Excuse me a moment, I have my geek hat on. In work today I heard about a really cool Digital Humanities project being developed at Stanford University which I thought that you might be interested in. It’s called The Republic of Letters and it is a big data project which allows users to map letters that were sent between European and American intellectuals during the Enlightenment and filter by writer and date to allow academics to draw conclusions from the data, making visual representations of Enlightenment era social networking.
Their website has some case studies and the tools section has some interesting screenshots, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in writers from the Enlightenment period. There’s loads of interesting information on the website. It’s really cool seeing a tool like this being developed and I can’t wait to see how it aids research in the Humanities. It could be like the use of satellite imaging in archeology and that’s thrown up some really interesting things.