Grant to make Einstein's work available online

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein’s 132nd birthday has been marked with the announcement that from next year his work will be accessible online in a comprehensive archive.

The Noble-prize winning physicist, who died in 1955, left his entire body of research – more than 80,000 documents and papers - to Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

Along with Sigmund Freud, Chaim Weizmann and Martin Buber, Professor Einstein sat on the institution’s first governing board.

The project has been made possible with the help of a £310,000 grant from British Jewish philanthropist Dr Leonard Polonsky.

Last year Dr Polonsky pledged £1.5 million to Cambridge University to build an online collection of rare books including important ancient Jewish texts.

It is expected to take about a year to digitise the Einstein documents, which cover not only physics but also politics and society. Once online, they will be available for public browsing.

Hebrew University’s president, Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, said: “Our goal is to build a user-friendly, inclusive digital database.”

The news, which coincided not only with the anniversary of Prof Einstein’s birth but also Israel National Science Day, came at the same time as the announcement that seven of his books have been made available to users of Amazon’s Kindle eReader.

Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle Content, said it was a fitting move for “one of our most important thinkers.”

He added: “These books cover everything from the Theory of Relativity to Einstein’s own letters chronicling his thoughts on life. We’re excited to make these books available for Kindle device owners.”

Last updated: 3:15pm, March 14 2011