This Catalogue is a tool developed by the editors of Gottfried Wilhelm
Leibniz‘ Complete Writings and Letters (Sämtlichen Schriften und
Briefen)(Academy Edition) in the four work centres in Berlin, Hanover,
Münster and Potsdam. It is continuously updated under the overall
coordination of the Potsdam work centre.
With its more than 60,000 records or data rows, the database gives you the option of searching through a large part of Leibniz‘s writings and letters systematically search various types of questions:
- You can search whether and where a manuscript mentioned in the secondary
literature has been edited in the Academy Edition or is available in another
- whether and where a text in an older edition has been re-edited in the
- You can use the database as an index of the complete contents of the
- have the texts of a particular period,
- the letters of a particular correspondent (sorted chronologically)
- the contents of a particular fascicle of the Leibniz estate displayed.
However, every user should also be aware of this tool‘s weaknesses and
- Despite the many years of work on the catalogue it is by no means
complete. Individual parts of the estate have hardly been catalogued
or only very incompletely. This is valid, for example, for the divisions
LH XXXV-XXXVIII, which contain the mathematical, scientific and technical
writings. The indexing of the Leibniz references in the GWLB‘s general
manuscript department (i.e. "Ms" shelfmarks with no reference to a library)
is also very full of gaps. But a few gaps can also be found in stocks that
have been catalogued to a very great extent.
- In accordance with the catalogue‘s character as a tool, much
information about the bibliographic records is to be regarded as
provisional as long as the corresponding text is not yet available
in the critical edition.
This is particularly true of datings. But it can also be valid for almost all
other items of information. The titles of the texts that have not yet been
edited, insofar as they were formulated by those working on the edition,
are likewise provisional and not always appropriate. They are mostly replaced
in the edition by newly formulated titles so that it is not recommended that
they are used when quoting texts.
- References to individual editions, selected issues and translations
are incomplete, especially for the period after 1945.
- The catalogue was not conceived as a database, i.e. some standardizations
recognised as necessary today were omitted in the past, and it was not
possible to introduce them in the course of entering the information into
the database. This applies above all to references to places, people and
literature. If in doubt, the user should repeat his or her search using
various name spellings.
- Finally, mistakes have been made when transferring the information on
the catalogue cards, which can be difficult to decipher.
On the language of the search instructions
- Except where special characters are involved, the search is
- Umlauts, „ß” and characters with accents are
generally found with the basic letter (e.g. „Göttingen” with
„Gottingen”, „Gießen” with „Giesen”,
„verité” with „verite”, „François”
with „Francois etc.). This doesn't apply for the form
Searching in all columns of
the database. In this case there will be searched in a text file and
only the exact spelling counts here.
- Jokers in the text box are the underscore „_” for a
character and the percent symbol „%” to signify no or any
number of characters. Attention: * is here not a Joker.
- Underscore and the percent symbol are particularly useful when searching
for character sequences with special characters, for which a direct
search cannot always be made. (Special characters that do not belong to the
ISO-8859-1 coding page such as „€”, „ń”
or Greek letters are internally encoded with several characters; so anyone
searching for „Kochański” for example should enter
„Kocha%ski”. For the Euro symbol or Greek letters the
corresponding HTML codings can be entered, e.g. „€”
for „€”, „α” for „α”
or „π” for „π” etc.).
- One should always mask full stop, „.”, in the search
term (e.g. in column BD_NR) with „\.”, as it may otherwise lead
to problems when using the button „To modify the search”.
- The series number of the Academy Edition can be entered (in the
column REIHE) as Arabic or Roman numerals.
- For the supplementary volume Harzbergbau of Series I, the volume
number 99 can be entered.
- For undated data sets there is a zero in the column JJJJMMTT.
- If you wish to have the texts displayed that arose during Leibniz‘s
stay in Berlin between May and August 1701, then you enter in the queries
within a specified period of time: 17010500 and 17010800.
- If you wish to have the letters exchanged with Sophie Charlotte displayed
in chronological order, then you should search for „Sophie
Charlotte” in the column ADRESSAT and (by choosing „OR”)
in the column ABSENDER and have the results sorted by JJJJMMTT.
- If you want to have the contents of the fascicle LH XI 5 of the Leibniz
estate displayed, then you should search in the column SIGN for
„lh 11, 5”. If you sort the results by the same column, then
the contents of the fascicle are displayed in the order of the sheets.
- If you want to know where in the Academy Edition the piece printed in
Harnack, 2, pp. 55-58, was edited, then you search in the column DRUCKE
Displaying the results
- The catalogue has 30 columns, so the table that is produced is very wide.
But individual columns can be hidden from view so that the results
are shown with greater clarity.
- Texts that have already appeared in the Academy Edition and are online
available can be called up via links.
- If, in the first column of the results table, you click on
„id”, then a compact view of the records appears in
its own window.
- Likewise in the first column you can call up the corresponding entry
of Hanoverian correspondents database via „K”
— if available — and in a few cases you can obtain a scan of
the original manuscript via „S”.
- By activating the check box „pdf-Datei” you can generate a
file to print out, which can be downloaded at the end of the table
that is shown first. Here, too, individual columns can be hidden so that the
results can be shown on a page in A4 format.
- The columns SIGN and SIGN_OL are generally only distinguished
by the fact that SIGN contains additional blanks that are intended to
guarantee the correct order of the data rows when sorted alphanumerically.
So you are recommended to search in the column SIGN_OL, but to
change to the column SIGN when sorting.