Cambridge University puts Isaac Newton material online

Cambridge University Library has just released a new website with more than 4,000 pages of its most important Isaac Newton material. The Library plans to upload thousands of additional pages over the next few months until almost all of its Newton collection is available to view and download anywhere in the world.

Isaac Newton’s own annotated copy of his Principia Mathematica is among his notebooks and manuscripts being made available. In addition, the site includes Newton’s Trinity College Notebook acquired while he was an undergraduate at Trinity College and used from about 1661 to 1665. One of the most interesting works is the Newton’s Waste Book a large notebook where he developed much of his important work on calculus which he began using in 1664 when he was away from Cambridge due to the plague.

The Newton collection was photographed over the summer of 2011 at about 200 pages per day. All of the works are presented in high resolution with an interface that allows users to zoom in to each page to explore the text, diagrams and annotations in detail. In addition to the high-resolution facsimiles, the site also links to the Newton Project to provide transcriptions of many of the pages.

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