Volume 3, Issue 4, December 2019, Page: 80-90
Albert Einstein Library: From Princeton to Jerusalem
Marianna Gelfand, The Library Authority, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Received: Aug. 18, 2019;       Accepted: Sep. 12, 2019;       Published: Oct. 15, 2019
DOI: 10.11648/j.ajist.20190304.11      View  37      Downloads  22
Abstract
This article, based on both historical and content analysis of Albert Einstein’s private library, presents a comprehensive picture of the Einstein Collection that was located at his home in Princeton, now housed at The Albert Einstein Archives at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His private library consisted of approximately 2,400 titles, including not only books but also a small collection of journals, musical scores and records. Staff members of the Archive succeeded in adding additional books, including works by Einstein himself and ones about him in various languages. These amounted to approximately 1,500 titles. Most of the books in Einstein’s library related to subjects other than physics. Many authors presented copies of their books to Einstein. Those books, usually with autographs or dedications by the authors, dealt with various fields of knowledge – philosophy, literature, religions, Jewish culture, etc. Content analysis of Einstein’s personal library reveals scientific, political, and social connections of the scientist. This article includes information about the main institutions involved in conveying the library to Jerusalem and in organizing it. These were the American Friends of The Hebrew University in New York, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, and the Jewish National and University Library (today The National Library of Israel). The primary sources for the research on which this article is based are 1) material from The Albert Einstein Archives at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2) Inventory Books of the National Library of Israel, 3) Kiryat Sefer, bibliographical quarterly of the Jewish National and University Library, 4) Einstein’s reprint collection at The Weizmann Institute of Science. The following conclusions were drawn: 1) From the Einstein private library items were given as gifts both during his lifetime and after his death; 2) a large proportion of the books that Einstein gave to the National Library of Israel were registered in the Inventory Books of the National Library of Israel before the transfer of his complete library to Jerusalem; 3) Einstein's personal library includes books that actually belonged to other members of his family. For example, there are books, like those that belonged to his secretary Helen Dukas and to his stepdaughter Margot Einstein, that contain either the signature of the former owner or autograph/dedication by the author of the book. The article’s references to the contemporary Israeli press about Einstein’s visit to Israel elucidate Einstein’s role in the founding of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Keywords
Albert Einstein, The Albert Einstein Archives, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Einstein’s Personal Library, Dedications
To cite this article
Marianna Gelfand, Albert Einstein Library: From Princeton to Jerusalem, American Journal of Information Science and Technology. Vol. 3, No. 4, 2019, pp. 80-90. doi: 10.11648/j.ajist.20190304.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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The Einstein library contains two books written by Max Talmey (Talmud). The Relativity Theory Simplified: and the Formative Period of Its Inventor, with an introduction by George B. Pegram, (New York: Falcon Press, 1932) & Psyche: A Concise and Easily Comprehensible Treatise on the Elements of Psychiatry and Psychology: for Students of Medicine and Law (New York: Medico-Legal Pub. Co., 1910); the second book contains a handwritten dedication to Einstein by the author: “A loken of longstanding friendship to Professor Albert Einstein Max Talmey, October 17, 1937”. The Weizmann Institute’s the Einstein reprint collection contains a typewritten copy of the text of the lecture by Max Talmey ‘Origin and Essence of the Nordic-Aryan Fabrication’ (New York City, February 1936), V. 56 Miscellaneous S-Z, pp. [1]-10.
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Reiser, Anton (1930), p. 36. Bernstein’s Naturwissenschaftliche Volksbücher [Popular Books on Natural Sciences] are mentioned along with the books Kraft und Stoff [Force and Matter] by Büchner, and Kosmos by Humboldt, which were recommended for reading “among others” by Talmey, in Winteler-Einstein, Maja, ‘Albert Einstein-a Biographical Sketch’ (Excerpt). In The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. English translation. Vol. 1, The Early Years, 1879-1902. John Stachel et al., eds. Anna Beck, translator (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987), pp. xv-xxii, citation p. xxi.
[78]
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[80]
For detailed list of places visited by Einstein in Palestine and information about speeches he gave there (both mainly based on the local press) see Ze’ev Rosenkranz, ‘Secular Pilgrim or Zionist Tourist? Einstein’s Tour of Palestine in 1923’ (pp. 139-180), in Einstein before Israel.
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[83]
The plan for the establishment of a national library, that was always linked to the establishment of a university, influenced the construction of Beit ha-Sefarim ha-Leumi veha-Universitai as a national and university library. See Katz, Shaul [and] Heyd, Michael, eds., The History of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Origins and Beginnings (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1997), p. 151 (Hebrew).
[84]
Kopel’man, Zoya (2006), p. 57.
[85]
Baras, Zvi (1992), p. 42.
[86]
“…Einstein perceived Palestine as “a land of new beginnings.”” Cited from Rosenkranz, Ze’ev (2011), p. 178.
[87]
“Bayit Ne’eman” was built as a first “permanent home for” the Jewish National Library. In A Century of Books (1992), p. 28. This building in Jerusalem at Bnei Brit Street No. 18 does not have a balcony, as stated in the newspaper Ha’aretz [in its report of Einstein’s visit] (see note 88). However, on the lot next to it there is another two-storey building (Bnei Brit St. No. 16) whose upper storey does have a balcony. The history of the National Library began in 1892 with the establishment of “Midrash Abrabanel Library”. “The name “Midrash Abrabanel”, which hinted at а ‘house of study’ (Beit Midrash), was chosen to allay the suspicion of the Ottoman authorities who would oppose the establishment of any new institution that seemed to have a nationalist character.” In A Century of Books (1992), p. 20.
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Kopel’man, Zoya (2006), p. 55.
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‘Jerusalem University Publication’, The Palestine Weekly, vol. 5, no. 34, 31 August, 1923, pp. 163-164, citation p. 163.
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