About the Digital Collection

The Vassar College Libraries Einstein Digital Collection provides numerous features to make the collection as usable as possible to researchers. They include:

Zoomable images

Each item has been scanned and made available at a high resolution (300ppi). Using the Internet Archive Book Viewer, users can zoom in on a letter, petition, or manuscript to see the item in great detail.

Ability to view transcriptions and side-by-side translations

The majority of the materials, particularly those of Einstein's, are in German. Vassar has worked with the California Institute of Technology to provide translations and transcriptions of each item. For items in German, an English translation is always available. An item's transcription and its translation can be viewed side-by-side by clicking the "TEXT" button at the top of the item viewer.

Robust searching, including simultaneously searching the Einstein Archives Online at Hebrew University

Features of the search engine include:

  • Ability to search German and English text (in both German and English characters)
  • Wildcard searching: a search for war* searches war (both the English and German word), wars, and warfare
  • Stemming: along with wildcard searching, stemming allows "roots" of a word to be searched when variants are entered -- in both German and English. For example, a search for "prevention" also searches for "prevent," "prevents," and "prevented."
  • Cross-searching with the Einstein Archives Online: whenever a search is run, the search engine will also try to find the number of documents available in the Einstein Archives Online (www.alberteinstein.info). This provides the opportunity for expert and novice researchers alike to discover items beyond Vassar's collection.

Linking and downloading

All items in the Vassar College Libraries Einstein Digital Collection feature "permalinks" or bookmarkable URLs, so that bookmarking any page will always bring a user back to the same content. Whenever available, a link to download a PDF of the item on screen is featured at the top left corner of the page.

Information about the physical object

All items are also available at the Archives & Special Collections Library at Vassar College by appointment. When viewing any digital object, click the "Details" link to note the box and folder number as well as other important information about the letter, manuscript, petition, or photograph.