About this website


I received my Ph.D. at Brown University under the direction of the late Dr. David Edwin Pingree. I was one of only a mere handful of students to have that privilege. (I describe that course of study in more detail below.). Dr. Pingree often said that we are in an age comparable to that of the introduction of the printing press into Europe. "Whatever is not transferred to the new medium", he would say, "will be lost." Dr. Pingree again and again also expressed concern that, despite his best efforts, Teubner continued to refuse to reprint Heiberg's edition of the Almagest - citing cost and what it assumed would be a limited market. When I discovered the books.google.com project, the first text I looked for was Heiberg's Almagest. I was delighted to find several copies......the spirit of Dr. Pingree would be glad, I thought. Then I looked through the texts. Page after page were missing, illegible, out of order and so on. The same was true of Heiberg's edition of Euclid. Sadly, the same turned out to be true of most texts I found at the Google website. I realized an immediate corollary to Prof. Pingree's dictum : "Whatever is transferred to the new medium badly, will stay that way." I bought this domain name, went to my storage locker, and pulled out the photcopies I had made about a decade earlier of Professor Pingree's Heiberg Almagest and began the several day process of scanning them. That was the first text to be posted to this website. I then began to work on Heiberg's Euclid - repairing what I could by electronically splicing together pages from two or more incomplete copies to make one complete copy and making scans of pages that were to be found in no copy available from Google.(Fortunately, a friend of mine worked at a library that had a set of Heiberg's Euclid.). I have tried to provide complete copies of most texts available on this site--and indicate to the reader where I have been unable to do so.

Thanks to emails from many readers around the world, I have found other online repositories of texts, including the Digital Library of India, Gallica, and others. The Digital Library of India, for example, lets the viewer see texts one TIFF image at a time. I have used various pieces of homemade and open-source software to download entire texts and combine them into a downloadable PDF file. Among the treasures from this online library are editions of the Rg Veda, the Bhrama-Sphuta-Siddhanta, and others.

I hope to keep this project alive for as long as I can. I welcome any and all suggestions for improvements, any and all links, and so on.


-Copyright 2009 by Dr. Joseph G. Leichter, JD, PhD, Esq. (joeleichter@gmail.com)- Vox Clamantis in Deserto Academico