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Alexander Vucinich Papers
1961-1984

UPT 50 V986

3.0 Cubic feet

Prepared by Timothy H. Horning

September 2014

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

PROVENANCE

The Alexander Vucinich papers were donated to the University Archives by the Department of History and Sociology of Science in 1993 (accession number 1993:040). 

 

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ARRANGEMENT

The papers of Alexander Vucinich are organized into three series – General File, Teaching Material, and Research and Writings – which are each arranged alphabetically. 

 

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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Alexander Vucinich was a Professor in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania from 1976 to 1985. He was also a scholar of the social and cultural history of science in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. 

Born on October 23, 1914 in Wilmington, California to parents who had emigrated from Serbia, Vucinich was orphaned when both parents died in 1918 of influenza. He and two older siblings were sent to live with an uncle in a small village in Herzegovina called Bileca Rudine. After graduating from the University of Belgrade in 1938, Vucinich came back to California and attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned an M.A. in 1941. He then earned a Ph.D. in sociology in 1950 from Columbia University in New York City. He taught at San Jose State College from 1950 to 1964, the University of Illinois from 1964 to 1970 and the University of Texas from 1970 to 1976. Vucinich joined the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 1976 and retired as Professor Emeritus in 1985. 

Vucinich studied the history of Russian science at a time when most Western scholars were dismissive of their scientific traditions and contributions. He sought to restore the legacy of Russian science and scientists to the mainstream academic intellectual current. In addition to several scholarly articles, he authored several books on the topic, including: Soviet Economic Institutions: The Social Structure of Production Units (1952); The Soviet Academy of Sciences (1956); Science in Russian Culture: A History to 1860 (1963); Science in Russian Culture: 1861-1917 (1970); Social Thought in Tsarist Russia: The Quest for a General Science of Society (1976); Empire of Knowledge: The Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1917-1970 (1984); Darwin in Russian Thought (1988); and Einstein in Soviet Ideology (2001). In the spring of 1967 he went to the Soviet Union as part of an exchange program between the American Council of Learned Societies and the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. This program gave him the chance to work first hand with leading Soviet experts in the history of science at the Lenin Library in Moscow and the Saltykov-Shchedrin Library in Leningrad. 

Alexander Vucinich died on May 25, 2002 at his home in Berkeley, California. He was survived by his brother Wayne (a professor of Eastern European studies at Stanford University), his wife Dorothy, and their two children, Andrea and John. 

 

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SCOPE AND CONTENT

The Alexander Vucinich papers are professional in nature and document Vucinich’s tenure as a Professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of History and Sociology of Science and his work as a scholar of the history of Russian science. 

The bulk of the Vucinich papers are contained within the Research and Writings series. This material pertains to his studies of the social and cultural history of science in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. Most of this research consists of bibliographic citations and notes grouped topically. There is, however, a group of untitled notebooks as well as a sequence of numbered but otherwise untitled notebooks that contain bibliographic notations along with summaries or analysis of the notated source. There is no indication what article, book, or project this research correlates to. Vucinich took notes in a combination of English and what appears to be Russian (but could also be Serbian). This series also includes a complete draft of Vucinich’s Empire of Knowledge: The Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1917-1970)

The Teaching Material series contains lectures and syllabi for courses Vucinich taught in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of History and Sociology of Science. There is some material for a course called HIS 339 which likely comes from one of Vucinich’s professorships prior to coming to the University of Pennsylvania. 

Finally, the General File series contains material that is not related to teaching or research, including correspondence, letters of recommendation written by Vucinich, and reports on the Department of History and Sociology of Science. 

 

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CONTROLLED ACCESS HEADINGS

Subject(s)

  • Science--History--Study and teaching--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
  • Science--Russia--History
  • University of Pennsylvania. Department of History and Sociology of Science

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INVENTORY

 

General File 

Box

Folder

American Council of Learned Societies Cultural Exchange, 1961-1968 

1

1

American Philosophical Society, 1962-1972 

1

2

American Physical Society, 1975 

1

3

Biographical Information, 1977-1983 

1

4

Correspondence, 1949-1984 

1

5

Department of History and Sociology of Science: Report and Review, 1980-1981 

1

6

Department of History and Sociology of Science: Report and Review, 1981-1982 

1

7

Department of History and Sociology of Science: Report and Review, February 1984 

1

8

Ford Foundation, 1975 

1

9

Grants, 1969-1973 

1

10

History and Sociology of Science Department Brochures, undated 

1

11

Journal, undated 

1

12

Letters of Recommendation, 1976-1985 

1

13

University of Chicago Press, 1974-1976 

1

14

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Teaching Material 

Box

Folder

HIS 339 

Lecture: American Science in the 20th Century, undated 

1

15

Lecture: Cultural Anthropology, undated 

1

16

Lecture: Darwin and Soviet Biology, undated 

1

17

Lecture: Emergence of Modern Science in America, undated 

1

18

Lecture: General Characteristics of 18th Century Science, undated 

1

19

Lecture: Major Interpretations, undated 

1

20

Lecture: Major Interpretations of the Causes, Nature and the Scope of 17th Century Revolution in Science, undated 

1

21

Lecture: Science and Society After 1800, undated 

1

22

Lecture: Soviet Scientific Establishment, undated 

1

23

Lecture: William Harvey, undated 

1

24

HSS 202 

Lecture: Benjamin Franklin and American Science in the 18th Century, undated 

1

25

Lecture: Bernard de Fontenelle, undated 

1

26

Lecture: Copernicus, undated 

1

27

Lecture: Ethos of Science, undated 

1

28

Lecture: Galileo Galilei, undated 

1

29

Lecture: Historical Orientation, undated 

1

30

Lecture: Industrial Revolution, undated 

1

31

Lecture: Mechanistic Philosphy and Social Thought, undated 

1

32

Lecture: Mechanistic Science and Social Theory, undated 

1

33

Lecture: Philosophical Essence of the Revolution, undated 

1

34

Lecture: Social Sciences, undated 

1

35

Lecture: William Gilbert and Robert Boyle, undated 

1

36

Syllabus, Fall 1980 

1

37

Syllabus, Fall 1981 

1

38

HSS 209 

Lecture: Biological Synthesis, undated 

1

39

Lecture: Darwin and Social Theory, undated 

1

40

Lecture: Darwin in Germany and France, undated 

1

41

Lecture: Darwinian Revolution, undated 

1

42

Lecture: Darwin's Theory of Evolution, undated 

1

43

Lecture: Einstein, undated 

1

44

Lecture: Encyclopedia, undated 

1

45

Lecture: French Positivism, undated 

1

46

Lecture: French Revolution and Science, undated 

1

47

Lecture: French Revolution and English Science, undated 

1

48

Lecture: German Science and the French Revolution, undated 

1

49

Lecture: Karl Marx, undated 

1

50

Lecture: New Physics, undated 

1

51

Lecture: Newtonian Science in the Eighteenth Century, undated 

1

52

Lecture: Nineteenth Century Science, undated 

1

53

Lecture: Physical Synthesis - Claude Bernard, undated 

1

54

Lecture: Physical Synthesis - Maxwell, undated 

1

55

Lecture: Quest for a General Science of Society, undated 

1

56

Lecture: Reception of Darwin in America, undated 

1

57

Lecture: Upsurge of American Science During the 1860s, undated 

1

58

Syllabus, Spring 1980 

1

59

Syllabus, Spring 1981 

1

60

Syllabus, Spring 1983 

1

61

HSS 220: Lecture: Elaboration of Newtonian Legacy, undated 

1

62

HSS 220: Lecture: Spread of Newtonianism, undated 

1

63

HSS 310 

Lecture: Age of Crisis, undated 

1

64

Lecture: Age of Enlightenment, undated 

1

65

Lecture: Age of Lomonosov, undated 

1

66

Lecture: Age of Mysticism, undated 

1

67

Lecture: Age of Nicholas I, undated 

1

68

Lecture: Age of Political Crisis, undated 

1

69

Lecture: Age of Reform, undated 

1

70

Lecture: Dr. I. Mendeleev, undated 

1

71

Lecture: French Revolution and Russian Science, undated 

1

72

Lecture: Peter the Great, undated 

1

73

Lecture: Post-Newtonian Science, undated 

1

74

Lecture: Reception of Darwin, undated 

1

75

Lecture: Roots of Scientific Tradition in Russia, undated 

1

76

Syllabus, Spring 1984 

1

77

HSSGH 010: Syllabus, Fall 1983 

1

78

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Research and Writings 

Box

Folder

Age of Einstein, undated 

2

1

Bibliographic Notes, undated 

(1) 

2

2

(2) 

2

3

(3) 

2

4

(4) 

2

5

(5) 

2

6

(6) 

2

7

(7) 

2

8

(8) 

2

9

(9) 

2

10

Book Reviews, 1949-1983 

2

11

Darwin, Charles, undated 

2

12

Darwinian Biology, undated 

2

13

Descartes, Rene, undated 

2

14

Earth Sciences, undated 

2

15

Empire of Knowledge: The Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1917-1970), 1982 draft 

Preface and Introduction 

2

16

Chapter One 

2

17

Chapter Two 

2

18

Chapter Three 

2

19

Chapter Four 

2

20

Chapter Five 

2

21

Chapter Six 

2

22

Conclusion 

2

23

Notes 

2

24

Bibliography 

2

25

Heights of Mathematics, undated 

2

26

Historiography of Science, undated 

2

27

History of Science, undated 

2

28

In Search of Universal Order, undated 

2

29

Ivan Pavlov: Science, Philosophy and Ideology, 1974 

2

30

Legal Aspects of Science, undated 

2

31

New Cosmology, undated 

2

32

Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevskii: The Man Behind the First Non-Euclidean Geometry, 1962 

2

33

Notebooks, undated 

One 

2

34

Two 

2

35

Three 

2

36

Four 

2

37

Five 

2

38

Nine 

2

39

Ten 

2

40

Eleven 

2

41

Twelve A 

2

42

Twelve B 

3

1

Thirteen 

3

2

Fourteen 

3

3

Fifteen 

3

4

Sixteen 

3

5

Seventeen 

3

6

Eighteen 

3

7

Twenty 

3

8

Twenty-One 

3

9

Twenty-Two 

3

10

Twenty-Three 

3

11

Twenty-Four 

3

12

Twenty-Five 

3

13

Twenty-Seven 

3

14

Thirty 

3

15

October Revolution and Science, undated 

3

16

Pavlov, Ivan, undated 

3

17

Pavlovian Science, undated 

3

18

Philosophy of Science, undated 

3

19

Post-Stalin, undated 

3

20

Puzzles, Problems and Enigmas, undated 

3

21

Quest for a General Science of Society, undated 

3

22

Science and Morality: A Soviet Dilemma, 1968 

3

23

Science in Russian Culture Bibliographic Notes, undated 

3

24

Sociology of Science, undated 

3

25

Soviet Science, undated 

3

26

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