The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen (WAB)

The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen (WAB) was funded in 1990 and is a research infrastructure and projects platform bringing together philosophy, editorial philology and text technology. It is a meeting place for intellectuals, technicians, scholars and students from many different research fields and geographical areas around the world (see WAB research visits). The research infrastructure includes transcriptions and digital and paper copies of Wittgenstein's Nachlass as it was catalogued by his trustee G.H. von Wright in «The Wittgenstein papers» (1969). It also offers a hand library with Wittgenstein primary and secondary literature in a number of different languages.

WAB is probably best known for the publication of «Wittgenstein's Nachlass. The Bergen Electronic Edition» (BEE, Oxford University Press 2000). This edition contains all the manuscripts of Wittgenstein's philosophical Nachlass on six CDs in facsimiles and both normalized and diplomatic versions. The edition is equipped with a range of search and analysis functions. Today, WAB is, in cooperation with Trinity College Cambridge, Wren Library (Cambridge), Austrian National Library (Vienna), Bodleian Library (Oxford), Bertrand Russell Archives (Ontario) producing a new digital facsimile of the Wittgenstein Nachlass. The facsimile is made available open access on WAB's Wittgenstein Source. Moreover, on its Nachlass transcriptions (IDP) site, WAB gives interactive open access to its transcriptions of the Wittgenstein Nachlass, and on its Nachlass semantics (SFB) site WAB offers semantic faceted search and browsing of Wittgenstein metadata, again with a focus on Wittgenstein's philosophical Nachlass. In cooperation with the Centrum für Informations- und Sprachverarbeitung an der Ludwig Maximilians Universität München, WAB develops advanced search tools for the Nachlass (Nachlass search).

WAB has been central in establishing together with the Nordic Wittgenstein Society the new international Wittgenstein journal Nordic Wittgenstein Review and the new book series Nordic Wittgenstein Studies which continues WAB's earlier series Publications from the Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen. WAB is also engaged in building a repository of Wittgenstein research literature and materials (Wittgenstein Repository).

There is a long tradition of Wittgenstein research at the Philosophy Department at the University of Bergen that continues today with ongoing work being done both in the scholarly interpretation of Wittgenstein’s writings as well as in the application of his work to areas such as text technology and digital humanities, the philosophy of the social sciences, philosophy of mathematics and aesthetics. WAB is central in this research as also in teaching at the Department which each Fall term offers a course on Wittgenstein's philosophy.

On October 31, 2017, the philosophical Nachlass of Ludwig Wittgenstein was inscribed to the UNESCO Memory of the World list. We are proud and happy that we are central in giving the world access to the philosophical Nachlass of Ludwig Wittgenstein.