Nietzsche First Editions Digitized

The Princeton University Digital Library (PUDL) has just published a digital edition of the complete first editions of Friedrich Nietzsche: the Nietzsche Collection. I’m writing about it here because I initiated the project proposal and did part of the work to get it started.

As far as I know, the Princeton Library has the only complete set of the Nietzsche first editions outside of the Nietzsche Archive in Weimar. There’s another digitization project based on that collection, but it’s been going since 1998 and is still far from complete, and as far as I can tell no it’s made no progress in the year or so since my initial proposal and the publication here. This digital editions includes his early published articles in the journal Rheinisches Museum fur Philologie and includes the full issues of those journal volumes so that his work can be read in context.

If you want to know how it got to Princeton, here’s an excerpt from the original press release in 2001:

“Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is widely regarded as one of the most revolutionary philosophical thinkers. The Princeton University Library recently acquired one of the finest collections of Nietzsche’s works available in the world today, including first editions of all his books. This valuable addition is made possible, in part, by funds provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The funds are a portion of the Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities Award given in 2001 to Professor Alexander Nehamas, the Edmund Carpenter II Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities and professor of philosophy and comparative literature.”

And now that valuable collection is accessible to everyone.

4 thoughts on “Nietzsche First Editions Digitized

  1. Any idea, why there are no pdf-versions to download on the princeton-homepage?
    I like the initiative, but this online book-viewer isn’t very useful…

  2. Good question. Like a lot of library digitization projects, the PUDL doesn’t produce PDFs, just very high quality images of the pages. I would like PDFs as an add on, and have even suggested it, but I have nothing to do with it.

    As for usefulness, that’s a relative term. This digital edition is arguably more useful, and infinitely more accessible, than the original print books sitting in our Rare Books collection, which can be viewed only at Princeton and only from 9-5 M-F.

  3. This is really great to hear, thanks for your work on this! The KGWB has been of limited use when Nietzsche references page numbers to versions of his publications that are no longer very accessible. Nietzsche Source has a few of his published works digitized, but not nearly as much as this.

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