- Mapping the Republic of Letters: An Intellectual Geography of the Enlightenment: Sarah Murray, Stanford
As one of the citizens of the Republic of Letters wrote in 1699: .The Republic of Letters is of very ancient origin . . . It embraces the whole world and is composed of all nationalities, all social classes, all ages and both sexes . . . All languages, ancient as well as modern, are spoken. The arts are joined to letters, and artisans also have their place in it.. Such was the force of the visions that held together the imagined community of the Republic of Letters in the early modern period; piecing back together the map of this lost continent today is the goal of the Stanford based Mapping the Republic of Letters project. Bringing together humanities scholars with computer scientists and design researchers, we are building a visual browser for a very large, heterogeneous data set on 17th & 18th century correspondences, people, travels, events, places, and publications. A browser that will be used by intellectual historians and literary scholars who are exploring the emergence of ideas in the early modern period, to which the Republic of Letters was essential.