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Collection Scope and Content Notes

The Hans Reichenbach Papers comprise published and unpublished manuscripts, lectures, correspondence, photographs, drawings, and related materials from his early student days until his death.

The correspondence contains about 9000 pages to and from Reichenbach; it ranges over his entire career. Those with whom Reichenbach maintained lifelong contact include Rudolf Carnap, Ernst Cassirer, Herbert Feigl, Philip Frank, Carl Hempel, Sidney Hook, Paul Oppenheim and Wolfgang Pauli. In addition, there is significant correspondence with von Astor, Bergmann, Bertalanffy, Dingler, Dubislav, Einstein, Fraenkel, Frank, Freundlich, Grelling, Grünbaum, Paul Hertz, Hutten, Jordan, Landé, von Laue, Lewin, C.I. Lewis, Charles Morris, Nagel, Neurath, Northrop, Planck, Quine, Regener, Rougier, Salmon, Schillp, Schlick, Scholz, Schrödinger, Martin Strauss, Tarski, Vaihinger, Weiss, Williams, Zawarski, and Zilsel. The correspondence provides a valuable source of information about Reichenbach’s personal and philosophical development. It also provides primary source material for research into one of the 20th century most influential philosophical movements.

Reichenbach’s manuscripts include many of his own notes as a student. Some go as far back as his university days in science and mathematics. Some of the most significant of these notes are those taken by him as a student of Albert Einstein on the special and general theories of relativity. There are four such notebooks dating from 1918. In addition there are his student notes on astronomy, Planck and electricity, Hilbert’s “Statistical Mechanics” and “Problems and Principles.”

He also kept many of his lecture notes from Germany, Turkey, and the United States. The number of lectures runs to over 100 and provides a glimpse into the problems of philosophy and how he presented them to his students. Many of his lectures discussed principles of radio and issues in philosophy and modern science, often in form of popularizations of questions in relativity and quantum theory delivered on radio programs for a wider audiences. In addition to this there are an abundance of notes, calculations, and diagrams used to draft both published and unpublished papers.

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