Digital Letter Edition on the Freiberg Naturalist Abraham Gottlob Werner is Online

31.05.2021 | Press Releases, Project News

Since the end of May 2021, the digital edition of the letters to the Freiberg naturalist Abraham Gottlob Werner has been online as a beta version. Around 700 letters to Werner can be viewed in open access, together with information on the context of the correspondence.
Abraham Gottlob Werner, Monument in Freiberg (Saxony)

Abraham Gottlob Werner, Monument in Freiberg (Saxony)

The cooperative project “Digitization and Electronic Edition of Abraham Gottlob Werner's Correspondence”, which is being carried out by the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and the Trier Center for Digital Humanities, directly replicates the infrastructure of the “Digital Edition of the Correspondence of August Wilhelm Schlegel”.

Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749-1817) worked in Freiberg for four decades as a natural scientist; in the process, his teachings exerted a great attraction during his lifetime. Numerous sons of aristocrats, mine and estate owners, scholars, senior officials and diplomats came from all over Europe and overseas to visit the Bergakademie and, above all, to hear Werner speak. After their time at Freiberg, many of them wrote to their academic teacher; and other pen pals also tried to keep in touch with him after personal encounters, or to get in touch with him through letters. A large part of these - more than 700 letters - have been preserved in the university library “Georg Agricola” of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

For the past three years, the letters have been catalogued at the Institute for Industrial Archaeology, History of Science and Technology (IWTG) as part of the first Freiberg edition project in the field of Digital Humanities; the project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The edition is being developed and edited by the historian of science Hildegard Wiegel under the direction of Professor Helmuth Albrecht at the IWTG. The cooperative project is supported by the library and the Chair of Mineralogy as local partners.

The Trier Center for Digital Humanities is responsible for the digital capture as well as for the online presentation of the letters. The edition environment Research Network and Database System (FuD) developed at the University of Trier, which Dr. Matthias Bremm set up and adapted for the Werner Edition, is being used. Dr. Matthias Bremm has also developed the online presentation of the edition, reusing the features of the Schlegel edition, which have been individually tailored to the letters to Werner.

For the first time, users can navigate through the letters, whose facsimiles were made available as high-resolution scans as part of “”, and synoptically call up the transcriptions. Further in-depth indexing and refinement of the usability concept are now planned.

further information at TCDH: Dr. Matthias Bremm

Tags: Letters, “born digital”