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Open Access Correspondence of Swammerdam (1664–1679)

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Affiliations: 1: Huygens ING (KNAW)


The seventeenth-century Dutch microscopist Jan Swammerdam is famous for his microscopic observations and descriptions of insects. He developed a variety of effective microscopic techniques and made detailed drawings of his specimens. A great deal of information about his life and work is to be found in his letters, which were an important means of communication between intellectuals abroad and at home. The letters are descriptive and set out his research in detail. They have been made publicly available within the context of the Circulation of Knowledge project, in particular through the ePistolarium website, which provides ample opportunities for querying the collection of letters. Querying is based on keywords and topics. Search results are displayed in graphical format (a Google map showing the spatial coverage of the correspondence, a clickable time line with markers linked to individual letters, a diagram of the correspondent network). A word list, n-gram list and Keyword in Context Index have been added as additional search tools.


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1. Cobb M.,, Neaves S.H., & Davidson M.W. (2015). "Jan Jacobz Swammerdam (1637–1680)". In: Molecular Expressions. Sciences, Optics & You.
2. Cobb M. (2000). "Reading and writing The Book of Nature: Jan Swammerdam (1637–1680)". Endeavour 24:3 Vol 1, p. 122128.
3. Fearing F. (1929). "Jan Swammerdam: A Study in the History of Comparative and Physiological Psychology of the 17th Century". The American Journal of Psychology Vol 41.3, p. 442455.
4. Fournier M. (1990). "The Book of Nature: Jan Swammerdam’s microscopical investigations". Tractrix Vol 2, p. 124.
5. Jorink E., (2003). "Outside God there is Nothing: Swammerdam, Spinoza, and the Janus-Face of the Early Dutch Enlightenment", in: van Bunge W. (ed.), The Early Enlightenment in the Dutch Republic, 1650–1750: Selected Papers of a Conference, Held at the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, 22–23 March 2001. Leiden, p. 81108.
6. Jorink H.G.M. (2013). "De profeet en de boekhouder. Johannes Swammerdam, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek en de begindagen van de microscopie". In: Fascinerend leven. Markante figuren en ideeën uit de geschiedenis van de biologie, p. 179208.
7. Ruestow E.G. (1996). The Microscope in the Dutch Republic: The Shaping of Discovery. New York.
8. Ruestow E.G., & Edward G., (1985). "Piety and the defense of natural order: Swammerdam on generation", in: Osler M., & Farber P.L. (eds.) Religion Science and Worldview: Essays in Honor of Richard S. Westfall. New York, p. 217241.
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