Forman Collection

In 2011, historian of science Paul Forman donated a collection of historic German texts to the Niels Bohr Library and Archives. Forman’s 1971 “Forman thesis” argued that the culture of Weimar Germany greatly influenced early interpretations of quantum mechanics. His thesis was significant for challenging established notions of rationalist philosophies of science, as well as challenging the notion of German national identity. Forman’s donation, which includes important and rare German mechanics texts from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is a critical and exciting documentation of his thesis. Of additional interest are Forman’s useful and careful annotations throughout the collection. The texts are in various physical conditions, and many are unfortunately printed on acidic and brittle wood-pulp paper.