Project to publish the correspondence of Hevelius

The publication of the correspondence of Hevelius at the Paris Observatory is an ambitious, interdisciplinary project on a European level. The first phase is contingent on a comprehensive inventory of the correspondence and the generation of precise descriptive metadata for each document. This inventory was realized by Susan Keyes under the direction of Laurence Bobis, with cross-financing from the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin and the Paris Observatory.
Augmented with an authority index of standardized names, it will be the basis for a collaborative publishing project by three groups:

  • At the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin, by Chantal Grell, Harald Siebert, Emmanuel Bury, Nicolas Boileau, and Patricia Radelet-de Grave, with the collaboration of Susan Keyes;
  • At the University of Regensburg, by Klaus-Dieter Herbst, under the direction of Christoph Meinel;
  • In Poland, by Jarosław Włodarczyk, of the Institute for the History of Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw.

This inventory, an indispensable prerequisite to the digitization of the correspondence, will allow researchers to work remotely. Prepared and financed by the Observatory of Paris, it is currently underway.
The Hevelius project, supported by the International Academy of the History of Science, is made possible in part through funding from PATRIMA.


This provisional inventory is an extract of the metadata generated for the preparation of the digitization and the publication of the correspondence of Hevelius. It comprises the most pertinent descriptors: volume number, principal document number (if there is one), author, recipient, type of document, language, transcription of place and date, toponyms of origin and destination (if mentioned), and the number of leaves.
The language is indicated according to the standard ISO 639-2 = dut, eng, fre, ger, ita, lat, mul (more than one language). If the date is written in 2 styles with numbers superposed, it is transcribed with a " / ". The toponyms are in the language of the country where the locality is found today.