The collection, conceived by Martin Bodmer as a ‘library of world literature’, only begins to make sense when one takes into account the elaboration in Europe of Goethe’s concept of Weltliteratur.
The careful digitisation of Bodmer’s papers, mostly unpublished, will create a better understanding of what the ambitions of the original project were. Once digitised, a collection such as this opens up the possibility of making smart use of its data through developments in information technology.
The project sits at the intersection between two emerging fields of research: studies on World Literature (or Weltliteratur, littérature mondiale, Shijie Wenxue, etc.) and on the Digital Humanities (or humanités numériques).
The third axis of this research comes from the particulars of the Bodmer collection itself. Bodmer designed it to be arranged in themes and to this end he enriched it with notable acquisitions. The most striking of these is the Faust dossier. This research features in discussions at the Bodmer Lab’s monthly seminars and in the regular publications of its members in specialist magazines, as well as on the website of the Bodmer Lab, as part of the digital series ‘Interventions’.