The history of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) can be traced back to 1920 when the Union was first officially formed following initiatives that stretched back to the time before World War I. This initial formation lasted until 1932 when the Union was dissolved. Following a hiatus until after World War II, the IMU was then re-established in 1951 and has been growing steadily ever since. Until 2010, the “IMU Archive” was located with the IMU Secretary of the time and thus moved whenever a new Secretary was elected. In addition, there were archives located in Zurich and Helsinki. With the decision to create a permanent IMU Secretariat in Berlin in 2011, all archival material has since been permanently located in Berlin.
For a short overview of the IMU Archives’s history, see the speech by Olli Lehto on occasion of the inauguration of the IMU Archive at the IMU Secretariat in Berlin.
The aim of the IMU Archive is to record and reflect the activity and history of the IMU in all its facets. In addition, the IMU Archive collects material on all commissions and committees of the IMU and hosts a subset of the Archive of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction.
The archive serves mainly to support the work of the IMU Executive Committee. The material is also available for historical research. Some documents, such as those concerning IMU prizes, are subject to certain restrictions in accordance with the IMU Archiving Guidelines.
If you would like to use the IMU Archive, please contact the IMU Archivist.
Interested persons or organizations are invited to support the collection of the IMU Archive by offering documents, photos, books, or other material in digital as well as analogue representation which may fill gaps in the documentation of the history of the IMU and its commissions and committees.
Please contact the IMU Archivist for any requests or information on IMU historic material: firstname.lastname@example.org.