Blog Post

Mapping the Republic of Letters

Mapping the Republic of Letters is a cartographic tool designed by students and professors at Stanford that seeks to represent the Enlightenment era Republic of Letters, the network of correspondence between the finest thinkers of the day, such as Voltaire, Leibniz, Rousseau, Newton, Diderot, Linnaeus, Franklin and countless others. These digital maps chart the journeys of thousands of letters, creating a powerful visualization tool can allow us to better understand who was corresponding with whom - a task that seems daunting when one considers that Voltaire alone wrote over 18,000 letters to hundreds of people.  It's helpful to read Patricia Cohen's blog post in the New York Times which explains how the tool works before you attempt to use it on your own.  Be sure to also check out Cohen's article, "Digital Keys for Unlocking the Humanities' Riches" if you haven't already.  


No comments