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University of Texas at Austin

Albert Einstein:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955
Title: Albert Einstein Collection
Dates: 1906-1979 (bulk 1906-1955)
Extent: 4 boxes (1.68 linear feet)
Abstract: The Albert Einstein Collection consists of handwritten manuscripts, typescripts, and correspondence by Einstein and others.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-01292
Language: Materials are in English,German, and French.
Access: Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Purchases and gifts, 1967-1979 (R3781, R4029, R5180, R5868, R5374, R6489, G66, R8447, G411)
Processed by: Joan M. Sibley, 2010

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Information

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a German-American physicist best known for his theory of relativity, his unified field theory, and his contributions to the fields of statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics. He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his work on the photoelectric effect.

Scope and Contents

The Albert Einstein Collection consists of handwritten manuscripts, typescripts, and correspondence by Einstein and others, dating from 1906-1979 (bulk 1906-1955). The materials are arranged in three series: I. Einstein Works, 1920-1955, undated; II. Einstein Letters, 1906-1955, undated; and III. Third-Party Works and Correspondence re Einstein, 1920-1979, undated. The manuscripts and letters are primarily written in German, although some English- and French-language items are present. Part of this collection was previously accessible through a card catalog, but has been recataloged as part of a retrospective conversion project.
Among works by Einstein are an undated handwritten manuscript with revisions of Über die Grundbegriffe der Physik und ihre neuester Wandlungen; an undated handwritten manuscript with revisions of Über Gravitationswellen; a typescript autobiographical statement prepared for Georges Schreiber's Portraits and Self-Portraits in 1935; and marginal annotations and handwritten notes in a copy of Über die Spezielle und die Allgemeine Relativitatstheorie (Gemeinverständlich). Unpublished notes and calculations dating from 1950-1955 show Einstein's final work on the hydrodynamical equations in general relativity, the variational principle, and the unified field theory.
Letters by Einstein include forty-six letters written to Gustav Bucky between 1933 and 1950, fifty-six letters written to Maurice Solovine between 1906 and 1955, and one or more letters to Pascal Covici, William and Hans Lebach, Walther Mayer, Georges Schreiber, and others. A complete index of correspondents is included in this finding aid.
Also present in the collection are two handwritten manuscripts of Maurice Solovine's introduction to Lettres à Maurice Solovine: Reproduites en Facsimile et Traduites en Français; a reminiscent essay about Einstein by Frida Sarsen Bucky; and a typescript of Einstein: The Life and Times, a biography by Ronald William Clark.
Nearly all of the materials in the Einstein collection, as well as Einstein materials from other Ransom Center collections, are described in: Albert Einstein, 1879-1955: A Centenary Exhibit of Manuscripts, Books, and Portraits Selected from the Humanities Research Center Collections by Albert C. Lewis. Austin: University of Texas. Humanities Research Center, 1979.

Related Material

Additional Einstein letters and manuscripts are located in a number of other Ransom Center collections. These include Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.; Julian Beck; Thomas Bertram Costain; Enit Kaufman; Ludwig Lewisohn, International PEN; John G. Moore; Ilya Prigogine; Robert Haven Schauffler; Evelyn Scott; George Bernard Shaw; and Edward Weeks.
In addition to Einstein books held by the Ransom Center Library, there are portraits of Einstein by Ivan Opffer, William Rothenstein, and S. J. Woolf present in the Center's Art Collection. The Personal Effects Collection includes a cardboard box bearing the ownership stamp of Albert Einstein and containing a Molecular Model Kit manufactured by the Fisher Scientific Company of Pittsburgh, accompanied by a booklet on the model with a few handwritten annotations, possibly in Einstein's hand. Three photographs of Einstein that were acquired with Einstein's letters to Maurice Solovine are part of the Literary File Collection in the Center's Photography Collection. These holdings include portraits of Einstein alone and with others, including Maurice Solovine and Conrad Habicht. The Vertical File Collection contains a folder of general information plus two posters related to Einstein centenary celebrations at the University of Minnesota and the Ransom Center in 1979.
The bulk of Albert Einstein's papers are held by the Jewish National & University Library at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and may be accessed via the Einstein Archives Online at, a joint project with the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena with the support of Princeton University Press, publisher of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein.

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