Rara Magnetica (1269-1599) is the name of Gustav Hellmann’s well known anthology published in 1898. With this collection, he sought to provide access to some of the earliest, yet rare publications in the field of geomagnetism that predated William Gilbert’s landmark publication De Magnete of 1600. The digital project and platform Rara Magnetica translates these efforts into the digital domain, going far beyond digital editions.
The need to publish important but understudied sources is most efficiently achieved by providing curated digital structured and linked data. Rara Magnetica hence – as an ongoing project – is both a repository and an interactive research platform. It publishes scans and transcriptions of (many hitherto unpublished) sources, data visualizations, and databases, all related to the premodern study of magnetism. Moreover, it provides various tools to investigate each of these resources independently and in combination. A major aim in fact is to enhance multimodal analyses that transcend media barriers by allowing to research imagery along with full texts, material sources along with their conceptual content. This is achieved by various but interlinked tools providing different ways of looking at the same sources.