Project description

Martin Buber (1878-1965) is arguably the most significant and still internationally influential thinker of the modern German-Jewish cultural and intellectual world, »alongside Einstein and Freud [...] one of the best-known Jews of the twentieth century« (Bourel 2017, p. 14). In addition to Buber's writings in his diverse spheres of activity, it is in particular the correspondence (approx. 40,000 letters) with almost all the famous contemporary personalities and countless institutions preserved in his Jerusalem estate in the National Library of Israel (NLI), which has so far been largely unedited by research, that reflects the network character of his effectiveness and promises a multitude of insights into the history and the intellectual and cultural environment of his time.

Following the completion of the Buber-edition, making these letters accessible for research is a major desideratum of research on German-Jewish intellectual and cultural history in general and Buber research in particular. The aim of the project is a digital edition of letters, the focus of which will be on systematic reconstruction, editorial indexing to produce a text as true to the original as possible, and the cultural-historical analysis of Martin Buber's dialogical relationships and networks of scholars and intellectuals. Differentiated methods of historical and digital network analysis will be used to examine the epistolary discourses (Becker / Goldblum 2018, p. 12) that come up in the correspondences.