Some unpublished documents of Kurt Gödel


Protokolle notebook, 1937–38

Box 6c, folder 81, Kurt Gödel Papers, the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA, on deposit at Princeton University Library.

With support from a grant by the Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich, I was able to have this notebook transcribed by an expert in Gabelsberger stenography, Dr. Erich Ruff, with an English translation by Prof. Marilya Veteto Reese. I also would like to express my deep thanks to Dr. Christian Fleck of the University of Graz for supporting my grant application and facilitating the project.

The transcription and translation of a shorthand text are inescapably works in progress, and I welcome corrections and suggestions.

Lecture to the Philosophical Society of New York University, April 18, 1934

Box 7b, folder 30, Kurt Gödel Papers, the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA, on deposit at Princeton University Library

Gödel’s invited talk to the NYU Philosophical Society is the clearest explanation I have seen anywhere of his famous Incompleteness Theorem. It remains however unpublished, even virtually unknown. Of particular interest are the introductory pages where he lays out the basic concept and approach of his theorem with great simplicity and clarity for a general audience.

Selected family letters of Kurt Gödel, 1940–1975

In the course of my research I worked with Dr. Marilya Veteto Reese to translate into English all 300 or so of Gödel’s letters to his family. The selection presented here captures his gentle humor and great human kindness as he speaks about life at the Intitute for Advanced Study, friendship with Einstein, interests ranging from Goethe and Shakespeare to Snow White and Skee-Ball, religious views, and at times very odd ideas about events and the real world—well reflecting his friend Oskar Morgenstern’s assessment, “He is such a strange mix of depth and otherworldliness.”

We are currently exploring several options to make the entire set of translated letters available simultaneously with the publication of my biography.

Gödel speaks!

The only known extant recording of Gödel's voice, a birthday greeting he made in 1949 for his mother

Credits
Images of documents: (1) and (2) Kurt Gödel Papers, the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA, on deposit at Princeton University Library; (3) Briefe von Kurt Gödel, Digital Wienbibliothek
Sound recording: Kurt Gödel – Ein mathematischer Mythos, DVD video, Österreichischer Rundfunk, 1986