The Newton Manuscript Project

The Newton Manuscript Project began in January 2000 with a view to preparing 20 print volumes of Newton's non-scientific papers. Although we had stated in the initial application that that we would make the text of the proposed print edition available online, we quickly realised that the online environment now offered extraordinary and unrivalled possibilities for disseminating high quality scholarly output to a variety of audiences. Accordingly, we switched our primary focus to producing an electronic edition of Newton’s non-scientific papers. Since researchers at Indiana University have begun to produce an online edition of Newton’s alchemical papers (under the aegis of the Newton Project), the primary focus of the AHRB project became the preparation of a set of freely available, edited online transcriptions of Newton’s almost completely unpublished theological papers. This task has been supported by a further award from the AHRB in November 2004. Our website now has a substantial set of (XML-encoded) transcriptions of many of Newton’s most significant theological papers and treatises. With a host of ancillary materials, such as a catalogue of the non-scientific papers, transcriptions both of eighteenth century ms. biographies of Newton and of much of his early work in natural philosophy, it is one of the richest scholarly resources on the Web. We have been featured in a number of scientific journals and have a broad and loyal audience of both scholarly and non-scholarly users.

Principal investigator
Prof. Rob Iliffe
Principal project staff
Dr Robert Iliffe; Dr John Young; Dr Michael Hawkins
Start date
Saturday, January 1, 2000
Completion date
Friday, January 1, 2010
Source material
So far we have transscribed all of Newton's early personal notebooks and about 40% of his theological writings. The latter are largely housed in the Jewish National and University Library, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, although some are in other locations such as King's College Cambridge, the William Andrews Clark Library, Los Angeles, and the Martin Bodmer Foundation, Geneva. We aim to produce diplomatic transcriptions (with the option of seeing a normalised version) of all of these by the end of 2009.

the Newton Project website (

Rob Iliffe, "Prosecuting Athanasius" in J. Force and S. Hutton, eds, Newton and Newtonianism: New Studies, (Kluwer 2004), pp43-72.

Rob Iliffe, "Digitizing Isaac" in J. Force and S. Hutton, eds, Newton and Newtonianism: New Studies, (Kluwer 2004), pp 167-211.