As of December, 2013, some boxes of the Veblen's personal papers and keepsakes have found a new home in the archives of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). Found in the Veblen's attic after their passing, these were items that for whatever reason didn't go directly to the IAS archives or to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. They resided for several decades in a county building in Trenton. Some items were lost to water damage when a pipe broke. Here are a few photos from a visit I organized with county and Institute archive staff two years ago to view the items.
succinct summary of Oswald Veblen's life and career at RobertNowlan.com, "In his last years, he was partially blind, leading him to develop devices to help him and others with similar reading problems." Even while partially blind, Veblen played the visionary.
The county parks commission made the donation of the boxes of Veblen possessions to IAS official at its Dec. 18 meeting, which I heard about thanks to a friend. Agenda item #13:
13) MERCER COUNTY PARK COMMISSION AUTHORIZES THE DONATION OF THE VEBLEN FAMILY PERSONAL PROPERTY TO THE INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY, THE SHELBY WHITE AND LEON LEVY ARCHIVES CENTER, HISTORICAL STUDIES-SOCIAL SCIENCE LIBRARY LOCATED IN PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
A pleasant surprise: On my daughter's 8th grade math teacher's webpage at Princeton's JW Middle School, I found a quote:
"Mathematics is one of the essential emanations of the human spirit, a thing to be valued in and for itself, like art or poetry."Nice sentiment, I thought, then looked at who the quote was by: Oswald Veblen. It's worth noting that the Institute for Advanced Study, the formation of which had so much to do with Veblen's vision, has long integrated the arts into its programming, particularly music. The Veblens' aesthetic sense, clearly shown in their love of nature, extended to his view of mathematics as well.