Description of the Collection
Call Number: SC0097
Knuth, Donald Ervin, 1938-
Title: Donald E. Knuth papers
37.75 Linear feet
Summary: Papers reflect his work in the study and teaching of computer
programming, computer systems for publishing, and mathematics. Included are
correspondence, notes, manuscripts, computer printouts, logbooks, proofs, and galleys
pertaining to the computer systems TeX, METAFONT, and Computer Modern; and to his books
THE ART OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, COMPUTERS & TYPESETTING, CONCRETE MATHEMATICS, THE
STANFORD GRAPHBASE, DIGITAL TYPOGRAPHY, SELECTED PAPERS ON ANALYSIS OF ALGORITHMS,
MMIXWARE : A RISC COMPUTER FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM, and THINGS A COMPUTER SCIENTIST
RARELY TALKS ABOUT.
Language(s): The materials are in English.
Physical Location: Special Collections and University Archives materials
are stored offsite and must be paged 36-48 hours in advance. For more information on
paging collections, see the department's website:
Department of Special Collections and University Archives
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6064
Phone: (650) 725-1022
Gift of Donald Knuth, 1972, 1980, 1983, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2014.
Information about Access
This collection is open for research.
Ownership & Copyright
Literary rights reside with Donald Knuth.
Donald E. Knuth Papers (SC0097). Dept. of Special Collections and University
Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
Donald Ervin Knuth has been called the "father" of the analysis of algorithms. He
contributed to the development of the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity
of algorithms and systematized formal mathematical techniques for it. In the process he
also popularized the asymptotic notation.
In addition to fundamental contributions in several branches of theoretical computer
science, Knuth is the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system, the related
METAFONT font definition language and rendering system, and the Computer Modern family
As a writer and scholar, Knuth created the WEB/CWEB computer programming systems
designed to encourage and facilitate literate programming, and designed the MIX/MMIX
instruction set architectures.
Professor of computer science at Stanford University from 1968-1992, Knuth was born in
January 10, 1938 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received a B.S. from Case Institute of
Technology in 1960 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1963. That
same year he began to work on
The Art of
. He had initially accepted a commission to write a book
on compilers which would later become the multi-volume
The Art of Computer Programming. Originally planned to be a
single book, and then planned as a six- and then seven-volume series. In 1968, he
published the first volume.
After producing the third volume of his series in 1976, he expressed such frustration
with the nascent state of the then newly developed electronic publishing tools
(especially those that provided input to phototypesetters) that he took time out to work
on typesetting and created the TeX and METAFONT tools. At the TUG 2010 Conference, Knuth
announced an XML-based successor to TeX, titled "iTeX", which would support features
such as arbitrarily scaled irrational units, 3D printing, animation, and stereographic
Knuth has won numerous awards for his work, including:
First ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, 1971 Turing Award, 1974 National Medal of Science,
1979 Franklin Medal, 1988 John von Neumann Medal, 1995 Harvey Prize from the Technion,
1995 Kyoto Prize, 1996 Katayanagi Prize, 2010 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge
Award, 2010 Stanford University School of Engineering Hero Award, 2011
He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975. In 1992, he became an
associate of the French Academy of Sciences. Also that year, he retired from regular
research and teaching at Stanford University in order to finish
The Art of Computer Programming. In 2003, he was elected as
a foreign member of the Royal Society. Knuth was elected as a Fellow (first class of
Fellows) of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2009 for his
outstanding contributions to mathematics. He is also a member of the Norwegian Academy
of Science and Letters.
On June 24, 1961 he married Nancy June Carter (b. July 15, 1939). They have two
children: John Martin (b. July 21, 1965) and Jennifer Sierra (b. December 12, 1966).
Description of the Collection
Papers reflect his work in the study and teaching of computer programming, computer
systems for publishing, and mathematics. Included are correspondence, notes,
manuscripts, computer printouts, logbooks, proofs, and galleys pertaining to the
computer systems TeX, METAFONT, and Computer Modern; and to his books
THE ART OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING,
COMPUTERS & TYPESETTING,
THE STANFORD GRAPHBASE,
SELECTED PAPERS ON ANALYSIS OF ALGORITHMS,
MMIXWARE : A RISC COMPUTER FOR THE THIRD
THINGS A COMPUTER
SCIENTIST RARELY TALKS ABOUT
The materials are arranged in three series and subsequent accessions: Series 1. The Art
of Computer Programming; Series 2. Computers and Typesetting; Series 3. Concrete
Howe, Marion, ed.
Knuth, Donald Ervin,
Stanford University. Computer Science Department.
METAFONT (Computer system).
TeX (Computer system).