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Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find information concerning Albert Einstein?

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) first arrived at Princeton in May 1921 to deliver five Stafford Little Lectures on the theory of relativity. The lectures were held in McCosh Hall from May 9th to May 13th, delivered in German, and were followed by a 20 minute resume in English. Einstein also accepted an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Princeton in 1921.

He returned again in 1933 as a life member of the newly founded Institute for Advanced Study and lived in Princeton for the remaining 22 years of his life. While an important member of the larger intellectual community of Princeton, Einstein was not a member of the Princeton University faculty, although he did have an office on campus. Because he was not officially affiliated with the University, the University Archives has very little information on Albert Einstein.

While the University Archives does not contain much information on Einstein, a few collections related to his life are available in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Firestone Library. These include the Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, the Hanna Fantova Collection on Albert Einstein, the Einstein in Japan Collection, and the Albert Einstein Collection.

For further particulars related to these collections, please contact the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University, One Washington Road, Princeton, NJ, 08544-2098. The department can also be reached by telephone (609-258-3184) or via e-mail at rbsc@princeton.edu.

Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive

This collection consists of a photocopied duplicate archive of the original Albert Einstein Archive at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The collection is divided into scientific and non-scientific sections, including published and unpublished manuscripts, articles, lectures, notebooks, notes, travel diaries (1925-1933), family papers, and correspondence. The papers span Einstein's entire career and are augmented by additions through 1979.

Hanna Fantova Collection on Albert Einstein

Hanna Fantova, a former Princeton University librarian, was one of Albert Einstein's closest friends. In a newly discovered diary Fantova recorded the scientist's day-to-day thoughts and activities during the last year and a half of his life. The collection also includes 28 letters and 15 poems by Einstein to Fantova (late 1940s) all in German; correspondence between Fantova and Leo Perlman about Einstein's estate (1957-58); photostatic copies of several manuscripts in German, "Zur Einheitlichen Feldtheorie" (incomplete), "Die Struktur des Continuum;" miscellaneous fragments and letters; and a poem, "Tiger an Hanne" (1945). The collection also includes 57 undated, mostly black-and-white photographs of Einstein, and a few other unidentified people and places.

Einstein in Japan Collection

This collection consists of memorabilia from Einstein's 1922 trip to Japan. Included in the collection are a lacquer box for writing tools, an album of drawings by school children presented as tributes to Einstein, three photographs, and miscellaneous invitations (in Japanese).

Albert Einstein Collection, 1913-1915

The collection consists of miscellaneous material by or about Einstein: correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts, photographs, drawings, articles and offprints, ephemera, and newspaper clippings. The material is chiefly in English, with a few items in German. Correspondents include Isaac Aschkenazy, Charles Bradford, Hermann Broch, Edward U. Condor, William Karraker, H. N. Russell, Lyman Spitzer, and William M. Whitney. Manuscripts include poems in German and in English, and an address delivered at Swarthmore College in June, 1938. There are photographs of Einstein with Mrs. Erich Von Kahler at the Kahler's house and of Einstein with Ghandi, Nehru, and others, and and there are drawings of Einstein by Meinhard Jacoby, Arzell Thompson, Jr., and "J.C.T.".


Related Sources

Historical Subject Files Collection, 1746-2005

Leitch, Alexander. A Princeton Companion. (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978). Also available online.

Albert Einstein's personal papers are located at the Albert Einstein Archives at the Jewish National and University Library at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This extensive reference contains digitized manuscripts, a finding aid, and an archival database.

A list of books written by Albert Einstein and published by the Princeton University Press is available online. Among these publications is The Meaning of Relativity. It includes the Stafford Little Lecture series he delivered at Princeton in 1921.

The Princeton University student publication, The Daily Princetonian, devoted an entire issue (April 19, 1955) to Einstein after his death. Microfilm of the The Daily Princetonian is available at Mudd Library and Firestone Library.

For information about Einstein's time in Princeton, please contact the Archives of the Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540, which can be reached by telephone (609-734-8375) or via e-mail (archives@ias.edu).

For more information on the relationship between the Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University, click here.


Rosemary Switzer (2003)


Last modified: Tuesday, 24-Apr-2012 14:07:04 EDT