Containing Newton's own edits and notes, the digitized copy shows how methodically the scientist worked through his text, "marking alterations, crossing out and annotating his work in preparation for the second edition," Young said.
In addition to Newton's Principia, notebooks and early papers, the University has included the "Waste Book," a very large notebook the scientist inherited from his stepfather. He filled it with notes and calculations when he was forced to leave his studies in Cambridge during the Great Plague.
"With plenty of time and paper to hand, Newton was able to make significant breakthroughs, particularly in his understanding of calculus," Young said.
But not all Newton's contemporaries would have approved the online publication.
Several manuscripts in the collection contain the handwritten line "not fit to be printed," scrawled by Thomas Pellet, a Fellow of the Royal Society, who had been asked to go through Newton's papers after his death and decide which ones should be published.