New Database: Electronic Enlightenment

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Electronic Enlightenment explores the relationships and movement of ideas from the time of The Enlightenment to the 20th century through a web of personal correspondence. This digital collection contains over 69,000 letters and documents exchanged between more than 8,000 individuals. These correspondences provide detailed information on the private conversations and thoughts of a wide range of famous and lesser-known historical figures.

Some sample items include the following:

Letter from David Hume to Adam Smith (February 8, 1776)

Letter from René Descartes to Nicolas de Flécelles, vicomte de Brégy (January 15, 1650)

Letter from John Locke to Reverend Thomas Tenison, archbishop of Canterbury (March 19, 1696)

This collection is international in scope, and it contains letters written in the authors’ native languages.