American Council of Learned Societies

To ensure the editorial integrity and timely completion of the definitive print edition of "The Correspondence of Charles Darwin" and the publication of all 15,000 letters on the Web

  • Amount $750,000
  • City New York, NY
  • Investigator Steven Wheatley
  • Year 2010
  • Program Public Understanding
  • Sub-program Books

This grant funds efforts by the American Council of Learned Societies to ensure the timely completion of the definitive edition of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, one of the major international scholarly initiatives of the past half-century. Foundation funds will leverage a unique opportunity for a multimillion dollar package of grants that will ensure the editorial integrity of the project and guarantee its completion at least three years ahead of schedule. The Foundation has supported this project since 1983 and thus far, the award-winning The Correspondence of Charles Darwin has produced 20 volumes in its projected 30-volume collection. The 35-year project has won accolades from the scholarly community, including the Queens Anniversary Prize. Not only have the 15,000 letters Darwin exchanged with 2,000 correspondents been located and collected, they have been transcribed and edited with meticulous care, including superb contextual notes and longer essays. They have also been made freely available on the Web. The letters not only offer insight into Darwin's mind-he used them to communicate with scientific colleagues, to discuss ideas, and to gather data-but they also offer an accessible route into his published writings.

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