Demonstrating the pilot and explaining the significance of this digital database.
A prolific letter-writer, Catherine II ruled during the high point of the European Enlightenment, when letters were the essential knowledge-transfer medium in government, commerce and intellectual exchange in an increasingly globalised world. She maintained a vast correspondence with fellow crowned heads of state, great thinkers and writers (Voltaire, d'Alembert), and her generals and court. Despite their huge importance, her letters (over 5,000) have not been collected. The project aims to produce a fully searchable online database. This talk will demonstrate the pilot and explain the significance.