The Berlin research project is editing the writings of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz on natural science, medicine and engineering, as Series VIII of the Academy Edition of Leibniz’ works.
This is the first time that systematic editorial work has been done on a part of Leibniz’ nachlass – until now almost inaccessible in print. This not only illuminates the genesis of individual works, but opens up a whole new dimension of Leibniz’ thought.
Leibniz’s intellectual approach, combining theoria cum praxi, led to results that even today are still regarded as outstanding achievements, such as the mechanical calculating machine, the essential idea behind the principle of conservation of energy, and the concept of the organism, illustrating Leibniz’ innovation and achievements in the empirical sciences and in many areas of engineering. In series VIII of the Academy Edition of Leibniz’ works, these achievements are presented as one part of a large number of projects, plans and notes, showing constructive solutions to problems that are evidence of a novel and precocious model of science.
For the edition of these texts, digital versions of all relevant manuscripts have been created in the form of around 14,000 scans in three different resolutions, which are freely available online. The manuscripts can be accessed via the ‘Online-Ritter-Katalog ’ of Leibniz’ manuscripts and letters.
The digital facsimiles of the manuscripts are the basis for the Internet presentation , which reproduces the line divisions of the original and dynamically generates the texts with links to relevant references in the internet. This type of online edition and the print publication in the Academy Edition of Leibniz are complementary ways of approaching the sources transmitted in Leibniz’ nachlass.
The Academy research project “The Leibniz Edition, Berlin” is part of the Academies' Programme , a research funding programme co-financed by the German federal government and individual federal states. Coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities , the Programme intends to retrieve and explore our cultural heritage, to make it accessible and highlight its relevance to the present, as well as to preserve it for the future.