Albert Einstein Archives (Hebrew University)/האוניברסיטה העברית)) ארכיון אלברט איינשטיין


Levi Building, 2nd floor; Edmond J. Safra Campus






Albert Einstein's Last Will and Testament of 1950 appointed his close associate, Dr. Otto Nathan, as sole Executor of his Estate. Upon Einstein's death in 1955, Dr. Nathan devoted himself tirelessly for more than a quarter of a century to the administration of the Estate of Albert Einstein. In close cooperation with the co-Trustee of the Estate, Ms. Helen Dukas, Dr. Nathan succeeded in tripling the size of the Albert Einstein Archives during the period 1955-1982. As Executor to Einstein's writings, Dr. Nathan cooperated with numerous publishers throughout the world in the publication in a wide variety of languages of many new editions of Einstein's works. Dr. Nathan shared Einstein's leftist views on politics and society - this affinity led to his editing (in collaboration with Heinz Norden) a selection of Einstein's writings on pacifism entitled Einstein on Peace in 1960. Dr. Nathan also laid a substantial part of the groundwork for the historical edition of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. In 1982, the Estate of Albert Einstein transferred all the literary rights to Einstein's writings to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - in accordance with Einstein's Will of 1950. During the period of 1982-1990, the American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) in New York were responsible for dealing with all copyright issues pertaining to Einstein's writings. This work was carried out meticulously and conscientiously by the late Ehud Benamy of the AFHU, under the sagacious guidance of the late Prof. Milton Handler. In 1991, the Executive of The Hebrew University in Jerusalem decided to transfer responsibility for all copyright issues pertaining to Albert Einstein to the office of the Curator of the Albert Einstein Archives in Jerusalem.

Geographical and Cultural Context

The Albert Einstein Archives is an extraordinary cultural asset of universal importance for humanity and of national importance for Israel and the Jewish people. Representing the intellectual and personal record of a creative genius whose thinking profoundly changed our perception of the universe, it is of inestimable value. Einstein did not wish that any physical monument or memorial be erected in his name. The preservation of his papers, which most authentically reflect his ideas and person, affords a far more fitting means of maintaining his legacy.

The Albert Einstein Archives contains the largest collection of original manuscripts by Einstein in the world and includes his vast correspondence with the most influential physicists and intellectuals of the 20th century. Moreover, it comprises the most exhaustive compilation of material about Albert Einstein.

The Albert Einstein Archives constitutes an extremely valuable historical resource. It is considered one of the most significant sources for the history of modern physics. In addition, the Archives is an extremely important source for the history of such movements as pacifism, socialism and Zionism as well as for German, Jewish, European and American intellectual, political, and social history of the 20th century.

Archival and Other Holdings

From 2003 to 2011, the Archival Database included approximately 43,000 records of Einstein and Einstein- related documents. Supplementary archival holdings and databases pertaining to Einstein documents have been established at both the Einstein Papers Project and the Albert Einstein Archives for scholarly research. As of 2012 the Archival Database allows direct access to all 80,000 records of Einstein and Einstein-related documents in the original and the supplementary archive. The records published in this online version pertain to Albert Einstein’s scientific and non-scientific writings, his professional and personal correspondence, notebooks, travel diaries, personal documents, and third-party items contained in both the original collection of Einstein’s personal papers and in the supplementary archive.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

The site enables access to the online version of the Albert Einstein Archives Finding Aid, a comprehensive description of the entire repository of Albert Einstein’s personal papers held at the Hebrew University. The Finding Aid, presented in Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format, provides the following information on the Einstein Archives: its identity, context, content, structure, conditions of access and use. It also contains a list of the folders in the Archives which will enable access to the Archival Database and to the Digitized Manuscripts.


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