Hebrew University's Einstein archives to go online

Posted: 3/14/2011 10:57:00 AM
Author: Ben Hartman
Source: This article first appeared in the Jerusalem Post online on March 14, 2011.

Hebrew University's Einstein archives to go online
by Ben Hartman
03/14/2011 17:13

Documents to go digital as part of year-long project; archives are "an asset whose worth is very difficult to gauge," university professor says.

Albert Einstein will go digital in the coming months, as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem begins a project to digitize the German-Jewish physicist's archives.

The digitization is expected to take around one year and then the over 80,000 documents will be available on the Albert Einstein Archives website.

News of the initiative, which will be made possible by a $500,000 grant from the Polonsky Foundation of London, was announced on Monday, the 131st anniversary of Einstein's birth in the town of Ulm in what is today Southern Germany.

The university said Monday that the project will safeguard and provide access to more than 80,000 documents in Einstein's archives for future generations. Einstein was one of the founders of Hebrew University in 1918 and sat on its first board of governors.

He left his entire archives to the university in his will. Since 182, the archives have been kept in the Jewish National Library on the Edmond J. Safra Campus of the Hebrew University.

Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, director of the Einstein Center at the Hebrew University, said the archives are "an asset whose worth is very difficult to gauge. All of the 80,000 documents shed light on Einstein's scientific work, but also his political ideas. He was someone who spoke up about all of the public and political issues of his time."

Gutfreund said that the archives also paint a picture of Einstein's personal life, including his musings on his family, relationships, and day-to-day life as well as issues of politics and science.