What we saw when we went to the Albert Einstein Archives
While tours are available to anyone, advance notice is needed. Luckily, we made plans.
If you walked into Albert Einstein's house, headed into his library and perused the books lining the shelves, you might be surprised at what you find. Sure, there are physics books, but there's also a coffee table book of photos from Australia, a set of books by Leo Tolstoy and a history of Western Philosophy. Oh, and also a book called "Prison and Chocolate Cake."
All of these books, and much more, are on display at the official Albert Einstein archives located on the picturesque campus of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Einstein was a founder of Hebrew University, a member of its Board of Governors and the chairman of its Academic Committee. He bequeathed to the university 80,000 documents, which span the spectrum of both his personal and professional life.
The archives are open to the public and to researchers, by appointment only. Fortunately, we were in the area and had planned ahead. The curator welcomed us and showed us around.
Biographer Walter Isaacson – who's also written books about Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin – spent time poring over documents in Israel while writing his seminal 2007 biography of Albert Einstein. Archivists here helped him sift through everything from diary entries to the original theory of relativity.
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Related Topics: Albert Einstein