Hebrew U. Processing Einstein Archives
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Hebrew U. Processing Einstein Archives

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About 50,000 pages of the letters and paper of Albert Einstein have recently arrived at the Hebrew University and are being processed. The Einstein Archives include scientific treatises, correspondence with other leading savants and personal papers.

University authorities told reporters that the Hebrew University would follow a “liberal” policy in making the Einstein archives available to bona fide researchers, either in facsimile or, where necessary, in the original. The University will also encourage publication, taking account of the publication program already in progress at Princeton University in the U.S. where Einstein taught for many years.

Among the treasures in the archive are the drafts of 33 unpublished scientific articles, travelogues, some recordings of speeches, correspondence with such contemporary luminaries as Ghandi, Franklin Roosevelt, Nehru, Thomas Mann, George Bernard Shaw, Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell. Einstein was profoundly interested in moral and political causes as well as in science.


There is also correspondence on Zionist affairs with Chaim Weizmann, who was a close friend, and with the U.S. Zionist leader Stephen Wise.

One item not included in the archive is the original manuscript of Einstein’s theory of relativity. Einstein made that over to the Hebrew University during his lifetime, along with other important papers.

Hebrew University president Avraham Harman recounted the savant’s long and close involvement with the university since its inception. He displayed the first volume of the university’s “scripta universitatis” in mathematics and physics, dated 1923, edited by Einstein who visited Palestine to lecture at the then fledgling seat of learning in Jerusalem.

Einstein was the first chairman of the Hebrew University’s Academic Committee, Harman recalled, holding the post till 1935 and initiating many and important changes in the governance of the university. It was therefore no accident, said Harmon, that Einstein had willed his archives to the Hebrew University in 1950, five years before his death.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund