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News from the open access movement

Sunday, May 20, 2007

OA collection of Darwin's letters

For more than 20 years, the Darwin Correspondence Project has been collecting Darwin's letters for a series of priced, printed volumes.  It has now started releasing them in an OA edition.  From the site:

Welcome to the Darwin Correspondence Project's new web site. The main feature of the site is an Online Database with the complete, searchable, [OA] texts of around 5,000 letters written by and to Charles Darwin up to the year 1865. This includes all the surviving letters from the Beagle voyage - online for the first time - and all the letters from the years around the publication of Origin of species in 1859.

The letter texts, and the contextual notes which help make them accessible, are taken from the first thirteen volumes of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin (Burkhardt et al., Cambridge University Press 1985-).  Letters from later volumes will be added on a rolling programme following behind publication of the print edition. Volumes 14 (1866) and 15 (1867) are already published and Volume 16 will be published in 2008.

The database also includes summaries of a further 9,000 letters still to be published.There will be 30 volumes of the print edition in total.  Previously unknown letters continue to come to light....