Archimedes Project

Archimedes Project: Realizing the Vision of an Open Digital Research Library for the Study of Long-Term Developments in the History of Mechanics

Peter Damerow, Peter McLaughlin, Jürgen Renn, Urs Schoepflin,

Other involved Scholars: 

Gregory Crane (Tufts University)
Brian Fuchs
Malcolm Hyman
Elaheh Kheirandish (Harvard)
Marcus Popplow (TU Cottbus)
Jeffrey Rydberg-Cox (University of Missouri)
Mark Schiefsky (Harvard)
Markus Schnöpf

Cooperation Partners: 

Harvard University, Tufts University, University of Missouri


Archimedes project: Source text linked to electronic transcription,
linked to morphological analyser, in turn linked to dictionary entry.

The Archimedes Project creates a testbed for developing and exploring model interactive environments for the history of mechanics. It also serves as a proof-of-concept project for open digital libraries for topics in the history of science designed to integrate research and knowledge dissemination in new ways.

Numerous treatises on mechanics as well as other forms of documentation of mechanical knowledge and practices constitute the project corpus. Ongoing research at the MPIWG on the long-term development of mental models of mechanical thinking and their manifestation in technical terminologies, inferences of practitioners, engineers, and scientists plays an important role in the testbed design. The testbed also requires a powerful, linguistically based information technology for handling the variety of languages occurring in the source materials. Source documents are being prepared with tools such as automatic morphological analysis of Latin, Greek and Italian, and semantic linking of sources to general and technical, modern and historical dictionaries and reference works.
Funding for the project ended in May 2004. Since then, the project has lived on both as a component of the ECHO project, where the project's resources are also available, and as a testbed for new tools and mechanics-related digitisation projects.

  • Schoepflin, Urs: The Archimedes Project: Realizing the vision of an open digital research library for the study of long-term developments in the history of mechanics. In: Digital libraries: Advanced methods and technologies, digital collections: proceedings of the Fifth National Russian Research Conference Saint-Petersburg, Russia, October 29-31, 2003 / Saint Petersburg State University [ed.], 2003, p. 124-129

Funding Institutions

Max Planck Society
National Science Foundation of the United States
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft