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Boris Podolsky Papers

Identifier: MS-008

Content Description

The Boris Podolsky Papers (1920-1971, undated) contain personal and professional papers of physicist Boris Podolsky (1896-1966).

Series 1, Professional papers, contains course materials and lecture notes for courses in Quantum Mechanics (1950-1960, undated), a book proposal for The Classical Electrodynamics, manuscript drafts, reprints of articles written by Podolsky and others (1931-1966), and patent applications for several toys and a recording device. It also includes results from Civil Service examinations taken by Podolsky in the 1920s.

Series 2, Personal papers, contains biographical information, clippings, membership cards, and records relating to Podolsky’s divorce from Rose Podolsky and his marriage to Polly Podolsky in 1937. The series includes a school notebook created by Polly Podolsky as well as Boris Podolsky’s briefcase.


  • 1920-1971, undated

Language of Materials

Materials primarily in English, with some Russian and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use. Materials must be viewed by appointment in the Archives Research Room.

Conditions Governing Use

Donor transferred any applicable copyright to Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright law of the United States governs the reproduction of copyrighted material. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Biographical / Historical

Boris Podolsky was born in Taganrog, Russia on June 29, 1896. He came to the United States of America in 1913. Podolsky taught physics and mathematics for thirty-one years at the University of Cincinnati and then at Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio).

Podolsky received his bachelor’s (1918) and master’s (1926) degrees from the University of Southern California and his doctorate from California Institute of Technology in 1928. He was a fellow at MIT and the University of Leipzig, Germany. He was director of theoretical physics at the Ukrainian Physico-Technical Institute in Russia from 1931-1933. Returning to the United States, Podolsky was at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study in 1934-1935. He collaborated on papers with Nathan Rosen, Albert Einsten, Vladimir Fock, and Paul Dirac. He co-authored a paper with Rosen and Einsten in 1935 titled, “Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality be Considered Complete?” Their work is referred to as the EPR Paper.

Podolsky came to the University of Cincinnati as an assistant professor of mathematical physics in 1935 and a fellow of the graduate school. He was promoted to associate professor in 1941, and was appointed professor in 1951. After leaving University of Cincinnati, he came to Xavier University in 1961 where he taught until his death on November 28, 1966. While at Xavier, he helped the university organize its 1962 Conference on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics.

Podolsky married Rose Tlaxman around 1919 and they divorced in 1936. In 1937, he married Polly Edelman (also known as Pearl Edelman, Bertha Polly Eidelman Solomon, Bertha Polly Gruszka Hyman, and Bertha Polly Podolsky) who was from England. She had married Israel Gruszka (Gerald Hyman) in 1934 and they divorced in 1937. Polly Podolsky was a lecturer in journalism at the University of Cincinnati and taught writing at Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio). They had one son, Robert Earl Podolsky, also a physicist.

Sources: Atomic Heritage Foundation. “Boris Podolsky.” Accessed October 18, 2019.

“Dr. B. Podolsky, XU Scientist.” Cincinnati Enquirer, November 29, 1966.

Rigden, John S., and Roger H. Stuewer. “Editorial.” Physics in Perspective 9, no. 1 (March 2007): 1. DOI 10.1007/s00016-007-0334-6


3.8 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes and 1 oversize box)


The Boris Podolsky Papers (1920-1971, undated) contain personal and professional papers of physicist Boris Podolsky (1896-1966). Papers include course materials, patent applications, a book proposal, biographical information, and records relating to his marriage to Polly Podolsky.


The papers are arranged into two series: Series 1, Professional papers and Series 2, Personal papers.

Custodial History

Drs. Curtis and Michelle Blakely received the Boris Podolsky papers from Robert Podolsky, son of Boris Podolsky.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials donated to Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio). Department of Physics by Drs. Curtis and Michelle Blakely, XUA-2016-6 and XUA-2019-02.

Related Materials

XUA-66, Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio). Department of Physics records, University Archives and Special Collections, Xavier University Library, Cincinnati, Ohio.

XUA-90, John B. Hart Conference on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics Collection, University Archives and Special Collections, Xavier University Library, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Guide to the Boris Podolsky Papers
Anne Ryckbost
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Special Collections, Xavier University Library Repository

3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati Ohio 45207 US