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[sigchairs] An amazing Bertalanffy find {Mandel, Elohim, McElroy 2004/04/01}
Posted by: daviding (---.sympatico.ca)
Date: April 29, 2004 04:01PM

I have been approached by smeone willing to sell a collection of all the published writings of Bertalanffy. There are three boxes of books available. It is desired that the books be purchased by a university to keep them together. Is anyone interested?

tom
mandel

-----

Dear Tom,

Under the assumption that we in the Institute of Design and Technology Assessment of Vienna University of Technology are interested. I cannot take such a decision but I will ask.

Would you please let us know how much this selling might be.

Regards

elohim
--
elohimjl

-----

Thommandel@aol.com wrote:
Hi Rob
I should introduce Elohim. He is responsible for the Bertalanffy website and a list about Bertalanffy. Vienna is the birthplace of Banathy, and I think it has something to do with Bertalanffy too. It is a very appropriate place to have these books. All of them minus my finders fee. Please.
I am curious how did you cme across them?
It goes without saying that this is a significant find, given that the writings of Bertalanffy are in part lost. They should be kept together, I would just like to read some of them. And Elohim is the most deserving person to receive these very important to us books.

----- Message from Rob McElroy on Thu, 01 Apr 2004 23:40:47 -0500 -----
Thommandel@aol.com To:
An amazing Bertalanffy find! Subject:

Tom,
I am familiar with the Bertalanffy website and had read most of what is there a couple weeks ago when I began my research on Bertalanffy. Earlier today I looked at the website again and clicked on the "Whom to ask" page, where I realized that Elohim was responsible for the site -- and that he was the guy whom you referred me to. I also learned that both Elohim and Wolfgang Hofkirchner were on the organizing committee for the 2001 conference in Austria celebrating the 100th anniversary of Bertalanffy's birth.
Seeing as I was already familiar with this website two weeks ago, and they were tops on my list of people to contact once I completed my research and decided on a selling strategy, I'm not so sure a finders fee will be in order for Elohim. Research is what I do best and I'm not looking for a broker for the items; I'm trying to find a home for the collection without breaking it up. If you are able to steer me to a less obvious person or institution that I wouldn't have known about through basic internet research, then I will certainly give you a finders fee for your efforts, if they become the buyer.
Now for the good news. I opened up all the boxes today and sorted out the books and pamphlets -- and to my surprise, I found a detailed type-written bibliography of everything Bertalanffy wrote throughout his career (including posthumously), probably prepared by his wife Maria. I would venture to say that the six boxes probably contain just about everything he ever published, plus scores of books by other authors.
Now for the incredible news. Also contained in the boxes, were approximately 400 personal letters (all organized and indexed -- again, probably by his wife) which Bertalanffy either sent or received throughout his career. The letters all relate to his professional career and are primarily correspondences with other scientists, doctors, institutions, etc. There are original carbon copies of the letters he wrote, along with the original letters he received from people. The very detailed index lists the subject of each letter, plus it's cross-referenced by author. Many of the letters are in German, so I can't read them. This is an incredible find for historians in systems theory and yes, they do probably belong in Austria but I would like to see them stay in the US or Canada, where they would probably have more scholarly access.
There are also many books inscribed to Bertalanffy from other noted scientists of the period. Do you read German?
I will be making my initial institutional queries soon.
Regards,
Rob

[sigchairs] Bertalannfy's personal library and letters for sale {Rob McElroy 2004/04/03}
Posted by: daviding (---.sympatico.ca)
Date: April 29, 2004 04:08PM

Dear Elohim,




As you have been made aware through Tom Mandell, I have recently discovered the personal library of
Dr. Ludwig von Bertalanffy, which I am planning on selling. I read through your interesting website
on Bertalanffy a couple weeks ago when I first began my research. As you know, Bertalanffy is known



as the Father of Systems
Theory and was a Nobel prize nominee in 1972. Unfortunately, he
had a
heart attack in Buffalo in June of 1972 and died before being able to complete the required
submissions to the Nobel committee.




There are six banana boxes full of books, pamphlets, and papers from Bertalanffy's personal
library. Together they probably weigh upwards of 300 pounds. Bertalanffy taught at the University



at Buffalo (in Buffalo, NY) in
their Center for Theoretical Biology department from 1969 until his
death in 1972. I believe the books were purchased from his estate in the 1980's, and have sat in
storage with the previous owner -- undisturbed, ever since.




I opened up all the boxes yesterday and sorted out the books and pamphlets -- and to my surprise, I



found a detailed type-written
bibliography of everything Bertalanffy wrote throughout his
career
(including posthumous publications). It was probably prepared by his wife Maria after Ludwig's
death, but may have been started by Ludwig while he was alive. I would venture to say that the six
boxes contain just about everything he ever published, plus scores of books by other authors. I



would personally like to see the
entire collection stay together, and be sold to an
institution



where it could be appreciated
and researched as a whole, instead of it being split up, with
the



books being sold off
individually. Sometimes, many insights can be gleaned from examining a
great



thinker's library.
Some of the early articles are probably undocumented (there are over 200
of
them). Only a historian/researcher would know for sure.







Now for the incredible news.
Also contained in the boxes, were approximately 400 personal
letters
(all organized and indexed -- again, probably by his wife) which Bertalanffy either sent or received



throughout his 49-year career
(1923-1972). The letters all relate to his professional career
and



are primarily correspondences
with other scientists, doctors, institutions, etc. (no personal
family
letters -- only professional). There are original carbon copies of the letters he wrote, along with



original letters and responses he
received. The very detailed index -- lists the subject of each
letter, plus it is cross-referenced by author. Many of the letters are in German, so I can't read
them. This is an incredible find for historians of systems theory. There are also many books (20+)
inscribed to Bertalanffy from other noted scientists and authors of the period.




There are way too many items for me to type up an inventory, but I have arranged the books on
shelves and taken digital pictures of them. That way you can get an idea of what is there.




I have not yet set an asking price for the collection, but I am open to offers that are commensurate
with the collection's one-of-a-kind status. There is enough information here for someone to write a
new book about Bertalanffy -- and I hope someone will.




Please email me if you have an interest in purchasing the collection or if you want me to send you
the photos. I am contacting several other interested people and institutions in America, Canada,
and Europe.




Please feel free to forward my email to anyone else you think may have an interest.




Regards,
Rob McElroy



Post Edited (04-29-04 20:09)

[sigchairs] Option for electronic version? {Maurice Yolles 2004/04/03}
Posted by: daviding (---.sympatico.ca)
Date: April 29, 2004 04:10PM

This is a collection that should be set up on the ISSS website electronically. Is this feasible, without having to purchase to collection?

Maurice

Re: [sigchairs] Option for electronic version? {Maurice Yolles 2004/04/03}
Posted by: Kevin (---.access.telenet.be)
Date: November 06, 2005 04:47PM

What a startling discovery!

Especially the corespondence could proof to be invaluable.



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