Friday, November 4, 2011

He wrote 15,000 letters - How many have you written?

According to Stanford University, 18th century writer and philosopher Voltaire wrote 15,000 during a period of time when Europeans wrote letters almost as often as Tweets are posted today. In fact, the network formed by the letter writers, mostly scholars and intellectuals, is called the "Republic of Letters," and researchers at Stanford have been studying what they wrote about.

The researchers used modern technology to "map" the letters. According to Dan Edelstein, assistant professor of French at Stanford, "We tend to think of networks as a modern invention, something that only emerged in the Age of Information. In fact, going all the way back to the Renaissance, scholars have established themselves into networks in order to receive the latest news, find out the latest discoveries and circulate the ideas of others."

For more information about the project, visit the Stanford website or the Mapping the Republic of Letters site.


Malea said...

Wow! That is really I know how the rest of this weekend will be spent: gettin' my nerd on with Stanford's project and the Republic of Letters website! Woot! Woot!

TheSnailMailer said...

Love these topics! Keep up the awesome work.

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