For a project on the origins and migrations of the European nations, Leibniz wanted to see a comparative lexicon purporting to derive the Germanic languages from Asiatic sources. Friends in nearby Gotha were known to have the book; its author had corresponded with Leibniz a few years earlier. But actually getting the book was more difficult than one might expect. In addition to the actual logistics and manners of scholarly communication in the late seventeenth century, this essay shows what scholars were trying to accomplish by establishing the prehistoric origins of the modern nations.