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Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
The bulk of the collection relates to awards, honorary degrees, and other honors bestowed on I. I. Rabi during the latter half of his career. It contains correspondence, manuscript drafts, pamphlets, lectures, articles, interviews, reports, panel discussions, transcripts, books, and conference materials about Rabi's work. Includes photographs, VHS recordings, audiocassettes, scrapbooks, and press clippings related to his career. Subjects include science, atomic energy and weapons, peace, education, NATO, history, government, world affairs, and honors. Also includes awards, honorary degrees, certificates, medals, and other memorabilia. In addition, correspondence regarding his estate, the awards established in his honor, and related memorials. These were the materials that I.I. Rabi's widow, Helen Newmark Rabi, did not donate to the Library of Congress but kept as her own mementos.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
Material is unprocessed. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Boxes 1-8 and 15-22 are located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
All original copies of audio and moving image media are closed until reformatting. Commercial materials are not routinely digitized. Email email@example.com for more information.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); I. I. Rabi Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
I.I. Rabi papers, 1899-1989: The bulk of Rabi's papers, located at the Library of Congress.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Nancy Rabi Lichtenstein, 2005, and Chauncey G. Olinger, Jr., 2021.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative.
Assessed October 2022 by Celeste Brewer. Loose materials were foldered and a box level inventory was created. Collection can be made available without further intervention.
There is no Box 13 in this collection. Those materals are stored in mapcase 13-J-5.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Isidor Isaac Rabi (1898-1988) was an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1944 for his discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance, which is used in magnetic resonance imaging. He was also one of the first scientists in the United States to work on the cavity magnetron, which is used in microwave radar and microwave ovens. He was the first professor at Columbia University in New York to attain the rank of University Professor in 1964. During World War II, Rabi took part in development of the atomic bomb. After the war he promoted peace and the limiting of nuclear weapons. He also played a significant role in establishing major research laboratories in Brookhaven and at CERN. Isidor Isaac Rabi married Helen Newmark in 1926; the couple had two daughters.