Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Melvin Schwartz papers, 1950-2009

Summary Information


Papers of the Columbia University Nobel prize winning physicist (1988) for his part in the discovery, along with with Leon M. Lederman and Jack Steinberger, of the muon neutrino.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#2022
Bib ID 14983322 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Schwartz, Melvin, 1932-2006
Title Melvin Schwartz papers, 1950-2009
Physical Description 1.75 Linear Feet (1 record carton and 2 document boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on site.



Arranged in eight series.


Content Description

Papers of Nobel Prize winning physicist and Columbia Professor Melvin Schwartz. Includes papers written by Schwartz on various topics related to physics, some notebooks of his studies at Columbia, materials related to his 1988 Nobel Prize ceremony, a few letters received by Schwartz, and a number of journal articles sent to him by colleagues.

Included in the collection is his 1988 Nobel Prize medal in Physics in a red leather case with M. Schwartz gold tooled on front cover of the case; the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics diploma in a MS monogrammed blue leather cover with a MS monogrammed clamshell box; Official letter from the Nobel Prize Committee dated 1988/10/26 announcing the award for the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics to Melvin Schwartz, Leon M. Lederman and Jack Steinberger; and a watercolor by Sven Ljunberg.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is located on site.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Melvin Schwartz Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Processed by David Schwartz and Patrick Lawlor in September 2020.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Alvarez, Luis W., 1911-1988 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Department of Physics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lederman, Leon M. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lee, T.D., 1926- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Neutrinos Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nobel Prize winners Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nobel Prizes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Physicists -- United States -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Physics -- Laboratories Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Melvin Schwartz was a prominent physicist and life-long Columbian. Schwartz won the Nobel Prize in Physics with his Columbia colleagues Jack Steinberger and Leon Lederman (GSAS 1951).

Born in New York City on November 2, 1932, Schwartz attended the Bronx High School of Science before attending Columbia College to study physics. After receiving his B.A., he stayed at Columbia to pursue graduate studies and in 1958 earned a Ph.D. in physics from GSAS. In 1991, he was awarded an honorary Sc.D. by the University.

Schwartz was research scientist at Brookhaven from 1956-1958. In 1958, he became an assistant professor at Columbia, in 1960 an associate professor and in 1963 a full professor. Three years later, Schwartz left Columbia to become a physics professor at Stanford. While California, in 1970, he founded Digital Pathways, a company that made equipment that allowed people to log onto computer networks securely from outside locations, and was its president and CEO.

In 1983, Schwartz left Stanford to work fulltime at Digital Pathways, but in 1991 was persuaded to return to physics by Nicholas Samios (GSAS M.A. 1953, Ph.D. 1957), who was then director of Brookhaven. Returning to New York, Schwartz became associate director of high energy and nuclear physics at Brookhaven, where he oversaw the building of four detectors at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, known as RHIC at Brookhaven. He also returned to teaching at Columbia and in 1994 was appointed I.I. Rabi Professor of Physics.

Schwartz was active in College alumni affairs; he served on the College Board of Visitors from 1989-1992, on the College Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1991-94 and funded the Alumni Host program. He was honored with a John Jay Award for professional achievement in 1989 and the Alexander Hamilton Medal in 1995. Schwartz retired in 2000 and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Physical Society.