Past Events


Open Access and Research into History: Issues of Copyright

Updated: Aug 25, 2018

Casey Westerman (Archivist for the Institute for Advanced Study) spoke about Gödel’s MaxPhil notebooks and the complex issues around their transcription and editing, with copyright law as the focus. These fifteen notebooks, composed by Gödel in Gabelsberger shorthand between 1938 and 1955, were recently partially transcribed and edited by an international team of scholars funded by a research grant from the French government. Since the conclusion of that work, portions of the Max Phil have been published or otherwise made available by a variety of publishers and institutions, while the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences now seeks to publish a complete critical edition of the entire series. Commenting was Peter Suber (Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, Senior Researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.

Results: This was the Sawyer Event that drew the most expertise from our BU Law program. Since the event, the work accomplished by members of the ANR group and Brandenburg Group that had transcribed the Gödel MaxPhil notebooks have released and posted their work, most of it open access, a great help to researchers.

Back to Seminars