With 79,254 letters and documents and 10,232 correspondents as of Winter 2018–2019, Electronic Enlightenment (EE) is the most wide-ranging online collection of edited correspondence of the early modern period, linking people across Europe, the Americas and Asia from the early 17th to the mid-19th century.
Drawn from the best available critical editions, EE is not simply an “electronic bookshelf” of isolated texts but a network of interconnected documents, allowing you to see the complex web of personal relationships in the early modern period and the making of the modern world.
The rich variety of people in EE represents a real cross-section of early modern society in Europe and the Americas. By treating every correspondent — not only the “great men” — as someone significant, EE reveals the existence of the myriad unknown and ignored figures of the period and raises questions about their place in the structures of their time, challenging the traditional concept of the “Enlightenment” as the preserve of philosophers.
Through EE you can see the ideas and concerns not only of thinkers and scholars, politicians and diplomats, but also butchers and housewives, servants and shopkeepers. With a wealth of personal detail revealed in these personal documents, you can explore as never before the relationships, correspondence networks and movement of ideas, the letters and lives of the early modern world.