Online Segal Archive

Title: Guide to the Segal Archive

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Guide to the Segal Archive

The Segal Archive is housed at Boston University, at the Howard Gottlieb Archive Center.  The Center requests at least two business days' notice for an appointment and is open to researchers Monday through Friday, 9 AM - 3:45 PM.  The Center can be contacted via email at .
During the course of 2007 Alexander Levichev (hereinafter “AL”) sorted the contents of more than 70 boxes containing Professor Irving E. Segal’s effects and organized the information into two parts. Items in the Main Archive are stored in 36 stackable plastic file cabinets (which provides for durability and ease of transport) (hereinafter “Drawers”). The total number of pages contained in the Main Archive is estimated to be 60,000, including approximately 3,500 letters (both to and from Segal). About a dozen of Segal’s manuscripts were found, which are not included on the “List of Publications of Irving Segal” (, hereinafter “List” - see Appendix A. Currently, there is no separate file that lists the above-referenced manuscripts. Rather, the absence of a document from the List is noted in each instance. In some cases it is unclear whether the content of a manuscript has been incorporated into one of Segal’s publications from the List. In such cases, the phrase “NOT ON THE LIST?” appears.

In keeping with the Project Goals for this endeavor, a Secondary Archive was also created. It contains Segal’s (partial) library, Professor Steven Paneitz’s effects, and other individuals’ preprints (predominantly members of the mathematical and physics communities). These items are stored in 19 cardboard boxes. 

Once sorted, the Main Archive materials were organized into folders (and in many cases, subfolders) and stored in the 36 above-referenced Drawers. The Main Archive material is also available in two electronic forms: 36 Microsoft Word files (one file per Drawer); and a searchable MIT web database, which is available at: 

While the arrangement of the Main Archive materials is likely to be self-explanatory in most cases, two examples of data arrangement are provided below for reference purposes. The remainder of this Guide contains the Examples, which are followed by Comments, Appendix A (List of Abbreviations), Appendix B (Key to Descriptive Codes), and Notes.

Example 1. 
Drawer 1
From box 4:
File 1 (red) Misc Segal’s Pbns; 96a:“Is There a Non-trivial Universal Physics?” / pp.241-245 of the Proceedings of the 4th Intl Conf on the Unity of the Sciences, Nov 27-30, 1975, New York (NOT ON THE LIST); 75s (s – for shortened) in the OAR Research Review – version of #75 ? His CV (of about 1978), his list of pbns.
From box 1
File 2 (PNAS + COZZ)
Pub.226 drafts (Phenomenological Analysis of…)
Exchange with Dr. Cozarelli, Chairman, Ed B PNAS 1995. A (“positive”) letter from James Serrin.
File 3 “letters” (original letters 1995, 1992,1990: Prof. R.H.Dalitz, Prof. G.P.Efstathiou, cc W.Saunders, to and from Dr. H. Wahl, CERN – on spin 1 component of the neutral kaon). It has a paper by IES “Conformal Covariance and Fundamental Particles” (not on the List?)
1990, presumably, PANIC XII or PANIC XV – one more is “Fundamental Fields and the Physics of Extreme Distances”; both two pages, only, both are NOT ON THE LIST. To: Dr.Maarten Schmidt, Caltech (March 21, 1993). “A Problem in Conformal Analysis of the Wave Equation”(9/23/89). “The Large Bright Quasar Survey and Comparative Cosmology” – with Nicoll (10/2795) – Not on the List? Two postcards: from Yvonne-95, from Rhonda and Mike. 1995 letter from A. Lichnerowicz, from Daniel Weedman, rejection of “The Large Bright Quasar Survey and Comparative Cosmology.”
File 4, OTRC-1991: drafts of “Observational Truncation and Rational Cosmology” (with J.F.Nicoll) – not on the List?
File 5, Statistical Cosmology (88-89a draft of a book ?– 90pp). A few letters. Also, a 13 page autograph “The Basic Analytic Framework of Positivistic Analysis of the Redshift Phenomenon”
File 6, Se-1misc – 10/22/90 – “Some Interesting or Useful Aspects of Group Theory”
10/18/90 Normalizable Relativistic Particle States at Rest May Have Orbital Angular Momentum of the Order of 1. “Conformal Ext" # 223, early version. “Parallel Tests of Alternative Redshift-Distance Power Laws on the Basis of the QDOT IRAS Sample” (with Ni, Wu, Zhou) – Not on the List? A request from AOP to referee “On Accelerated Inertial Frames in Gravity and Electromagnetism” – by D.Lynden-Bell, J.Bicak, J.Katz

File 7, Proposal (95 or later) “Proposal for Research in Prototypical Problems in Applied Functional Analysis” –VERY INTERESTING (12pp and appendix). May 95 – “A Proposal for the Applications of Higher Math and Stat to the Theoretical Physics of Extreme Distances” (with MIT rejection letter). A letter to A. Levichev (June 19, 1995) – providing MIT support, without salary.
A few of Segal’s autographs (including May 25 request about A. Levichev), a letter from Z.Z.
File 8, SeNi95: “Apparent Nonlinearity of the Ultralocal Redshift-Distance Relation” – NOT ON THE LIST?
File 9, NAS+Cosmology-1995 Letters to: Marc Davis, Bruce Alberts, David Schramm, Jack Halpern, James Ebert, Frank Press, Francisco Ayala, Maxine Singer, Charles Townes, Steven Weinberg, Kenneth Fulton, N. Cozzarelli, Robert Adair, Peter Bickel, Kenneth Kellermann, Gian-Carlo Rota, Frank Press. Also – letters of 86-87: Gordon Baym, William Brace, Edward David, Jr., Herbert Scarf, Peter Lax. A letter from Press (Pres of the NAS), April 87. Maxine Singer (PNAS Ed.Board Chairman)
Example 2.
Drawer – 33 a, ax, t, tx. Box 51 (cont.)
File 1 (blue). “Hille Paper ‘86” or 1980, 15 pages; 20 more pages put into it from box 51, contain “Estimation of Peculiar Motion/Motion of Sun/…” *Five thin folders* “Constructive approach to nonlinear QFT,” “Spinors, Cosmology, EP – 7/76,” “Functional integration and interacting QF,” “Analytic Algebras” (old, au, 40 pp.), “Recent work on C* alg”(old), 1974, 1976; 100pp. “Early versions of phen. analysis” (# 94, 1975, with JFN) t 60. *Loose work, docs* 1955, au, mostly, 40pp. *Loose work, au,* 1956, contains “The mathematical ??? of coupling constant,” many other titles, 60. 
File 2 (red). “A variant of special relativity & extragalactic astronomy” (1974, final?) draft of # 91, tx, 128pp. Condensation of book material for A. & A.” t 150. *Loose docs* ## 137, 138 related. “groups of transformations” 1950, 30. *Four thin folders* astrostatistics, UROP, other; 60pp. 
File 3 (yellow). *Thick untitled folder* (1959?) has “Notes for course on Fourier transforms” and “Foundations of Lie Groups” (with a 1946 letter from P. Scmidt) inside, 200pp. “Some general principles of symmetry breaking and the nature of the weak interactions” 10/4/78, 13 tx pp.; other 1978 notes, 25 au pp. *Astronomy folder* 1979, 40. “Manifold” (= “The manifold of solutions…”) 1963 corr., 10 pp. *Not in a folder* 1972-1975 docs, 30. 
File 4 (blue). *Kaysen Case* Inst. Of Adv. Studies, 1973, 30 pp. “Corr., CA. 1969” has some 1968, up to 1971, 80 letters. “Corr. 1961 - 1962” 70 letters.
File 5 (red). “Grouped Corr. 1964 ” – 1965, 110 pp. *Misc. Corr.*1973 – 1974, 50. “Corr. 1971 - 1972” 30. “Misc. Corr. co. 1971 - 1972” 25. “Material for Albert ???” 1969, Nice Congress, 15 pp. and a brochure. “Dept. - 69” has 1966, 1968 too, 30. Box 52. 
File 6 “Zhou” 1988 – 1993, 60. 
File 7 “Levichev” 1992 – 1996, 80. The content of the following three files is from one (untitled) folder.
File 8 *1989 – 1996, I* has some 1985 - , letters, docs, 100pp. 
File 9 *1989 – 1996, II* has some 1988, letters, docs, 90pp. 
File 10 *1989 – 1996, III* 110 pp.

Comments on Examples 1 and 2. 

• One will note a certain change in format as the work proceeded. Namely, it became apparent that such a detailed description of the documents, as seen in Example 1, would have made it materially impossible to sort and record the contents of all 70 plus boxes within the time frame allotted for this Project. 

• Starting with Drawer 9, the following three patterns of folder titles have been used:
a) File 6 “Zhou” – Quotation marks indicate that “Zhou” was the original (IES handwritten, in most cases) label of the folder;
b) File 4 (blue). *Kaysen Case* - Asterisks indicate that the folder title has been assigned by AL (since either there was no original folder title, or the items were not in original folders, but rather loose in the box in question);
c) File Statistical Cosmology – no quotation marks indicates that it might be either the original label, or an indication of the content of the file (after Drawer 9 such a labeling pattern is a rare exception). 

• As one can see, each Drawer contains files (= folders). Each folder has a number. 
Starting with Drawer 6, possible document types (see Appendix B and/or Notes) of the 
items contained within are indicated (e.g. t, a, tx, etc.). Entries like “#75” or “96-related” 
refer to the List (see Appendix A). An entry “60pp” (or just “30” as in File 2 of Example 2) 
indicates an approximate number of pages in a folder (or in a subfolder).

Appendix A
List of Abbreviations

AL Alexander Levichev
IES Irving Ezra Segal
JFN Jeffrey F. Nicoll
List (or “the list”) “Publications of Irving Segal,” Journal of Functional Analysis 190, 1-13 
(2002), Special Issue Dedicated to the Memory of I.E.Segal 
SP Stephen Paneitz

Appendix B
Key to Descriptive Codes 

AD - Autograph Document
ADft - Autograph Draft
DS - Document Signed
PD - Printed Document
PDS - Printed Document Signed
UDT – Unspecified Document Type


Any code followed by an “X” indicates a Xerox (or other photostatic) copy.

A, a, au – Autograph
C – Copy 
D – Document
L – Letter
N – Not signed
P – Printed
S – Signed
T – Typed
X – Xeroxed


While I regret that it is not possible to mention each by name at this time, I wish to express my gratitude to the many individuals that contributed to this Project. In particular, I wish to thank Professor Arthur Mattuck (MIT), Professor John Stachel (Boston University), and Lisa Mahoney, whose assistance and support was integral to the completion of this endeavor.
Alexander Levichev