The bulk of the Union's papers, covering the years 1952-1982, were at that time stored in Zürich, at the Federal Institute of Technology. When it became apparent that the arrangement of these papers would not progress in Zürich, I offered the option of moving them to Finland. In Helsinki, I could assume the responsibility for their organization, and the University was willing to deposit the papers in its Central Archives. This plan was accepted by the IMU and Zürich, and the IMU material was dispatched to Helsinki.
The arrangement of the papers began in October 1994 and was completed in June 1996. A grant from the IMU made it possible to hire Tuulikki Mäkeläinen, long-time Office Secretary of the IMU, to do the work jointly with me. In our work, we were supported and advised by Eero Vallisaari, the Head of Archives of the University of Helsinki.
When it decided to move the archives to Helsinki in April 1994, the Executive Committee asked me to write the history of the IMU. After discussions during the Zürich ICM-1994, I answered affirmatively. Writing the history rendered my work with the archival material much more interesting than it would otherwise have been. Relevant for the archives was that the user's viewpoint, which was constantly in my mind, largely determined the way the papers were arranged into sections and smaller units.
This booklet contains a detailed list of the stored documents pertaining to the IMU. The purpose of its distribution to all members of the Union is to awaken and increase interest in the study of the historic past of the IMU. I am much obliged to Jacob Palis Jr., the Secretary of the Union, for his outspoken encouragement and support of the project which led to the organized catalogued collection of the papers of the IMU.
Helsinki, October 1996
1. The material to be deposited comprises the historical archives of the Union as specified in the enclosed list.
2. The archives of the Union will be deposited until further notice.
3. The archives of the Union will be placed in the care of, and will be available at the Central Archives of the University of Helsinki.
4. The archives of the Union will be freely available for research, with the exception of confidential materials (marked with an asterisk on the enclosed list) that are accessible only with the written permission of the Secretary of the Union. The confidential materials will be freely available sixty years after the date thereof.
5. Materials in the archives of the Union can be lent only with the written permission of the Secretary of the Union.
6. Materials belonging to the historical archives of the Union but not included in the enclosed list may be added with the consent of the Central Archives of the University of Helsinki. A separate agreement must be concluded with respect to the depositing of recent archival material.
7. This contract may be canceled on the initiative of either of the contracting parties.
This agreement has been drawn up in two identical copies, one for each of the contracting parties.
Helsinki, September 18, 1996
Jacob Palis Jr. Secretary International Mathematical Union
Eero Vallisaari Head of ArchivesUniversity of Helsinki