Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Electronic Enlightenment

Posted by Megan on January 23, 2011

The library now has a subscription to Electronic Enlightenment.

EE is published by Oxford and offers online access to the correspondence of nearly 6,000 writers including Addison, Bentham, Boswell, Defoe, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Locke, Pope, Rousseau, Smith, Swift, Sterne, and Voltaire.

The official resource description is as follows:

An overview of Electronic Enlightenment

With 58,555 letters and documents and 7,113 correspondents as of October 2010, EEis the most wide-ranging online collection of edited correspondence of the early modern period, linking people across Europe, the Americas and Asia from the early 17th to the mid-19th century.

Scholarship with added value

Drawn from the best available critical editions, EE is not simply an “electronic bookshelf” of isolated texts but a network of interconnected documents, allowing you to see the complex web of personal relationships in the early modern period and the making of the modern world.

But that’s not all. The EE team have created an ongoing programme of expanding, linking and original scholarly research to give you:

  • thousands of newly composed biographical notes;
  • tens of thousands of corrections of minor errors;
  • scores of thousands of expansions of abbreviations and sigles;
  • hundreds of thousands of internal links and cross-references

Letters and lives in Electronic Enlightenment

The rich variety of people in EE represents a real cross-section of early modern societyin Europe and the Americas. By treating every correspondent — not only the “great men” — as someone significant, EE reveals the existence of the myriad unknown and ignored figures of the period and raises questions about their place in the structures of their time, challenging the traditional concept of the “Enlightenment” as the preserve of philosophers.

Through EE you can see the ideas and concerns not only of thinkers and scholars, politicians and diplomats, but also butchers and housewives, servants and shopkeepers. With a wealth of personal detail revealed in these personal documents, you can explore as never before the relationships, correspondence networks and movement of ideas, the letters and lives of the early modern world.

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