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Georg Cantor is famous for introducing transfinite numbers and set theory.

A main part of his mathematical point of view about this new type of "numbers" and this new "realm of mathematics" cannot be found in his official publications. Maybe one can find it in his unpublished manuscripts, papers and letters.

Question 1: Where are Georg Cantor's original manuscripts?

Question 2: Were some of these manuscripts lost during World War II and subsequent years?

Question 3: Are some of these manuscripts in museums or personal collections now?

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2 Answers

According to I. Grattan-Guinness, in Materials for the History of Mathematics in the Institut Mittag-Leffler, much of Cantor's archive disappeared from his house in Halle in 1945, at the end of the war. An important collection remains in the Institut Mittag-Leffler in Sweden, listed in Towards a Biography of Georg Cantor. They are not online, but you might contact their library for help.

It is in this collection that one "lost" manuscript of Cantor resurfaced in 1970.

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Really good answer! Thanks for the links! –  Victor Jan 12 at 12:56
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Cantor's estate is now at the university library in Göttingen; you can find a list (PDF, in German) here. As far as I can see, these have not been digitized, but I didn't look very hard.

Due to the obvious interest to historians of mathematics, his writings have of course been edited; the list above contains references, mostly to

  1. Gesammelte Abhandlungen mathematischen und philosophischen Inhalts, edited by Ernst Zermelo, 1932 (link is to Springer's 2013 reprint),

  2. Briefe, edited by Herbert Meschkowski and Winfried Nilson, Springer 1991.

In particular, the exchange with Dedekind (which both works contain) might be of interest to you.

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