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Collection Overview

Bargmann, V. (Valentine), 1908-1989
Valentine Bargmann Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1908-1988 (mostly 1937-1979)
5 boxes and 1.88 linear feet
Storage Note:
ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-5


The Valentine Bargmann Papers consists of personal and professional correspondence, personal papers, awards, medals, lectures notes, drafts and published writings, and documents pertaining to the Einstein Papers Project. Valentine Bargmann was an assistant to Albert Einstein at the Institute for Advanced Study and later became a Princeton University professor of mathematical physics.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The Valentine Bargmann Papers consists of personal and professional correspondence, personal papers, awards, medals, lectures notes, drafts and published writing, and documents pertaining to the Einstein Papers Project. The bulk of the writings consists of notebooks and lectures notes containing some text but mainly pages of mathematical equations. Letters from family and friends in Germany constitute much of the early correspondence. Letters dating from the period of Bargmann's tenure as a professor at Princeton primarily come from colleagues and friends, while correspondence dated after 1976, when he became Professor Emeritus, often relates to awards and honors he received. Some of Bargmann's personal papers and effects, including his birth certificate, naturalization papers, and medals, are also included. In addition, the collection contains a sizable number of reprints of Bargmann's essays, plus several Albert Einstein reprints.

This collection also contains documents collected by Bargmann during the course of his work on the editorial advisory board of the Einstein Papers Project. Included here are annotated typescripts of the first two volumes of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, correspondence between the board members, and copies of Einstein-related documents that were likely selected for inclusion in the project.

Collection Creator Biography:

Bargmann, V. (Valentine), 1908-1989

Valentine Bargmann (1908-1989) was born in Berlin, Germany, on April 8, 1908. He began studying at the University of Berlin but moved to Zurich in order to escape Nazi oppression. He completed his doctorate at the University of Zurich in 1936. Wishing to flee Europe and the growing spectre of Nazism, Bargmann received help from another German refugee, Albert Einstein, who sponsored his move to the United States. Bargmann arrived at Princeton University in 1937 and began working as Einstein's assistant at the Institute for Advanced Study. In 1943, Bargmann began working with John von Neumann, a member of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, on war-related research projects. His collaboration with von Neumann ultimately led to advances in computer technology. In 1946, Bargmann was appointed visiting lecturer in physics at Princeton. He joined the Princeton faculty as an associate professor of mathematical physics in 1948 and was promoted to full professor in 1957. As a professor, Bargmann wrote often about the quantum theory and the theory of relativity. He published in many of the leading mathematics and physics journals of the time. He eventually retired from teaching in 1976. After his retirement, he was awarded both the Wigner Medal and the Max Plank Medal for his contributions to group theory and quantum physics. One of the last projects Bargmann worked on was contributing to the planning and editing of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein.

Collection History


The bulk of the papers was a gift from Christine Fellbaum in September of 1989 . The "Advanced Quantum Mechanics" lectures were given by Frank Stern in 1992 .


No accruals are expected.


No appraisal information is available.


These papers were processed with a general operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Casey Babcock in September 2007. Finding aid written by Casey Babcock on September 28, 2007.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Valentine Bargmann Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-5

Find More

Related Materials

Rare Books and Special Collections has additional material (1913-1975, bulk 1930-1955) on Albert Einstein and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Albert Einstein Collection (C1022). For additional material on Valentine Bargmann, see the Princeton Mathematics Department in the 1930s: An Oral History Project. Mudd Manuscript Library has made transcripts of the oral histories availible on-line at:


Material from Valentine Bargmann's faculty file provided information used in the biography.

Subject Terms:
Physicists -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- 20th century -- Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
Physics -- Study and teaching -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- 20th century.
Genre Terms:
Correspondence -- 20th century
Lecture notes -- 20th century.
Notebooks -- 20th century
Einstein Papers Project
Institute for advanced study Princeton, N.J.
Princeton University
Princeton University. Dept. of Physics
Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955.