TABLE OF CONTENTS
Descriptive Summary
Biographical Note
Scope and Contents
Restrictions
Index Terms
Administrative Information
Description of Series
Biographical
Clippings
Correspondence
Lectures
Manuscripts
Notes
Publications
Photographs
Artwork
Wilhelm Magnus
Ernst Hellinger

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.
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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.
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Access Restrictions
Unrestricted access.
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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 
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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.
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Note on abbreviations:
ALS = Autograph (handwritten) Letter Signed (in the hand of the
author)
TLS = Typed Letter Signed (by the author)
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Biographical 
Box 
4RM128 


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



Max Dehn in memoriam, by
Willy Hartner, in German,
July 16, 1952 



"Max Dehn zum Gedächtnis, by Wilhelm Magnus and Ruth
Moufang, in German,
Mathematische Annalen, 1954 



On the History of the Frankfurt Mathematics Seminar,"
address given by Carl Ludwig Siegel,
June 13, 1964 



Reminiscences about Max Dehn, written by Maria Dehn Peters
(daughter),
1972, undated 



"Max Dehn," by Wilhelm Magnus,
The Mathematical Intelligencer, vol.
1, no. 3,
Nov. 13, 1978 



"On the History of the Frankfurt Mathematics Seminar," by
Carl Ludwig Siegel,
The Mathematical Intelligencer, vol.
1, no. 4,
1979 



Letters to the Editor  letter about Magnus essay on Dehn,
The Mathematical Intelligencer, vol.
1, no. 4,
1979 



"Max Dehn and Black Mountain College," by R. B. Sher, in
the The Mathematical Intelligencer, Vol. 16, No.
1,
1994 



"Professor Dehn," by Joe Engel,
1997 



"Max Dehn, Kurt Gödel, and the transSiberian escape
route," by John W. Dawson, Jr.,
ca. 2002 



"Max Dehn," by John Stillwell,
undated 



"My Black Mountain," by Mildred Harding, exerpt from Yale
Literary Magazine, vol. 151, No. 1,
undated 



"In the Original: The Third Problem," from
The Honors Class, by Benjamin Yandell,
undated 



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



From the Collected Works of André Weil, copy of page
460461, about lecture concerning Dehn, undated 



"Biographische Notizen," biographical statement on Dehn,
undated 
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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 
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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 (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, 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 
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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 



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 
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Manuscripts 
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] 



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



"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, G. H. Hardy
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 Carl Ludwig 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 



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



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



Notecards and drawings, ca. 1914 and undated 



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



Notebooks 




Notebook, "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 




Notebook: "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 




Notebook: 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, [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 
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Publications 
Box 
4RM131 


Writings by Dehn: 19071983 




"Berichtigender Zusatz zu III A B 3 Analysis situs,"
photocopy, 1907 




"Über den Rauminhalt,"
Mathematische Annalen, ca. 1901 




"Zwei Anwendungen der Mengenlehre in der elementaren
Geometrie,"
Mathematische Annalen, ca. 19001910 




Title unknown [ title cut out of page 1],
Mathematische Annalen, 1912 




"Über die Starrheit knovexer Polyeder,"
Mathematische Annalen and unidentified publication, 1916 




"Über die geistige eigenart des Mathematikers"
(reprinted as "The Mentality of the Mathematician. A Characterization")
Frankfurter Universitätsreden, XXVIII; The
Mathematical Intelligencer 1928, 1983 




"Das Mathematische im Menschen,"
Scientia, Sept. 1932 




"Raum, Zeit, Zahl Bei Aristoteles vom Mathematischen
Standpunkt Aus,"
Scientia, JulyAug. 1936, 1975 




"Über Kombinatorische Topologie,"
1936, 1938 




"Certain Mathematical Achievements of James Gregory,"
with E. D. Hellinger,
American Mathematical Monthly,
Vol. L, No. 3,
March 1943 




"Mathematics, 600 B.C.  400 B.C.,
American Mathematical Monthly, JuneJuly 1943 




The methodology of Pierre Duhem,
book review by Dehn, reprint, in
Bulletin of the American Mathematical
Society, Nov. 1943 




"Mathematics, 300 B.C.  200 B.C.,"
American Mathematical Monthly, Jan. 1944 




"Mathematics, 300 B.C.  200 B.C.,"
American Mathematical Monthly, March 1944 




"Sobre Transfomaciones," reprint in Spanish,
Gaceta Matemática, 1949 




Über Abbildungen geschlossener Flächen auf sich,"
Særtryk af Matematisk Tidsskrift 1950 




"Bogen und Sehnen im Kries, Paare von Grössensystemen,"
undated 
Box 
4RM132 


Writings by others 




"Beweis des Desarguesschen Satzes aus dem Pascalschen,"
by Hessenberg 
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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 
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Artwork 
box 
4RM132 


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



Drawings, sketches,
undated 
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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 
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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 
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