light on an armchair in a darkly lit patent office room. The year was 1905. The man who described himself as having no "imagination and practical ability" was nevertheless toying with strange daydreams: What if I can move along with a light beam?
Einsteinís theory of relativity has influenced major scientific and technological advancements in the 20th century and his frizzy visage has adorned every geekís t-shirt around the world. But despite his status as the worldís icon of genius, many of us donít have a clue about the man that held the mind.
To give people insight on the other workings of Einsteinís mind, the Einstein Papers Project at Caltech and the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have put up a website that features digitally scanned original manuscripts, documents and diaries of scienceís foremost thinker.
The site Ė www.alberteinstein.info Ė is a treasure chest of Einsteinís yearnings and non-scientific observations ranging from self-criticism to pleas for peace. The website allows users access to 3,000 digitized images of the Nobel Prize winnerís writings.
Alberteinstein.info is divided into four sections: "Digitized manuscripts," which features chronologically arranged scientific and non-scientific writings as well as database info on Einsteinís travel diaries; the "Finding Aid" page, which serves as a table of contents for the Einstein Archives with general information on the Web collection as well as a timeline of Einsteinís life; the "Archival Database" page, which is basically an itemized database of approximately 43,000 Einstein and Einstein-related writings as well as professional and personal correspondence; and a "Gallery" that allows surfers to explore some of the highlights of the digitized manuscripts at the Albert Einstein Archives that are accessible on the website.
The "Gallery" also includes representative samples of manuscripts from the Einstein Archives: scientific manuscripts relating to Einsteinís special and general theories of relativity; an example of one of his lecture notebooks; non-scientific manuscripts relating to his interest in Jewish affairs and to his worldwide fame; and one of his travel diaries.
Most materials at the Einstein Online Archives collection are in German and English, but some are in French, Italian, Russian, Yiddish and Hebrew. Some of the scanned images can be viewed in either jpeg or pdf format.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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