Paul A. Samuelson papers, 1933-2010 and undated
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- Samuelson, Paul A. (Paul Anthony), 1915-2009, Samuelson, Paul A. (Paul Anthony), 1915-2009, and Samuelson, Paul A. (Paul Anthony), 1915-2009
- Paul A. Samuelson was a Nobel Prize-winning economist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Paul Samuelson papers span the years 1933 to 2010 and cover nearly all aspects of his long career. The collection is arranged in the following series: Audiovisual Materials, Awards, Committees and Projects, Correspondence, Printed Materials, Speeches and Interviews, Teaching Materials, and Unpublished Writings. Significant correspondents include Milton Friedman, Don Patinkin, and Robert Solow, and many other notable economists, Nobel prize winners, politicians, and scientists. Researchers will find materials representing Samuelson's work on diverse topics of economic theory, including the history of economic thought (post-Keynesian economics, neoclassical economics, and thinkers such as Marx, Sraffa and Ricardo), financial economics, growth theory, international finance, inflation, stability, welfare economics, post-World War economic policies and stabilization, stochastic analysis, utility, monetary policy, Marxist economics, biological economics - including population and gender studies, thermodynamics, and mathematical economics. Finally, the Samuelson Papers also document his strong contributions to the U.S. government, especially his work for the Federal Reserve, and to federally-funded projects, professional committees and boards, and organizations and societies, beginning in the 1940s and continuing throughout his career.
119 Linear Feet
Approx. 88,950 Items
- Material in English
- Collection ID:
- Scope and Content:
The Paul A. Samuelson Papers span the years 1933 to 2010, and cover nearly all aspects of his long career. Materials are arranged in the original order maintained by Samuelson, and include his professional correspondence files; unpublished writings, notes, drafts and fragments; audiovisual materials; documents regarding awards, including the Nobel Prize; files relating to various grants, committees, and projects; teaching materials from his years at MIT; files of speeches; and publication files, including professional and mainstream media articles. Significant correspondents include Milton Friedman, Don Patinkin, and Robert Solow, as well as many other notable economists, Nobel prize winners, politicians, and scientists. Material can also be found on economic programs at institutions such as MIT, where Samuelson established a renowned economics faculty. Researchers will find materials representing Samuelson's work on diverse topics of economic theory, including the history of economic thought (post-Keynesian economics, neoclassical economics, and thinkers such as Marx, Sraffa and Ricardo), financial economics, growth theory, international finance, inflation, stability, welfare economics, post-World War economic policies and stabilization, stochastic analysis, utility, monetary policy, Marxist economics, biological economics - including population and gender studies, thermodynamics, and mathematical economics. Samuelson's insights on many of these subjects serve as organizational themes for large sections in the Unpublished Writings Series in the collection. Finally, the Samuelson Papers also document his strong contributions to the U.S. government, especially his work for the Federal Reserve, and to federally-funded projects, professional committees and boards, and organizations and societies, beginning in the 1940s and continuing throughout his career.
The Correspondence Series spans Samuelson's entire career, beginning in the 1930s. It consists mainly of professional exchanges with his colleagues in the U.S. and other countries. There are also files of correspondence with a wide variety of political and academic figures, presses, and media organizations. There is frequent correspondence with President Kennedy, for whom he was an economic advisor. Besides the named folders that represent notable economists such as Milton Friedman, John Kenneth Galbraith, Franco Modigliani, Don Patinkin, and Robert Solow, there are general correspondence folders in which a variety of documents are chronologically arranged. There is also a large group of files relating to the publication of his textbooks. Additional correspondence can be found in almost all the other series. A more detailed documentation of the Correspondence Series and its correspondents can be found in the series description.
A large series of Unpublished Writings contains many folders of unpublished articles, extensive research notes, jotted-down insights, and other fragmentary writings. The earliest pieces appear to be a typescript of Samuelson's 1933 diary and writings on collective bargaining (1933-1934). The wide range of topics in economic theory as well as the history of economics reflects Samuelson's interests over many decades, beginning with his work on Marx and the Transformation Problem, and later on, focusing more specifically on financial economics. The unpublished writings also reveal that he also wrote extensively on population and gender studies, thermodynamics, and mathematics.
The equally large Printed Materials Series houses a nearly complete collection of Samuelson's published articles in addition to a few of his monographs. In some cases, article folders include extensive correspondence between Samuelson and his editors and publishers. There is a complete list of Samuelson's publications available to researchers in the library, but not every publication listed is present in the collection. Located in this series is a copy of the thesis that Samuelson wrote while he was at Harvard, which in 1947 was published as the well-known Foundations of Economic Analysis. Also present in this series are the many columns and articles he wrote for Newsweek in the 1960s and 1970s.
Other aspects of Samuelson's career can be found in course files which form the Teaching Materials Series, most of which contain reading lists and syllabi, and in the Committees and Projects Series, which contains information on his many consultancy roles, grant-funded projects, and professional service. Examples include projects for the Radiation Laboratory and the Rand Corporation, and contributions to government agencies such as the U.S. War Production Board and the Federal Reserve Board, as well as academic organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Science and the Econometric Society.
The smallest series of the collection, the Awards Series contains materials relating to Samuelson's Nobel Prize in Economics in 1970 and his Medal of Science award in 1996. Files contain congratulatory letters and telegrams, and his outgoing correspondence to subsequent Nobel Prize winners. In contrast to this small series, the large Speeches and Interviews Series houses paper drafts or transcripts of nearly all of Samuelson's public presentations, amounting to over 400 lectures, speeches, and interviews. Some of these can also be found on recorded media in the Audiovisual Series.
The Audiovisual Materials Series features 320 cassettes from the commercially produced "Economics Cassettes Series," a set of interviews with Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson on economics issues of the times. There are also a few tapes and cassettes of lectures and speeches by Samuelson. Items related to the topics and events represented in this series are also found in the Teaching Materials, Speeches and Interviews, and Awards Series. There is a DVD recording of the 2010 MIT memorial service which provides many images of Samuelson taken throughout his life, filling in for the absence of photographs in the collection. Original audiovisual materials are closed to use; listening or viewing copies may need to be made by staff for access. Please contact Research Services before coming to use this series.
- Biographical / Historical:
Chronology Date Event 1915, May 15 Born in Gary, Indiana, son of Russian-born parents Frank Samuelson and Ella Lipton 1932 Graduated Hyde Park High School, Chicago 1935 B.A., University of Chicago 1935-1937 Social Science Research Council Pre-doctoral Fellow 1936 M.A., Harvard University 1937-1940 Society of Fellows, Harvard University 1940-1944 Assistant Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1941 Ph.D. (David A. Wells Prize), Harvard University 1944-1947 Associate Professor of Economics, MIT 1947-1966 Professor of Economics, MIT 1948-1949 Guggenheim Fellow 1958-1959 Ford Faculty Research Fellow 1966-1986 Institute Professor, MIT 1970 Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science 1971 Albert Einstein Commemorative Award 1986-2009 Gordon Y. Billard Fellow, Institute Professor Emeritus, MIT 1990 Gold Scanno Prize in Economy, Naples, Italy 1991 MIT established Paul A. Samuelson Professorship in Economics 1996 Awarded National Medal of Science 2009, Dececember 13 Died, Belmont, Massachusetts
- Acquisition Information:
- The Paul A. Samuelson papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift in 2010 and 2011.
- Processing information:
Accessioned and described by Meghan Lyon, Sept. 2010.
Fully processed by José Edwards, Carrie Mills, Muhammad Shehryar, and Mark Wilson, July 2011.
Encoded by José Edwards, Paula Jeannet, Carrie Mills, Muhammad Shehryar, and Mark Wilson, August 2011.
Additionally processed by Hyeeyoung Kim, October 2017.
Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2010-0147, 2010-0180, 2010-0228, 2011-0009, 2011-0044, 2011-0070.
Organized into the following series: Audiovisual Material, Awards, Committees and Projects, Correspondence, Printed Material, Speeches and Interviews, Teaching Material, and Unpublished Writings.
- Physical Location:
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Related Material:
The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University also holds many of Samuelson's printed materials and textbooks.
- Economists' Papers Project (Many of the economists present in Samuelson's papers have deposited their own professional papers in the library: these include Arrow, Bronfenbrenner, Burns, Domar, Georgescu-Roegen, Metzler, Modigliani, Morgernstern, Patinkin, Perlman, and Solow, and S. Weintraub.) — David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Milton Friedman Economics Cassette Series — Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
Monetary policy -- Econometric models
Economics -- History -- 20th century
Economists -- Correspondence
Economists -- Methodology
Economists -- United States
Nobel Prize winners
Neoclassical school of economics
Public goods -- Econometric models
Neoclassical school of economics -- History
Monetary policy -- United States
World War, 1939-1945 -- Economic aspects
Inflation -- Econometric models
Human biology -- Economic aspects
Economics -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Economics
Friedman, Milton, 1912-2006
Marx, Karl, 1818-1883
Ricardo, David, 1772-1823
Samuelson, Paul A. (Paul Anthony), 1915-2009
Solow, Robert M.
United States -- Economic policy
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1945-
Using These Materials
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
Electronic records in this collection have been migrated to a library server and digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room. To request access, please contact Research Services before coming to use these records.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
[Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies. Please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection.]
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
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- PREFERRED CITATION:
[Identification of item], Paul A. Samuelson papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.