Sir Isaac Newton’s own annotated Principia Mathematica goes online

Sir Isaac Newton’s own annotated Principia Mathematica goes online” is a new article by Stephen Bates point out that Cambridge is “putting the papers of Sir Isaac Newton online for the first time, including his own annotated copy of his greatest work, Principia Mathematica, with notes and calculations in his handwriting revising the book and answering critics.” With recent news of the online presentation of the Voynich manuscript by Yale, and other similar bits of news, this is seems like a timely addition. Even if it doesn’t strictly seem Hermetic Library subject matter, let’s remember that Isaac Newton was an alchemist.


Photograph: Cambridge University Library/PA


“So far, more than 4,000 pages, about 20% of the university’s Newton archive, have been put into digital form as part of a programme that will eventually give the public access to the papers of other famous scientists, ranging from Darwin to Ernest Rutherford. Included in the papers are the handwritten notes made after Newton’s death, in 1727, by his colleague Thomas Pellet, who was asked by relatives of the great scientist to examine the papers with a view to publication.” [via]

“Grant Young, the university library’s digitisation manager, said: ‘You can see Newton’s mind at work in the calculations and how his thinking was developing. His copy of the Principia contains pages interleaved with the printed text with his notes.

‘The book has suffered much, pages are badly burned or water-stained, so it is very delicate and rarely put on show. Before today anyone who wanted to see these things had to come to Cambridge and get permission to see them, but we are now bringing Cambridge University library to the world at the click of a mouse.'” [via]