Friday, November 20, 2009

The Basel and Leiden editions of Erasmus' Opera omnia online

The Erasmus Center for Early Modern Studies, an initiative of the Erasmus University Rotterdam and Rotterdam City Library, has an impressive website, which is gradually expanding. An important element is ‘Erasmus online’ (EOL) a full database of the Erasmus collection in Rotterdam.

I recently found out that the complete Basel edition of Erasmus’ works (edited by Beatus Rhenanus; published in 1540; some 9500 pages!), as well as the Leiden edition (LB; edited by Clericus; published 1703-1706; more than 6000 large pages!), are available (in DjVU format).

Of course, for those volumes that are available, scholarly work has to be done on the basis of the Amsterdam edition (ASD) and the Toronto Collected Works of Erasmus (CWE). Still, these resources are very welcome, and, as far as I can see, very well done.
Finally, a tip for querying the database: select an author (e.g. Erasmus) by using the index and choose facsimiles only. And perhaps it is not a very good idea to try downloading these massive works ...


Wieland Willker said...

I am unable to see the images.
It wants to install an Active-X software on my computer and Windows is blocking it, because it "can't verify the publisher".

Jan Krans-Plaisier said...

That sounds like an Internet Explorer problem ... You may have to install some DjVU browser plugin before going to the site; I did that a long time ago, so I do not even remember what I have. It seems to be the Lizardtech DjVU plugin (something like that would now be at In my case (Windows 7), it even runs smoothly in IE 8, which I rarely use. Good luck.