- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
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"How Many Lives has Schrodinger's Cat?", 1998-2004
Collection Description & Creator Information
The papers consist primarily of David Lewis's writings and extensive correspondence with other philosophers and scholars. There are approximately sixteen thousand pages of Lewis's correspondence, both incoming and outgoing. Significant amounts of correspondence with David M. Armstrong, J. J. C. Smart, Frank Jackson, W. V. Quine, D. H. Mellor, M. J. Cresswell, Allen Hazen, and John Bigelow are included. Lewis's letters document lively philosophical debates and reflect the development of his thought across more than four decades. Lewis's writings include drafts of published articles and books, often along with publishing correspondence, reviews, notes, and marked copies of books related to each publication, including for his books Convention (1969), Counterfactuals (1973), On the Plurality of Worlds (1986), and Parts of Classes (1991), as well as for his collected works. A smaller amount of similar materials pertaining to his reviews and unpublished or posthumously published writings is also present, as are some of his undergraduate and graduate student papers and course materials and his research files and reports from his time as a researcher at the Hudson Institute in the 1960s. Several dozen digital prints of scanned photographs of David Lewis are also present, including portraits and group shots with friends and fellow philosophers, as well as a group of photocopied materials on David Lewis maintained by David M. Armstrong. Later additions include similar material, as well as academic and administrative files; papers of Stephanie R. Lewis, a philosopher who was married to David Lewis; family papers; and digital and audiovisual materials.
- Custodial History:
Stephanie R. Lewis, David Lewis's wife and the executor of his estate, maintained and arranged his papers following his death prior to the arrival of the papers at Princeton University Library. Correspondence includes files David Lewis maintained himself, as well as some originals and copies of letters David Lewis sent to others that Stephanie Lewis later solicited from their recipients and interfiled.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No materials were separated from the collection during 2016-2021 processing beyond routine appraisal practices. During processing of born-digital materials, the processing archivist deleted empty directories, a small number of files containing PII, and several directories of out-of-scope personal records.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Correspondence files marked by the donor as confidential, usually due to third party privacy concerns, are restricted until 2036 (housed in boxes B-000682 through B-000684). Files containing personnel and student records are restricted until 2076 or 75 years from the date of creation (housed in boxes B-000679 through B-000681).
- Conditions for Reproduction and 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.
- Special Requirements for Access:
This collection contains digital files, which may require specific software or hardware for access. Refer to our Tips on Accessing Born-Digital Content for information on how to render these file formats.
For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media, but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Patrons may request digital copies of original analog media, but will be responsible for the cost of digital conversion, payable in advance. Turn-around time for such requests will depend on the size and scope of the project. Requests should be directed to Public Services staff.
- Credit this material:
"How Many Lives has Schrodinger's Cat?"; David Lewis Papers, C1520, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
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