Digital Edition of the Manuscripts of Thomas Harriot Now Available

Digital Edition of the Manuscripts of Thomas Harriot

We are delighted to announce that the digital edition of the manuscripts of Thomas Harriot (1560–1621) is now up and running at:

The editors are Matthias Schemmel (mechanics), Jacqueline Stedall (algebra, arithmetic, navigation, sources), and Robert Goulding (optics). The edition is hosted by ECHO (European Cultural Heritage Online) established and maintained by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

Some of the key features of the new edition are the following.

Clickable maps
The manuscripts have been classified under broad topic headings: sea-faring, mechanics, optics, astronomy, algebra, and so on. Below each of these are further subtopics, down to relatively small groups of folios on the same theme. Sequences paginated by Harriot have been brought back into order from different volumes or even different collections (British Library and Petworth). All of this can be negotiated through clickable maps that take the user from one level to another down to the folios themselves.

Translations, commentaries, cross-references
Many pages are already accompanied by a transcription, translation from Latin to English, and commentary. Additionally, cross-references take the reader to related folios or maps, or to primary or secondary literature.

Harriot’s sources
The digital edition has made it possible to construct a comprehensive list of Harriot’s sources, both ancient and modern. Where the source texts are themselves digitally available, the relevant links are provided. Thus the reader can now see the page Harriot was reading alongside the page he was writing, an exciting reconnection of Harriot’s source material to his work in progress.

For more information, please contact Jackie Stedall.


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