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Paul Samuelson Papers Coming to Duke

The papers of preeminent American economist Paul A. Samuelson (1914-2009) will be added to the Economists Papers Project in the Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library at Duke. Samuelson was the first American recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics.  Prior to his death on 13 December, Samuelson had made the decision to donate his papers to Duke where they will join the collections of his MIT Nobel Prize-winning colleagues Robert Solow and Franco Modigliani, as well as those of Nobelists Kenneth Arrow, Lawrence Klein (Samuelson’s first Ph.D student), Robert Lucas, Douglass North, Vernon Smith, and Leonid Hurwicz.  The Economists Papers Project, developed jointly by Duke’s History of Economics group and the Special Collections Library, is the most significant archival collection of economists’ papers in the world.

Samuelson was the singular force leading to the post WWII reconceptualization of economics as a scientific discipline. His “neoclassical synthesis” wedded modern microeconomics to Keynesian macroeconomics, both of which were stabilized through his landmark Foundations of Economic Analysis (1947). His Principles of Economics textbook grounded the vocabulary, and teaching practices, of the economics profession in the second half of the twentieth century, and his career at MIT made that economics department the world leader in scientific economics.

Descriptions of the Economists' Papers at Duke are available at http://library.duke.edu/specialcollections/collections/economists/collections.html.  The Paul Samuelson Papers will be transferred to Duke in stages over the next several months.  Those interested in conducting research in the Samuelson Papers when they are made available should contact Will Hansen (william.hansen@duke.edu) for further information.

Photo credit:  MIT News

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Posted 18 December 2009

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Last modified January 8, 2010 12:38:02 PM EST