University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the John Von Neumann Collection, 1913-1992



Descriptive Summary

Creator Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957
Title John Von Neumann Collection
Dates: 1913-1925, 1942-1956, 1989-1992
Abstract The John von Neumann Collection consists of photographs and photographic reproductions, creative works (article, book and speech), genealogy materials, and audio material (cassette tape).
Accession No. 2003-096
Extent 5 inches
Language Materials written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

John (Johann) Louis von Neumann (1903-1957) was born in Budapest and showed early signs of being a child prodigy. He entered the University of Budapest in 1921, but also attended the University of Berlin and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology before obtaining a degree in chemical engineering in 1925. He earned his Doctorate in Mathematics from the University of Budapest in 1927. After graduation, he worked at the University of Berlin before becoming a visiting professor to Princeton from 1930-1953. Concurrent with his time at Princeton was the development of the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), of which he was an active participant working with the creation of an IAS computer. He became a U.S. citizen in the 1930s. His interests and fields of study included early computers and computing, hydrodynamics, ballistics, meteorology, statistics, quantum theory, and game theory (which he founded). His knowledge and expertise in these areas allowed him to assist the U. S. government during WWII, including working with the Los Alamos National Laboratory (the Manhattan Project), and he continued with this work even after the war. During the 1950s, Von Neumann was employed as a consultant with IBM; his only patent was filed for them in 1954.


Scope and Contents

The John von Neumann Collection consists of photographs and photographic reproductions, creative works (article, book and speech), genealogy materials, and audio material (cassette tape). These materials were donated to the Briscoe Center for American History by von Neumann's brother and consist of mostly family or genealogy materials, dedications, and ceremonial addresses. In addition, four IAS reprints from the 1940s were transferred to this collection from the Robert E. Greenwood Papers.

Forms part of the Archives of American Mathematics.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions

A portion of this collection is stored remotely at CDL. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.


Index Terms

Subjects
Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957
Vonneuman, Nicholas A., 1911-
International Business Machines Corporation
Genealogy

Related Material

John Von Neumann papers, 1912-1996, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John Von Neumann Collection, 1913-1992, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Processing note:

John von Neumann's brother, Nicholas A. Vonneuman, developed the checklist to this collection.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

At CDL (offsite):

Box
AAM-MNR/3 Father's "margittai" nobility document by Franz Joseph, [full color duplication], with English abstract, and coat of arms, [full color duplication], 1913
Von Neumann's only patent, assigned to IBM, 1954
Family trees, compiled by Nicholas A. Vonneuman, 1989
Nicholas A. Vonneuman's address to MIT, "The Philosophical Legacy of John Von Neumann," September 21, 1992
John von Neumann as seen by his brother, by Nicholas A. Vonneumann, 1991
"Can we survive technology?," by John von Neumann, Fortune, June 1955
April 13, 1955 Hungarian Free Radio interview transcript [in Hungarian, see cassette below], by Nicholas A. Vonneuman, October 22, 1989
"Allies intervention in Eastern Europe Part II: Socialism in Two Countries, 1918/1919," by Leslie C. Tihany, [relevant for purpose of evaluating 1920s political environment in Hungary], 1987
Publications [separated from the Robert E. Greenwood Papers]:
Bargmann, V., D. Montgomery, and J. von Neumann, Solution of Linear Systems of High Order, 1946
Burks, Arthur W., Herman H. Goldstine, and John von Neumann, Preliminary Discussion of the Logical Design of an Electronic Computing Instrument, Part 1, Volume 1, Princeton, New Jersey: Institute for Advanced Study 1946
Goldstine, Herman H., and John von Neumann, Planning and Coding of Problems for an Electronic Computing Instrument, Part 2, Volume 1, 2, and 3, Princeton, New Jersey: Institute for Advanced Study 1947



 

At SRH (onsite):

Box
4RM25c Cassette tape including the NORC-IBM dedication address (21 minutes, December 2, 1954), and the Hungarian Free Radio Interview (13 minutes, April 13, 1955)
Box
4RM51 White House "Freedom Medal" ceremony, 1956
Institute of Advanced Studies dedication ceremony, 1952
Stained glass window from Budapest that contains [von Neumann] family symbols, with John von Neumann represented by the rooster, glass and image undated
Portrait of von Neumann, 1925
Von Neumann and his cousin Lili, 1915
Von Neumann's mother (Margaret) and brother (Nicholas A.), [ca. 1952]
Nicholas in U. S. Army, [ca. 1942-1945]
Maternal grandfather, paternal grandfather, paternal aunt, father's (Neumann Miksa, 1873-1928) tombstone in Budapest Jewish Cemetery, undated
Portrait of Neumann Miksa by Cezar Kunwald, Aquarell, [ca. 1925]