The Newton Project

VSLM has a great pleasure to introduce you to The Newton Project,  “a non-profit organization dedicated to making his unpublished and published works freely available online. Over 4.2 million words are currently available and more are on the way.”

More about The Newton Project in their own words:

What is the Newton Project?

Godfrey Kneller's 1689 portrait of Isaac Newton (aged 46)

The Newton Project was conceived in 1998 and took on formalised existence with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board at the beginning of 2000. Our aim is to make it possible, for the first time in history, to grasp the organic unity of Newton’s writing by garnering all his astonishingly diverse productions into a single, freely accessible electronic edition. Scholars with the time, leisure and finance to wade through hundreds of thousands of words of often intractable handwriting have come up with many intriguing theories about connections and interrelations between the apparently disparate subjects that fascinated Newton, but until now, readers without those advantages have simply not been in a position to examine the evidence.

It has been suggested, for instance, that Newton’s alchemical studies generated the imaginative spark that led him to formulate the theory of gravity, and that his almost abstract concept of God was predicated on his unique insights into mathematics. Big questions have been asked too about whether or not the categories we impose on knowledge are relevant to his work at all. Would Newton himself have understood our distinctions between ‘scientific’, ‘mathematical’, ‘alchemical’ and ‘theological’ papers? And if so, to what extent did he perceive them as interrelated? By presenting the entire body of his work in a freely accessible, electronically searchable online version, the Newton Project will enable users to draw their own conclusions about these and similar issues.



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