In 2017, the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists and the National Library of Russia, Saint Petersburg (NLR) agreed upon a collaborative digital edition of the Émilie Du Châtelet manuscripts preserved in the Voltaire Collection of that library.
The Saint Petersburg manuscripts comprise a number of early works by Du Châtelet, mostly copies and fair copies with autograph revisions and annotations.
All these works are of invaluable significance, both for Du Châtelet’s own intellectual career and for the history of the early eighteenth century European Enlightenment. Du Châtelet’s early writings are documents of high relevance for the emergence, and development, of her later epistemological positions from within the key metaphysical controversies of her epoch.
The HWPS-NLR edition of the Saint Petersburg manuscripts is the first digital and the first historical-critical edition of that important corpus of Du Châtelet’s early works.
The digitization and online presentation of the manuscripts has been realized by the NLR. The transcriptions, constitution of critical apparatus, annotations and indices have been realized by the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists, Paderborn University, Germany and the Centre international d’étude du XVIIIe siècle, Ferney-Voltaire, France. The Essai sur l’optique, ch.4 “De la formation des couleurs” has been transcribed by Michel Toulmonde, Paris, France.
The transcriptions are faithful renditions of the original texts presented according to the proposals of the TEI P5 Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange.
All edited texts are accessible as interactive online-versions and as downloadable and printable PDFs.
The critical texts are supplemented by translations into the English language:
Chapitre V De la liberté and Traité de métaphysique: Linda Gardiner Janik
Chapitre IV De la formation des couleurs: Alan Gabbey
Du Châtelet’s comment and translation of Bernard Mandeville, La fable des abeilles: Felicia Gottmann
Grammaire raisonnnée: Jill Vance Buroker
Dr. Stefanie Ertz, Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists, Paderborn University (2017-2019).
Dr. Ulla Kölving, Centre international d’étude du XVIIIe siècle, Ferney-Voltaire, France (2020-2021).
Mr. Andrew Brown, Centre international d’étude du XVIIIe siècle, Ferney-Voltaire, France (2020-2021).
Prepared in cooperation with the team of the Center for the history of women philosophers and scientists at Paderborn University, directed by Ruth E Hagengruber and the Information and MediaTechnology Center at Paderborn University, directed by Gudrun Oevel.
Prof. Dr. Ruth E Hagengruber, Paderborn University, Germany