Science and Survival: Digitizing the Papers of Georg and Max Bredig.

The Science History Institute has been awarded a $198,454 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) for the project Science and Survival: Digitizing the Papers of Georg and Max Bredig. This collection was smuggled out of Nazi Germany and allows to tell the story of a noted German Jewish Scientist’s rise to prominence and his family’s struggle to survive the holocaust.

Unlike many other archival collections of German Jewish scientists that were seized and destroyed by the Nazis, Georg Bredig’s papers miraculously indeed survived. This award will be used to catalogue, translate, digitize, and make publicly accessible nearly 3,000 letters, photographs, and other documents from this newly rediscovered trove of rare historic material as well as the related war-time papers of Max Bredig, Georg’s son.

Georg Bredig (1868–1944) was a pioneering scientist in the field of physical chemistry who held important academic positions until his career was ended by the Nazis in 1933. The pre-1933 materials detail Bredig’s early scientific training and his rise to international prominence during the golden age of German science. The collection contains extensive correspondence with many Nobel laureates in chemistry and physics, including Svante Arrhenius, Wilhelm Ostwald, Niels Bohr, Ernst Rutherford, Fritz Haber, Max Planck, Walther Nernst, and Harold Urey. It is also a trove of portrait and group pictures, with all individuals meticulously identified by Georg Bredig.

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