Information for Researchers
Collection Title: Robert Spira Correspondence
Date (inclusive): 1960-1981
Collection Number: BANC MSS 84/62 c
Spira, Robert Samuel, 1927-
1.2 linear feet
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Abstract: Consists of personal, academic and professional correspondence of Robert Spira during his time as associate professor of Mathematics
at Michigan State University and assistant professor of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information
on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Conditions of Use
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction
of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for
any use rests exclusively with the user.
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the
Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.
[Identification of item], Robert Spira Correspondence, BANC MSS 84/62 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
Mathematicians -- California -- Berkeley
Michigan State University. Dept. of Mathematics -- Faculty.
University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Mathematics -- Students.
University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Mathematics.
The Robert Spira correspondence was given to the Bancroft Library by Dr. Robert Spira on December 7, 1983.
No additions are expected.
Arranged to the folder level.
Correspondence of Robert S. Spira, University of California, Berkeley. Dept of Mathematics Ph.D 1962. Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics at Michigan State University 1967 and Assistant Professor Department of Mathematics, University
of Tennessee 1964-1967. Published several plays in 1980-2001.
Robert Samuel Spira was born on Dec. 12, 1927 in Detroit, MI. He earned a BA (1957) and a PhD (1962) in Mathematics from
UC Berkeley, having written a dissertation titled, “Sums of Two Squares and Brahmagutpa’s Formula” under the instruction of
Prof. Derrick Henry Lehmer. While at Berkeley, he met Robert E. Bowen, a peer in the mathematics field who would also be
a friend to Spira until Bowen’s death in 1978.
Spira taught mathematics as assistant professor at Duke University (1962-1964), University of Tennessee at Knoxville (1964-1967)
and associate professor at Michigan State University, East Lansing (1967-1982).
While the bulk of the Robert S. Spira Correspondence provides letters on various mathematical formulas and theories, the collection
also reveals Spira’s interest in politics and the medical field with a special focus on forms of contraception. His interest
in theater would result in the publication of several plays and a position as Artistic Director at the Quartz Theater in Ashland,
Oregon. He also wrote a translation of The Book of Matthew as well as two books on Western Religion.
Scope and Content Note
Consists of personal, academic and professional correspondence of Robert Spira during his time as associate professor of Mathematics
at Michigan State University (1964) and assistant professor of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee (1964-1967).
The letters date from 1960-1981 and contain Robert Spira’s correspondence with students, faculty and peers as well as letters
to the editor written by Spira. Most items are typed and dated, especially those which are of an official or formal nature.
Collection arrived in rough chronological order, except in cases in which there was heavy correspondence with Spira’s friends
and/or colleagues. The first five folders contain the letters to these colleagues in alphabetical order: Berndt, Bruce C.;
Bowen, Robert E.; Cohen, Eckford; Fisk, Stephen and Schoenfeld, Lowell.