Voltaire électronique is a major new resource for scholars of French literature, the eighteenth century and the history of ideas.
This important new database will form the most complete and up-to-date critical collection of Voltaire's works.
In addition to the 24 volumes so far published in the Voltaire Foundation's printed edition of the Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire, it will include all Voltaire's other texts which have been prepared in electronic form by the Voltaire Foundation but not yet published in print.
Publication of this CD-ROM edition, containing all Voltaire's texts, is provisionally scheduled for early 1996. A programme of regular updates will then replace those texts included in the first release before they have appeared in print with the final versions as they are published in the Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire, with all critical apparatus, notes, variants and introductions.
Users will be able to search the entire database for words and phrases, restrict their searches to particular works, include or exclude the critical apparatus, view notes and variants in context and display all texts on screen in an attractive form. The user interface will be in French and English.
All texts have been prepared by the Voltaire Foundation with SGML-coding and the database will also be published as SGML-encoded data on magnetic tape, for institutions wishing to network it with their own retrieval software.
The Voltaire Foundation began publication of its complete critical edition, Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire, in 1968. 24 printed volumes are now available in an edition which is expected to comprise 100 volumes. Every text is edited by one or more specialists and the edition includes unpublished, rare and little-known works, in-depth historical and critical introductions and all variants. New volumes are now published at the rate of four or five per year.
Publication of Voltaire électronique will open Voltaire's works to new kinds of analysis. Scholars will be able to explore his writings and ideas in a depth and with a speed never before possible.