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Jack Minker (1927- ) Papers

Identifier: P-975

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the collection represents Dr. Jack Minker's work in human rights during the 1970s through the early 1990s. The documents include manuscripts, correspondence, memos, notes, publications, news clippings and photographs.


  • Papers, undated, 1962, 1972-1997, 2002-2003, 2005-2006, 2008-2011


Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at

For reference questions, please email:

Biographical and Historical Note

Professor Emeritus, Department of Computer Science, UMIACS, University of Maryland, Dr. Jack Minker is a widely-published expert in artificial intelligence, deductive databases, logic programming and nonmonotonic reasoning.

While researching the works of foreign computer scientists, Dr. Minker became acutely aware that the scientific freedom and human rights of scientists in non-democratic societies were systematically violated. He decided to take up the cause of scientific freedom and human rights and became Vice-chair, Computer Science for the Committee of Concerned Scientists (CCS), shortly after it was founded in 1972. In addition to his activities in the CCS, Dr. Minker worked with other organizations with similar missions: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) as Vice-chair for the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights; Scientists for Sakharov, Orlov, and Sharansky; and the International Coalition in Support of Sakharov. He also became involved in the Soviet Jewry movement on a broader scale by serving as an Honorary Board member of the Washington Committee for Soviet Jewry, and collaborating with the Union of Council for Soviet Jews.

With the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Dr. Minker published four reports that listed over 300 computer scientists whose human rights had been violated. The reports pertained predominantly to Soviet Jewish scientists, but also featured scientists from Argentina, Chile, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Iran, Kenya, Pakistan, the Peoples Republic of China, Poland, Romania, South Africa, and Uruguay.

Dr. Minker is a laureate of several awards for his work in human rights, including the ACM’s Outstanding Contribution Award in Human Rights, and the New York Academy of Sciences Human Rights Committee’s Heinz R. Pagels Award. In 2012 Jack Minker published his book Scientific Freedom and Human Rights: Scientists of Conscience During the Cold War (IEEE Computer Society Press).


  1. Biographic sketch of Jack Minker. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  2. Minker, J. (2012). Scientific freedom and human rights: scientists of conscience during the Cold War. Los Angeles: IEEE Computer Society.


11.5 Linear Feet (21 manuscript boxes, 1 bankers box)

Language of Materials




The collection documents the activism of Dr. Jack Minker, a leading authority in artificial intelligence, on behalf of foreign scientists whose human rights and scientific freedom were violated. The bulk of the collection focuses on Soviet Jewish Refuseniks, such as cyberneticist Alexander Lerner, mathematicians Victor Brailovsky and Anatoly Sharansky, and a dissident human rights activist, nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov. The documents include manuscripts, correspondence, memos, notes, publications, news clippings, and photographs.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY


Donated by Jack Minker in 2013.

Related Material

The Papers of Jack Minker is one individual collection within the Archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement (AASJM) located at the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS). Other Soviet Jewry Movement collections at AJHS include the records of Action for Soviet Jewry (I-487), the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ; I-181 and I-181A), the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (I-410, I-410A), Houston Action for Soviet Jewry (I-500), Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews (I-505), Seattle Action for Soviet Jewry (I-507), The Jewish Chronicle Soviet Jewry Collection (I-523), B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum Soviet Jewry Movement Collection (I-529), Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry (I-530), Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (I-538), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (I-543), Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans (I-547), Jewish Defense League (I-374) the papers of Joel Ackerman (P-787), Julia Mates Cheney (P-806), Jerry Goodman (P-863), Laurel and Alan J. Gould (P-866), Carolyn W. Sanger (P-870), Leah Lieberman (P-869), Si Frumkin (P-871), Elaine Pittell (P-873), Sanford A. Gradinger (P-880), Shaul Osadchey (P-882), Leonard S. Cahan (P-883), Doris H. Goldstein (P-887), David H. Hill (P-888), Margery Sanford (P-889), Pinchas Mordechai Teitz (P-891), David Waksberg (P-895), Pamela B. Cohen (P-897), Moshe Decter (P-899), William Korey (P-903), Morey Schapira (P-906), Charlotte Gerper Turner (P-907), Myrtle Sitowitz (P-908), Kathleen M. Hyman (P-911), Babette Wampold (P-912), Rabbi David Goldstein and Shannie Goldstein (P-918), Leslie Schaffer (P-923), Arthur Bernstein (P-925), Dolores Wilkenfeld (P-927), Sylvia Weinberg (P-928) , Irwin H. Krasna (P-934) , Constance S. Kreshtool (P-935), Betty Golomb (P-938), Grace Perlbinder (P-942), Mort Yadin (P-943), Ann Polunsky (P-886), Lillian Foreman (P-945), Marilyn Labendz(P-946), Abraham Silverstein(P-947), Bert Silver (P-949), Billie Kozolchyk (P-950), John Steinbruck (P-951), Lawrence I. Lerner (P-952), Ruth Geller Gold (P-953), Efry Spectre (P-954), Alan M. Kohn (P-956), Frank Brodsky (P-957), Victor Borden (P-959), Estelle Newman (P-960), Carol S. Kekst (P-961), Linda Rutta (P-965), Rachel Braun (P-967), Jack Forgash (P-968), Michael Greene (P-969), Judith A. Manelis (P-970), Fred Greene (P-971), Harry Lerner (P-972), Alan L. Cohen (P-973) and Murray Levine (P-974).

Jack Minker's book Scientific Freedom and Human Rights: Scientists of Conscience During the Cold War.(IEEE Computer Society, Los Angeles, 2012) is available at the library of the American Jewish Historical Society.

Guide to the Jack Minker (1927- ) Papers, undated, 1962, 1972-1997, 2002-2003, 2005-2006, 2008-2011 *P-975
Processed by Andrey Filimonov
© 2013
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Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • November 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

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New York NY 10011 United States