Finding aid for the Otto Neugebauer papers

Summary Information

Repository

Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center, Institute for Advanced Study, Historical Studies-Social Science Library, Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540

Creator
Neugebauer, O. (Otto), 1899-1990
Title
Otto Neugebauer papers
ID
MEM.NEUGEBAUER
Date [inclusive]
1917-1990
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1921-1955
Extent
13.25 linear feet (in 14 boxes)
Language
German
Language of Materials note
Materials in German and English.

Preferred Citation note

The suggested citation for the material is "Otto Neugebauer papers, Box [box number], Courtesy of The Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA."

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Biographical/Historical note

Otto Neugebauer was born on May 26, 1899 in Innsbruck, Austria. His parents died when he was young and he was raised by an uncle. He attended Gymnasium in Graz, then served in the Austrian army upon graduation in 1917. During World War I he spent a year in an Italian prisoner-of-war camp, where he met Ludwig Wittgenstein. From 1919 to 1921 he studied electrical engineering and physics at the University of Graz. He transferred to the University of Munich in 1921, where he studied with physicist Arnold Sommerfeld and mathematician Arthur Rosenthal. He then moved to the University of Göttingen, where he assisted mathematician Richard Courant and supervised the university's mathematical reading room. (Neugebauer later designed Göttingen's new mathematical institute, built in 1929.) He completed his Ph.D. on Egpytian fractions in 1926, and received his venia legendi in 1927. He also received an Ll.D. from St. Andrews University in Scotland in 1938.

He remained at Göttingen, was appointed an associate professor in 1932, and named acting director of the mathematical institute in 1933, in the wake of the firing of the Jewish mathematican Courant by the Nazi regime. Neugebauer himself was later fired after refusing to take the Nazi loyalty oath. Harald Bohr arranged for Neugebauer to become a professor at the University of Copenhagen, where he remained until 1939. Neugebauer was then brought to Brown University in the United States to edit a new journal titled
Mathematical Reviews.
 Mathematical Reviews was modeled on the influential
 Zentralblatt für Mathematik und ihre Grenzgebiete, which Neugebauer had founded in 1931 and edited until the influence of Nazi policies on the editorial process caused him to resign in protest in 1938. He continued with the new journal until 1948.

In 1945 he and his collaborator Abraham Sachs were invited by Hermann Weyl to spend the year as members of the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study. This was the beginning of Neugebauer's long association with the Institute. He returned as a member for the second semester of the 1949-1950 academic year, then was offered a five-year membership beginning with the 1950-1951 year. Duties at Brown prevented him from accepting fully, but he made arrangements to be at the Institute "for one term every second year." In later years, he was in residence a great deal more often than the original agreement. While he retired from Brown in 1969, he held a permanent appointment at the Institute from 1980 until his death. Unusually, he was active in three schools, the School of Mathematics, the School of Humanistic Studies (later Historical Studies), and the School of Natural Sciences during his long affiliation with the Institute.

Neugebauer was a prolific writer, and published on a range of topics, including Babylonian mathematics, mediaeval astronomy, and chronology. Among his books were the three-volume
A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy (1975), the three-volume
 Astronomical Cuneiform Texts (1955), and
 The Exact Sciences in Antiquity (1951, with a second edition in 1957). Near the end of his career his notes on Copernicus' "De Revolutionibus" were published in collaboration with Noel Swerdlow. He received many awards and honors, including the Balzan Prize (1986) and the Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society (1987), and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, among other international affiliations.

He married Grete Bruck, a fellow mathematics student, in 1927. They had two children, a daughter, Margo, and a son, Gerald.

Neugebauer died on February 19, 1990.

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Scope and Contents note

The Otto Neugebauer papers consist largely of his notebooks on a range of topics. The collection also contains the manuscript and related correspondence for
Astronomical Cuneiform Texts, one diary, and correspondence with Edward S. Kennedy.

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Arrangement note

The collection has been arranged into five series: Notebooks,
Astronomical Cuneiform Texts, Copernicus Notes, Diary and Correspondence, and Publications.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open without restriction.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Neugebauer left instructions that the bulk of his library be left to the Institute for Advanced Study for disposition after his death. The notebooks were found among the items in his library. He had previously donated the most of the volumes of publications (library acquisition 84-B1019), with one small volume added by the Historical Studies-Social Science Library in 1993. The files related to Astronomical Cuneiform Texts and Copernicus notes were donated by John P. Britton on behalf of the family of Asger Aaboe in 2007. (Neugebauer had given the materials to Aaboe for disposition after his death.) The diary and correspondence with Edward S. Kennedy were donated by Kennedy in 1997.

Processing Information note

The materials were inventoried in 2009. The finding aid was written by Christine Di Bella in 2009.

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Kennedy, E. S. (Edward Stewart), 1912-

Subject(s)

  • Mathematics, Ancient

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Collection Inventory

Notebooks 1910-1951   9.5 linear feet

Scope and Contents note

The Notebooks series consists of lecture notes and notes Neugebauer compiled on various subjects. The lecture notes mainly concern courses at the University of Munich and University of Göttingen given by such eminent mathematicians as Edmund Landau, Richard Courant, Theodor Radakovic, Roland Weitzenböck and Emmy Noether. Photocopies are also present for a number of the notebooks. A select number of these have been digitized and are available in PDF format. (Adobe Acrobat Reader or the equivalent is necessary to view these files.) The PDF files are linked from the entry in the finding aid when they are available.

Box

Geschichte der Geometrie bis Euclid 1929 

1

Astonomie und geschichte des Altertums 1938 

1

Vorlesungen des babylonische Astronomie, teil 1 1937 

1

Vorgriechische Mathematik 1934 

Existence and Location of Copies note

also available as photocopies in Box 10

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/617]

1

Ausg Kapitel des Geschichte 1932-1933 

1

Geschichte der Antiken Mathematik nach Euclid 1932 

1

Darstellende Geometrie 1929-1930 

1

Geschichte der vorgriechische Mathematik 1928 

1

Geschichte des antichen Mathematik 1930-31 

1

[Notebook with various documents relating to early Greek Astronomy] 

1

Babylonische Rechentabellen undated 

Scope and Contents note

also available as photocopies in Box 8

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/560]

1

Bound offprint from Transactions of the American Phil. Soc. (see also photocopy in Box 10 under title: Egyptian Planetary Texts, On Some Astronomical Papyri and Related Problems of Ancient Geograpy (from Transactions of the American Philosophical Society) v. 32:2 

1

Babylonische Astronomie 1936 

1

w/ Vorlesungen uber 

1

Ancient Astronomy III, Babyl., Planet theory (chap. III-IV) 

1

Ancient Astronomy IV, Egypt, Early Greek (chap. III-IV) 

1

Ancient Astronomy V, Roman, Imperial Period (chap. V) 

2

Ancient Astronomy VI:1, India (chap. VI) 

2

Ancient Astronomy VI:2, Islam, Byzantium (chap. VII) 

2

Ancient Astronomy VII, Middle Ages, appendices (chap. VIII-IX, App.) 

2

India Ia which includes N's notes on The Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata / Clark, Chicago 1930. 

2

(India Ib) Panca-Siddhantika by Varahamihira / ed. Thibant - Driridi (1889) [appears to be N's notes] 

2

Varahamihira Brhatsamhita / Kern. Varahamihira Brhatjatakia /Sastri. 1929. notes on (note this item missing from box--9.09) 

2

incomplete MSS of Kern. John Warren Kala sankalita. 1825. and 4 other items (note this item missing from box--9.09) 

2

Catalogue of topics v. I, A-F 

2

Catalogue of topics v. II, G-Z 

2

UAA I bis UAA III: Untersuchungen zur Antiken Astronomie 1937 (see also photocopy in Box 9 under title: Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik Astronomie und Physik) 

2

Ancient Astronomy I:1 Almagest, lunar theory (A history of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy, chapter 1) 

3

Ancient Astronomy I:2 Almagest, planets 

3

Ancient Astronomy II Babyl. lunar theory (chapter 2 

3

History of Mathematics II (Select chapters in the History of Mathematics 1950-1951) 

3

chap. 1 Numbers, chap. 2 Theory of numbers. 

3

History of Mathematics. Notes. 

3

History of science and technology (with chapters on water, city planning, Masses, vault and cupola 

3

Islam IIa. al-Khawrizmi. text. (the Zig of al-Khwanizmi: translated from the Arabic by Atheland of Bath) 

3

Ancient Chronology : an introduction to Methods and problems of Astronomical Chronology. (in two binders) 

Existence and Location of Copies note

in 2 binders; also available as photocopies in Box 8

(binder 1)

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/787]

(binder 2)

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/979]

3

Almagest / Ptolemy. I: books I to IV 

4

Almagest / Ptolemy. II: books V and VI 

4

Almagest / Ptolemy. III: books VII to XII 

4

Black Books I and 2 (Babylonische Mondtheorie Heft 1-2) 

4

Black Books 3 (Babylonische Mondtheorie Heft 3) 

4

Select chapters in the history of Mathematics (1948/49) 

4

India III. Brahmagupta, Prthudaka, Parahitaganita, etc. 

4

Sphaerica. Autolycus. Euclid. 

4

Sphaerica. Theodosius. 

4

Sphaerica. Theod. Hab. Pappus VI 

4

Varia. Astron. I. 

5

Varia. Astron. 2. 

5

Varia. Astron. 3. 

5

Varia. Astron. 4. 

5

Handy tables which form a portion of the preceding title, 2 binders. 

5

Ptolemaeus Opera Minora. (Planisphaerium, Analemma, Phases of the fixed stars, Planetary Hypothesis 

5

(book 1) and canobic inscriptions, final ms., Ptolemy Tetrabiblos) 

5

India II. Surya Siddhanta (Translator Burgess 

5

Syriac (Bar Hebraeus, L'ascension de l'esprit/ F. Nau, transl. Paris : 1899. Severus Sebokht. Constellations 

5

Rev. de l'Orient Chretien 15, 1910 p. 227 

5

Copernicus De Revolutionibus, I-IV 

6

Copernicus De Revolutionibus, V, VI 

6

Copernicus Residua 

6

Minor Authors (Achilles; Aristarchus; Archimedes, Sand Reckoner; Chalcidius; Cleomedes; Geminus; Philoponus; Severus Sebokht; Theon Smyrnaeus) 

6

Pappus of Alexandria, Commentary to Book IV of the Almagest 

6

Vettius Valens 

6

Vorlesung uber Analytische Geometrie 1926 

7

Analytische Geometrie I, II 1931-1932 

7

Landau, Zahlentheorie - I. Hauptteil. Die Riemannsche Zeta-Funktion 

7

Landau, Zahlentheorie - II. Hauptteil. Theorie der Gitterpunkte 

7

Warmelehre, Vorlesungen von Prof. Radakovic 

7

Vorlesungen uber Relativitats Theorie, von Prof. Radakovic und Prof. Weitzenbock 

7

Elektrizitat, Vorlesungen von Prof. Radakovic 

7

Theorie der Strahlung, Vorlesungen von Prof. Radakovic 

7

Landau, Trigonometrische Reihen 1922-1923 

7

Landau, Picardseher Satz 

7

Landau, Ganze Transcendente Funktionen 1922-1923 

7

Dampfuronchinen? Theorie (3 volumes) 

7

Quantenmechanik der Atommodelle, Dr. Herzfeld 1921-1922 

7

Sommerfeld, ?? aus der Maxwellichen Theorie 1921-1922 

7

Rosenthal, Theorie der rullen Funktionen 1921-1922 

7

Hilbert, Statistische Methoden and Born, Kinetische Theorie der Materie 

7

E. Noether, Algebraische Funktionen (title page in second volume) 1925 

7

Herglotz, Vorlesungen uber Himmelsmechanik 1926-1927 

7

Seminar fur Theoretische Physik, Prof. Radakovic 1920 

7

Vorlesungen uber Differentialgleichungen und mehrfache Integrale, Prof. Weitzenbock, and Courant, Partialle Differentialgleichungen 1920-1922 

7

Unlabeled notebook 

7

Photocopies 

Box

Planisphaerium 1948 

8

Handy Tables - 1. Tables 

8

Handy Tables - 2. Comm. 

8

Chronology I 

Existence and Location of Copies note

also available electronically in PDF format

8

History of Mathematics I 

8

History of Mathematics II 

8

History of Science & Technology 

8

History of Mathematics Notes 

8

Ancient Astronomy III 

8

Chronology II 

Existence and Location of Copies note

also available electronically in PDF format

8

Ancient Astronomy I, 1 

8

Ancient Astronomy I, 2 

8

Ancient Astronomy II 

8

Ancient Astronomy IV 

8

Ancient Astronomy V 

8

Rechentabellen zur sumerisch-akkadischen Mathematik 

Existence and Location of Copies note

also available electronically in PDF format

8

Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik Astronomie und Physik (see also Box 2 under title: UAA I bis UAA III: Untersuchungen zur Antiken Astronomie 1937) 

9

Early Greek Astronomy 

9

Ancient Astronomy VI, 1 

9

Ancient Astronomy VI, 2 

9

Sphaerica - Autolycus, Euclid 

9

Sphaerica - Theodosius 

9

Almagest I-IV 

9

Ptolemy - Almagest II - Books V and VI 

9

Ptolemy - Almagest III - Books VI-XIII 

9

Vorlesungen uber babylonische Astronomie - Teil II 1937 

10

Vorlesungen uber babylonische Astronomie - Teil I - Neumond-Rechnung 1936 

10

Vorlesungen uber babylonische Astronomie - Teil I - Die Berechnung der Neumonde 1936 

10

Uber vorgriedische Mathematik 1934 

Existence and Location of Copies note

also available electronically in PDF format

10

Egyptian Planetary Texts, On Some Astronomical Papyri and Related Problems of Ancient Geograpy (from Transactions of the American Philosophical Society) (see also Box 1 under title : Bound offprint from Transactions of the American Phil. Soc. ) 1942 

10

Astronomie und fuchihte des Altertums 1938 

10

Geschichte der antiken Mathematik nach Euklid 1932 

10

Unlabeled 

10

Geschichte der antiken Mathematik 1930-1931 

10

Ausgwahlte Kapitel der Geschichte der antiken Mathematik 1932-1933 

10

Geschichte der Geometrie bis Euklid 1929 

10

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Astronomical Cuneiform Texts 1954-1955   1.25 linear feet

Scope and Contents note

The
Astronomical Cuneiform Texts series contains correspondence, some reviews, and the full manuscript of this three-volume book published by Lund Humphries in 1955. The manuscript includes chapters, figures, and tables.

Box

Correspondence with "Humperdink" (Lund Humphries, publisher) to August 31, 1954 

11

Correspondence with "Humperdink" (Lund Humphries, publisher) September 1 to December 31, 1954 

11

Correspondence with "Humperdink" (Lund Humphries, publisher) 1955 

11

Reviews 1955 

11

Printed Manuscript 1954 

11
Box

General Introduction 

11

Indices and Bibliography 

11

Moon, Introduction 

11

Planets, Ephemerides 

11

Moon, Syst. A 

11

Moon, Syst. B 

11

Moon, Procedure Texts 

11

Planets, Introduction 

11

Part III, Planets - Introduction 

11

Part III, Planets - Ephemerides 

11

Part III, Planets - VI. Procedure Texts 

11

Part IV - Fragmentary and Unidentified Texts 

11

Part V - Indices and Bibliography 

11

Plates I - Moon A 

11

Plates I - Moon B 

11

Plates II - Planets 

11

Plates III - Fragments 

11

Plates IV - Copies 

11

Plates V - Photographs 

11

Figures 

11

Tables to be inserted in text 

11

Supplem. Material - Pinches (crossed out) 

11

Supplem. Material - unidentified symbol? (crossed out) 

11

Plates I - Moon A 

11

Plates I - Moon B 

11

Plates II - Planets 

11

Plates III - Fragments 

11

Plates IV - Copies 

11

Plates V - Photographs 

11

Planets - Procedure Texts 

11

Tables to be inserted in text 

11

Figures 

11

Printed Tables and Figures 

11

Part I - General Introduction 

11

Part II, Moon - Introduction 

11

Part II, Moon - Ch. I. Syst. A 

11

Part II, Chapter II - Moon System B 

11

Part II, Moon - Procedure Texts 

11

Fragments 

11

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Copernicus Notes   0.75 linear feet

Scope and Contents note

The Copernicus Notes series contains Neugebauer's handwritten notes and typed manuscripts related to Copernicus' De Revolutionibus. Many of these were incorporated into Neugebauer and Noel M. Swerdlow's 1984 volume
Mathematical astronomy in Copernicus's De revolutionibus.

Box

CuNi - Notes, Tables, Figures 

12

Schweissloch - CuNi - Ch. 2-4 

12

CuNi 

12

Cu-Ni - Ch. 5 

12

Kupfer-Nickel - First Version (O.N.) - Text, Figures 

12

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Diary and Correspondence 1917-1990   0.5 linear feet

Scope and Contents note

The series consists of a diary compiled while Neugebauer was serving in the army in World War I, correspondence with Edward S. Kennedy from 1950-1990, and a folder labeled "Vortrag über A.R.T. und Weyl" which contains handwritten lecture notes in German. The correspondence is Kennedy's set of the decades long exchange between the two men, and is rich in both professional and personal details. (Note that it appears that these papers may have gotten wet at some point before they were donated, as many pages are stuck together at one corner.)

Box

Tagebuch 1917-1919 

Tagebuch - pages 58 to 72, 1919

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/8549]

Tagebuch - excerpts, 1917-1919

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/355]

13

E. S. Kennedy correspondence 1950-1965 

13

E. S. Kennedy correspondence 1961-1976 

13

E. S. Kennedy correspondence 1975-1983 

13

E. S. Kennedy correspondence 1984-1990 

13

Vortrag uber A.R.T. und Weyl 1921 

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/1345]

13

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Publications 1925-1987   11 volumes

Scope and Contents note

The Publications series contains reprints and manuscripts for many of Neugebauer's articles, essays, and reviews. There are 11 volumes, and most are in chronological order, though volume 11 contains a variety of years. Volumes 1-4 have the title "Zur Geschichte der Mathematik." Volume 10 includes a bibliography.

Box

volume 1 1925-1927 

14

1. Rezension. Peet, The Rhind mathematical Papyrus (Matematisk Tidsskrift A 1925) 

2. Dissertation, Maschinschriftexemplar mit Bermerkungen von Sethe 

3. Anzeige der ägyptischen Bruchrechnung bei Springer 

4. Dissertation. Die Grundlagen der ägyptischen Bruchrechnung 

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/54926]

5. Über die Mathematik im alten Ägypten. Vortrag Kiel 11.12.26 

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/55000]

6. Über die Konstruktion von sp "Mal" im mathematischen Papyrus Rhind (Zeitschrft für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 62) 

7. Akademiegesuch für Rom, Februar 27 

8. Problemkreise der Mathematik in historischer Entwicklung (Phys. med. Ges. Würzburg Bd. 52) 

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/54945]

9. Über Geschichte der Mathematik (Universitätsbund Göttingen 9) 

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/54937]

9a. The History of Mathematics. Übers. v. Nr. 9 (1936) 

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/54968]

10. Zur Entstehung des Sexagesimalsystems (Abh. d. Ges. d. Wiss. Göttingen Math. Phys. Kl. NF 13, 1) 

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/55062]

11. Habilitationsgesuch Juni 27 

volume 2 1928-1931 

14

volume 3 1932-1935 

14

volume 4 1936-1937 

14

I. Allegemeines 

1. Nachruf Julius Stenzel. QS B 3 1935 

2. Rez. Tropfke, Gesch. d. Elementarmath. III (3), Naturwiss. 1937 

3. Res. Schmidt, Gesch. d. geodät. Instrumente, QS B 3, 1936 

4. Rez. Mette, Sphairopoiia., QS B B 3, 1936 

5. Rez. Osiris, Vol. 1., QS B 3, 1936 

6. Rez. Datta and Singh, Hist. of Hindu math. 1., QS B 3, 1936 

7. Rez. Colerus, Von Pythagoras bis Hilbert, Naturwiss. 1937 

II. Antike Mathematik 

7a. Russische Übersetzung von "Vorgriechische Mathematik" (1934). Moskau 1937 

8. Waschow, BM 34568. Aus MKT III, 1937 

9. Über babylonische Mathematik. Scientia 1937 

10. Matematiske Kileskrifttekster. Mat. Tidsskr. B 1936 

11. Vortrag Congresso Intern. degli Orientalisti Roma 1935 

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/54931]

12. Über griech. Math. u. ihr Verhältnis z. vorgriechischen. Oslo 1936 

[http://cdm.itg.ias.edu/cdm/ref/collection/coll12/id/54956]

13. Overleveringen af bab. mat. Metoder gennem graeske Skrifter. Mat. Tidsskr. B 1937 

14. Zur geometrischen Algebra. QS B 3, 1936 

15. MKT III, Prospekt. 1937 

16. MKT III, Zbl.-Referat 1937 

17. Rez. Bortolotti, Mat. babil. Scientia, Zbl. Referat 1937 

III. Antike Astronomie 

18. Res. Schaumberger, Erg. heft zu Kugler, Sternk. QS B 3, 1936 

19. Jahreszeiten u. Tageslängen i. d. bab. Astron. Osiris 2, 1936 

20. Über eine Untersuchungsmethode astron. Keilschrifttexte. ZDMG 90, 1936 

21. Untersuchungen z. antiken Astron. I. QS B 4, 1937 

22. Untersuchungen z. antiken Astron. II. QS B 4, 1937 

23. Untersuchungen z. antiken Astron. III. QS B 4, 1938 

24. Zum astron. Papyrus-Fragment Pap. Osl. 73. Symbolae Osloenses 17, 1937 

25, Rez. Rome, Commentaires de Pappus et de Théon. QS B 4, 1938 

26. Vortrag Akademie üb. MKT III und UAA II. 1937 

27. Vortrag Akademie üb. UAA III. 1937 

volume 5 1938-1942 

14

volume 6 1942-1949 

14

volume 7 1950-1956 

14

volume 8 1959-1964 

14

volume 9 1965-1975 

14

volume 10 1976-1984 

14

volume 11 1963-1987 

14

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Index of the Exact Sciences circa 1930-1990 

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