Israel’s Hebrew University says it has obtained a “magnificent” collection of 110 manuscript pages written by Albert Einstein, many of which it said had never been shown in public before.
Hebrew University said it had received the papers as a donation to its 80,000-item Albert Einstein Archives from a foundation in Chicago after they were purchased from a private collector in North Carolina.
“These papers reflect the way Einstein was thinking, the way Einstein was working. Most of them, in his handwriting, are mathematical calculations with very little text,” said Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, academic adviser to the archives.
“They are summaries of his notes; whenever something struck him, a new idea, he sat down immediately and scribbled it, looking for its consequences,” Gutfreund told Reuters.
Among the documents are Einstein’s correspondences with lifelong friend Michele Besso. In one letter, Einstein praises Besso, a Jew who converted to Christianity, for learning Hebrew. Einstein wrote that he “must feel ashamed” for not speaking Hebrew, “but I prefer to feel ashamed than to learn it.”
Einstein won the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics. He died in New Jersey in 1955.