Work began on the MEGA, i.e. the publication of the complete writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in Moscow and (East-)Berlin during the 1960s. The MEGA soon acquired a formidable reputation among specialists. In the wake of the dramatic changes in East Germany in 1989 scholars throughout the world pressed for the continued publication of the MEGA, which also received top marks from an international panel of experts. In 1990, Amsterdam's respected International Institute of Social History (IISG), which also held most of the original manuscripts, was instrumental in setting up an International Marx Engels Foundation (IMES) that assumed scientific responsibility for the project.
The politically independent IMES is an international network that includes, alongside the IISG, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), the Museum and Study Centre Karl-Marx-Haus Trier of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and the Russian State Archive for Socio-Political History (RGASPI). The aim of the IMES is to complete the MEGA as a historical-critical edition of the complete works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The scope of the MEGA has been reduced to 114 volumes of which 55 have been published until 2008. At the present time, teams of scholars from Germany, Russia, France, the Netherlands, Austria, the USA, and Japan are working on the MEGA, making it the most important international project of its kind. The MEGA is also sponsored by the European Union.
From the outset the IMES has endeavoured to ensure that the MEGA remains unconstrained by any partisan political allegiances. It was for this reason that, despite the commendable support offered by the publishers Dietz Verlag, the IMES finally decided to change publishers. Akademie Verlag is an experienced academic publishing house that has acquired a worldwide reputation for this kind of publications.
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Erste Abteilung: Werke, Artikel, Entwürfe
Zweite Abteilung: "Das Kapital" und Vorarbeiten
Dritte Abteilung: Briefwechsel
Vierte Abteilung: Exzerpte. Notizen. Marginalien