The project “Edition of the Exchange of Letters by Johann Christoph Gottsched” started its work in 2000 and aims to record and publish all the letters handed down from and to Gottsched (approx. 6,000 letters, full text edition in chronological order). The letters to and from Gottsched’s wife Luise Adelgunde Victorie are also taken into account.
Gottsched’s correspondence is one of the most significant documents in the history of the German Enlightenment in the second third of the 18th century. It shows how the manifold activities of the Leipzig university professor in Saxony, the German Reich and in large parts of Europe have been received: Popularization of the Enlightenment philosophy of Leibniz and Wolff, reform of German poetry, promotion of the standardization of the German language, pioneering work to open up German literary history, theatre reform, significant participation in the development of the social system, publication of several moral weekly magazines and other exemplary journals. Gottsched’s correspondence partners come first and foremost from those circles which already determined the scholarly exchange of letters in humanism (professors, grammar school teachers, theologians, lawyers, etc.), but next to them there are also noblemen, actors and students. Gottsched’s numerous postal connections with several, mostly noble women illustrate the role Gottsched played in promoting women’s participation in literary life.