The von Wright and Wittgenstein Archives in Helsinki (WWA): A Unique Resource

Bernt Österman


In 1948 the then 32 year old Finnish philosopher Georg Henrik von Wright
(1916–2003) succeeded Ludwig Wittgenstein as professor of philosophy at
Cambridge. When Wittgenstein died in 1951 Elisabeth Anscombe, Rush Rhees and
Georg Henrik von Wright became the executors of Wittgenstein’s literary estate.
– Von Wright played a major role in the editing and publishing of Wittgenstein’s
work for over fifty years. In the course of his work as a literary executor von
Wright founded the Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Helsinki. After
von Wright’s death WWA has been enriched with new material, such as unpublished
manuscripts by von Wright and a large collection of letters to and from von
Wright related to the editing and publication of Wittgenstein’s Nachlass. The work of cataloguing and describing the
material is still incomplete. – WWA has recently been reconstituted as a
research resource and is again accessible to visiting researchers.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; archives; Nachlass history; infrastructure; literary executor

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