A Guide to the Max Dehn Papers, 18991979





Creator 
Dehn, Max, 18781952 

Title 
Max Dehn Papers 

Dates: 
18991979 

Abstract 
Collection documents the career of Max
Dehn (18781952), relating chiefly to his research in geometry, topology, group
theory, and the history of mathematics. 

Accession No. 
864; 93476; 2003093; 2007072 

Extent 
2 ft., 2 in. 

Languages 
Collections materials are written in English, French and German. 

Repository: 
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The
University of Texas at Austin 
Max Dehn (18781952) was a German mathematician known for his contributions to
geometry, topology, group theory, and the history of mathematics. Born in Hamburg,
Germany, he studied mathematics in Freiburg and Göttingen, where he earned his
doctorate under the supervision of David Hilbert in 1900. In 1901, he solved
Hilbert's third problem, posed at the International Congress of Mathematicians. Dehn
began his teaching career at the University of Münster in 1901, and, after teaching
at several institutions, he landed at Frankfurt University (19211935). In 1935, the
Nazis forced him to leave his post; he and his wife fled Europe for the United
States in 1941. After teaching in several universities, he found a permanent
position at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1945. Dehn remained at the
college until he retired in 1952.
The Max Dehn Papers document the career of Max Dehn (18781952) and relate chiefly to
his research in geometry, topology, group theory, and the history of mathematics.
Most of the papers are from Dehn's years at Frankfurt University and, after his
immigration in 1940 to the United States, Black Mountain College in North Carolina.
Included are correspondence, notebooks, manuscripts of publications, reprints,
lecture and course notes by Dehn, remembrances written by his daughter, colleagues
and students, and lecture notes by Ernst Hellinger. Correspondents include Emil
Artin, Otto Blumenthal, Harald Bohr, Samson Breuer, Constantin Carathéodory, David
Hilbert, Adolf Kneser, Emmy Noether, Moritz Pasch, Otto Toeplitz, and Ernst Zermelo.
The majority of the materials are written in German, with some English and
French.
Forms part of the Archives of American Mathematics.
Access Restrictions
Unrestricted access.







Subjects (Persons) 


Dehn, Max, 18781952.Archives 


Artin, Emil, 18981962 


Blumenthal, Otto, b. 1876 


Breuer, Samson, 1891 


Carathéodory, Constantin, 18731950 


Hellinger, Ernst, b. 1883 


Hilbert, David, 18621943 


Kneser, Adolf, 18621930 


Noether, Emmy, 18821935 


Pasch, Moritz, 18431930 


Toeplitz, Otto, 18811940 


Zermelo, Ernst, 1871 

Subjects 


Geometry 


Group theory 


MathematicsHistory 


Topology 


Mathematics historians 
This collection was previously housed at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
(HRC).
Max Dehn Papers, 18991979, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center
for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Serial numbers were assigned to shipments that arrived at the HRC before the
collection was transferred to the Briscoe Center in 1984. Although the material has
been rearranged, the original serial numbers have been placed in brackets on the
folders for the convenience of researchers who are familiar with the original
inventory. See original finding aid in holding record for more information.
Note on abbreviations:
ALS = Autograph (handwritten) Letter Signed (in the hand of the author)
TLS = Typed Letter Signed (by the author)
Detailed Description of the Collection















Biographical 
Box 
4RM128 


Memorial address, delivered by Wolfgang Franz, director of the
mathematical seminary in Frankfurt, on Dehn's death, July 16, 1952 



Memorials to Dehn. Includes reminiscences by his daughter, Maria
Peters, Ruth Moufang, C. L. Siegel, Wilhelm Magnus, R. B. Sher, Joe
Engel, John Stillwell, Mildred Harding, Benjamin Yandell,
19522002 



Recollections of Ruth Moufang of Dehn’s sayings, [photocopy],
undated 



From the Collected Papers of André
Weil, photocopy of page 460461, about lecture concerning
Dehn, undated 



"Biographische Notizen," biographical statement on Dehn, undated 















Clippings 
Box 
4RM128 


"Der Goldene Schnitt in Der Natur," from German newspaper, April 5, 1939 



[Includes other printed material], various newspaper clippings on
Dehn and an announcement of a memorial lecture, 1940, 1952 and undated 



Describing Dehn's difficulties with the German government [two
clippings], and obituary, all in German, described by Magnus, 1952 















Correspondence 
Box 
4RM128 


To Dehn from Ernst Zermelo, [one letter, 8 pp., and one
postcard], September 25, 1900 and October 27, 1904 



To Dehn from David Hilbert (postcard, 2 brief letters), in
German, 1905, 1909, 1931 



Documents and letters of academic appointments; letter of thanks,
June 12, 1915, for aid to "Nationaler Frauendienst;" documents and
letters concerning retirement, move to Norway, and pension; and clipping
from Oslo's Tidenstign, May 22, 1931,
featuring Dehn and Hegaard, 19051941 



Letters and documents relating to Dehn's professional life,
[mostly photocopies], 19111952 



Postcard from Detlef Cauer, August 25, 1912 



To Dehn from Emmy Noether, regarding a mathematical question
raised by Dehn, July 8, 1920 



Between Max and Toni Dehn and German publishers SpringerVerlag
and Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft regarding Dehn's publications,
[1936 "Scientia" paper and 1926 PaschDehn book], 19251929, 19711978 



To Dehn from Moritz Pasch, 3 pp., July 7[?], 1926 



Between Dehn and Hellmuth Kneser about Dehn's lemma, 1929 



Between Dehn and Kneser, 1929 



To Kneser [incomplete] with mathematical notes, September 6, 1929 



To Dehn from Leo Frobenius, November 3, 1932 



Handwritten copies [by?] of letters of recommendation for Dehn,
addressed to Professor Hegaard for a position in Oslo, Norway, written
by Jakob Nielsen, E. Cartan, Heinz Hopf, J. H. C. Whitehead, Dvan [?]
Dantzig, and Karol Borsok, 1938 



To Dehn from Samson Breuer, written several days before Dehn went
into hiding in the house of Hilly Hartner, 2 pp., November 6, 1938 



To Dehn from Otto Blumenthal and Otto Toeplitz on Dehn's 60th
birthday, 3 pp., November 11, 1938 



Photocopies of documents from Idaho State University Special
Collections regarding Dehn's move to the U. S. and work as a professor
there [formerly University of Idaho, Southern Branch], 19381949, 1986, and undated 



Postcard to Dehn from Constantin Carathéodory, January 27, 1940 



Birthday letters to Dehn on his 70th birthday [November 13,
1948], 19481949 



Letters and documents, including an invitation to join "Deutsche
MathematikerVereinigung im französich besetzten Gebiet Wüttembergs,"
June 15, 1948; and Dehn's refusal, August 13, 1948, 19481949 



To Dehn from Harald Bohr, in Danish, December 15, 1949 



Dehn to Emil Artin, photocopy of ALS, 2 pp., April 6, 1950 



Birthday letters to Toni Dehn on Max Dehn's 100th birthday, 19781979 



Between Wilhelm Magnus and Toni Dehn regarding Max Dehn's papers, 1979 and undated 















Lectures 
Box 
4RM128 


"Übersicht Über Probleme und Resultate bei Untersuchungen Über
Allgemeine Diskontinuierliche Gruppen…," Breslau, 4 pp., mimeographed, December 11, 1920 



"Über Kurvensysteme auf Zweiseitigen Flächen mit Anmerkung auf
das Abbildungsproblem. Vortrag (ergänzt) im Math. Kolloquium," Breslau,
11.2.1922," 12 mimeographtype pages, February 11, 1922 



"Über Kurvensysteme…," mimeographed, three copies, Breslau, November 2, 1922 



Brussels lecture [on group theory?], in French with some notes in
German, 1932 and undated 



Copenhagen [notes], 1934 



Given by Dehn in Pocatello, Idaho, describing his flight from
Norway to the USA via Sweden, Moscow, Siberia, and Japan, typed carbon,
8 pp. [described by Magnus], 1941 



History of mathematics, third and fifth lectures, two
mimeographed pages, 19481949 



"Notes on History of Calculus with Implications for our
Teaching," at annual meeting, Illinois Section, MAA, [was foldered with
1928 Schoenflies Festschrift], May 14, 1948 
Box 
4RM129 


Preparation for the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th lectures on the history of
mathematics, mimeograph with handwritten notes, 5 pp., 1949 



"Gruppentheorie," 170 numbered pages in hardbound notebook, [note
by Magnus, "lecture notes for a course on group theory, given by Max
Dehn, time, place and writer unknown"], includes diagrams, undated 



Notes from a course given by Dehn in group theory, author unknown
[photocopy], undated 















Manuscripts 



"Beitrage zur Analysis Situs. Prinzipien der Geometrie,"
unpublished manuscript, photocopy
ca.1899 
Box 
4RM129 


"Beweis des Satzes, das Jedes Geradlinige Polygon Ohne
Doppelpuntke 'Die Ebne in Zwei Teile Teilt,'" unpublished manuscript, in
cardboard folder labeled, "Dehn Beitrage zur Analysis Situs Principien
der Geometrie, Göttingen" ca. 1899. Note: this manuscript is discussed in a
paper by H. Guggenheimer, in 4RM132, folder: "Published Material –
by others" 



"Vortrag in Münster [?] '/w. d.6. Juni 1911, Über die Lehre vom
Inhalt," loose pages, numbered 120, 1911 



"Über Topologie und Allgemeine Gruppentheorie, Frankfurt a/M.
Vortrag (Bericht) Gehalten auf der Jahresuersammlund d. Deutsche Math.
Ver., Leipzig 1922," 1922 



Festschrift for Artur Schoenflies, "Artur Schoenflies Zum 70.
Geburtstag," includes work by Dehn, P. Epstein, Karl Reinhardt, C. L.
Siegel, and Otto Szairs, bound, April 17, 1923 



Festschrift for Max Dehn, "Dem Freunde Max Dehn zur Beendigung
Feines 50. DozentenSemesters," handwritten in different hands, bound,
includes printed article by Schoenflies and loose sheet by Ernst
Hellinger, November 1, 1926 



Festschrift for Artur Schoenflies  in paper folder, includes
article by C. L. Siegel with caricature, November 6, 1927, article
by Dehn, and 1928 article by Siegel, all handwritten April 17, 1928 



[Lecture?] "Probleme des Mathematischen Hochschulunterrichts,"
Vortrag in Nauheim, typed, September 23, 1932 



Two manuscripts by Dehn addressed to Ernst Hellinger on his
birthday, originally found with 1923 Schoenflies
Festschrift, September 30, 1933 and September 30, 1943 



Various incomplete manuscripts and notes, includes outline of
"Psychology of Mathematical Activity," letter dated March 24, 1945 from
W. Köhler, 19421945 and undated 



"Determination of the element by the series of KaN is the
Development," and "On Hyperabelian Groups," ca. 1949 



"Die Stetigen Beziehungen Einer Fläche auf Sich Selbst…," loose
sheets numbered 115 , with corrections and notes, undated 



"Die Veränderung der Mathematischen Methodik Durch die Entdeckung
der NichtEuklidischen Geometrie," loose sheets numbered 124, [with
corrections], undated 



Untitled, handwritten pages numbered 55255, on the relationship
between mathematics and ornamentation [?], described by Magnus, undated 



"Animi sui Complicatum…," typed manuscript and carbon copy, each
with annotations, ca. 60 pages total, on the psychology of mathematics, undated 
Box 
4RM130 


"Festschrift zum [?]] Bestchur des L[?] Seminar," handwritten
manuscript and photocopy, undated 















Notes 
Box 
4RM130 


Loose sheets, one with "Magnus" at top, and notebook, "Einleitung
in die Höhere Analysis, Kiel [?] w.s. 1911/12. Heft I," Letters "G R"
cut out of back cover, ca. 19111912 and undated 



Notecards and drawings, ca. 1914 and undated 



"Schnee, Breslau Technische Hochschule, nach 1918," 19141918 



Notebooks 




Notebook and loose pages, "d. 29.5.14," 1914 and undated 




"Variationsrechnng (Fortsetzung)," 1916 




Notebook and loose sheets, "Gruppen mit
Relationem...," 1921 and undated 




"Geometrie I, Frankfurt [?], s. s. 22," "Dehn, Frankfurt
9/17[?], Kettin [?] 105," 8"X5", blue/black cover, [1922?] 




"Zahlensysteme S. S. 22," 1922 




"Seminar," 19221925 




"Topologie und Allgemeine Gruppentheorie W. S. 23/24," [no
cover, with loose sheets that were taped in the back], 19231924 




"Geometrie II. Fortz. Geometrie III," ca. 19231925 




"Höhere Algebra, w.s. 1924/25," 19241925 




"Mechanik, w.s. 192425," and loose sheets, 19241925 




"Geometrie III. Fortz," [ca. 1925?] 




"Differentialgleichungen im Heben [?] Gebiet, w.s. 25/26," 19251926 




"Variationsrechnung I., s.s. 26," 19251926, 19311932 




"Linear…[?], s.s. 26," 1926 




"Gruppentheorie, w.s. 192627, s.s. 1931," "Linear groups,"
and "Group theory," 19261935, 1949 
Box 
4RM131 



"Höhere Analysis I., s.s. 1927," and "Höhere Analysis II.,
w.s. 19271928," 19271928 




"Grundlagen (?) der Geometrie," 19281929 




"Algebra… [?], w.s. 19291930," 19291930 




"Analysis II., 1933" and "Grafische und Analytiche [?] der
[?], w.s. 26/27," 1933 




"Diffgl. II… w.s. 33/34," 19331934 




"Zusätze. 1. Diff. Geometrie 34/35," 19341935 




Notes for history of mathematics articles, 1943 




"Aristotle," probably notes for article in American Mathematical Monthly,
1950 




"Durchschreibeblock," in shorthand and English, some
mathematics, mostly philosophy, undated [after 1950] 




"x'=l, (x, y)…," undated 



Miscellaneous loose sheets, 1934 and undated 



Untitled manuscript and mathematical notes, originally found with
1923 Schoenflies Festschrift, undated 



"Mapping," folder containing about 100 pages of topological
diagrams and notes, [mostly in English], undated 



Unidentified mimeographed notes, undated 



Envelope labeled "Zettelkatalog zu Psychologie," containing slips
of notes, undated 















Published Material 
Box 
4RM131 


By Dehn: 19071950, undated 




Articles by Dehn (2 folders), includes later reprints
19071936, 1975, undated 
Box 
4RM132 



Articles by Dehn, includes article cowritten with E. D.
Hellinger, 19401950, undated 



By others 




G. Hessenberg, H. Guggenheimer, 1905, 1977. Note: includes
“The Jordan Curve Theorem…” by Guggenheimer, which discusses “Beweis
des Satzes…” by Dehn, in box 4RM129 















Photographs 
Box 
4RM203c 


Photographs, with letter from the Institute of Advanced Study,
signed by John Von Neumann, Carl Ludwig Siegel and others, three photos
of architectural details of tigers on buildings, one attached to letter,
March 28, 1935 















Artwork 
box 
4RM132 


Drawings  "Geometry for Artists class, Black Mountain College,
Winter & Spring," 1948 



Drawings, sketches, undated 















Wilhelm Magnus 
Box 
4RM132 


Photocopies of Dehn correspondence and printed material, includes
article "The Mathematician's Art of Work," by J. E. Littlewood, 19001920, 1932, 19491967 



Photocopies of material from Dehn Papers, annotated by Magnus, 19201949 and undated 



Lists of Dehn's books with Magnus correspondence, September 1952 and undated 



Correspondence, notes, and printed material about Dehn, 19541959, 19771980 and undated 



File on Hellinger, includes correspondence, research material and
drafts relating to Magnus' entry on Hellinger in the Dictionary of
Scientific Biography, 19681971 and undated 



Samples of flourishes which Dehn used to sign his letters,
[photocopy, described by Magnus], undated 















Ernst Hellinger 
Box 
4RM132 


Lecture notes by Hellinger [with folder], 19221928 



Four sets of lecture notes, "Beispiele u. Rechnungen m
operatoren, "Seminar Über Unendl. Matrisen [?]" dated 1933, "Liter. U
Operatoren;" "Differesengleichungen," 19291938 and undated 
