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Ernst D. Hellinger (1883-1950) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/19/6

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Ernst D. Hellinger Papers fill one and one-half boxes and are arranged in two categories: teaching files and publications. These are accompanied by one folder of biographical materials.

The teaching files consist primarily of lecture notes which Hellinger wrote in longhand. Lectures given at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Frankfurt on Main comprise one folder each whose contents are arranged chronologically.

The publications include the published version of Hellinger's doctoral dissertation and reprints of nine of his articles.

Addition, Box 2

The addition consists of materials acquired by James Rovnyak in the course of his research on Ernst Hellinger, and spans the years 1914-1975. Folders are arranged in chronological order, retaining the categorization and identification supplied by Professor Rovnyak. The two letters from Max Born relating to the early days of quantum mechanics are of special interest. The remainder of the addition consists of lecture notes, contracts and correspondence relating to Hellinger's time at Northwestern University, notes and drafts of scholarly papers, and an anonymous biographical outline.

The James Gregory project is a scholarly paper prepared by Hellinger and Max Dehn, a contemporary and close friend from his days in Frankfurt. A version of this paper was presented at an International Congress (July 4th-5th, 1938; Edinburgh and St. Andrews) held in honor of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Gregory, a l7th century Scottish mathematician.

The posthumous documents consist of pieces of correspondence that make reference to Hellinger. Material in German is so noted on the container list.

The 11 folders in this addition were added to the 5 folders in Box 2 of the original series.


  • 1906-1975


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


2.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



Ernst D. Hellinger joined the faculty at Northwestern as lecturer in Mathematics in 1939. He was promoted to professor in 1945, and retired in 1949. He studied integral equations, infinite systems of equations, real functions, and continued fractions. A type of integral he introduced in his dissertation became known as "the Hellinger integral," and the Hilbert-Hellinger theory of forms in infinitely many variables profoundly influenced mathematical analysis. His papers fill one and one-half boxes and are arranged in two categories: teaching files and publications. These are accompanied by one folder of biographical materials. An addition contains material collected by James Rovnyak.


The papers of Ernst D. Hellinger are organized into: teaching files (arranged by institution and course); publications (in chronological order); and biographical materials.

Method of Acquisition

The Ernst Hellinger Papers came to the Northwestern University Archives on December 5, 1988 as Accession #88-283, through the courtesy of Zita Hayward, Mathematics Library, Northwestern University.

Related Materials

Additional biographical information on Hellinger can be found in the Department of Mathematics personnel files: Series 11/3/19/2, Box 12, Folder 5, and 11/3/19/3, Box 4, Folders 18 and 19.

Separated Materials


Processing Information

William K. Beatty, December, 1988

Guide to the Ernst D. Hellinger (1883-1950) Papers
William K. Beatty
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US