On Thursday, Jun 13th 2013, the ePistolarium has officially been launched for public use. The ePistolarium is a web application that allows users to browse through and research around 20.000 digitized letters. These letters, written in several languages, stem from Dutch scholars and from scientists who stayed in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century. The tool contains amongst others letters from Constantijn and Christiaan Huygens, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Jan Swammerdam, Hugo de Groot and René Descartes.
Apart from browsing the letters, the ePistolarium enables visualizations of geographical, time-based, social network and co-citation inquiries. The outcome of first experiments, such as co-citations regarding the planet Saturn, networks of confidentiality and the topic of animals in 17th century letters are online available on the CKCC website.
The ePistolarium has been developed with the financial aid of NWO (Dutch Organization for Scientific Research) and CLARIN-NL, and is a joined project of the Descartes Centre (Universiteit Utrecht), Huygens ING (KNAW), DANS (joined research institute from KNAW and NWO), Universiteit van Amsterdam and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands). A video introduction to this project can be found here.