The story of the Gravity Archive

Over the past 60 years, physicists and mathematicians have advanced cosmology at an astonishing pace. Gravity, Black holes. The origins and structure of the Universe itself. The Gravity Archive captures every major discovery—and the minds behind them—with unprecedented intimacy and detail.

What is the Gravity Archive?

The Gravity Archive is an international initiative to compile a comprehensive digital record of the development of modern astrophysics and cosmology. These partners will also create and support a Research Centre devoted to studying the Archive, which will include the previously unpublished work and correspondence from every major figure who contributed to this half-century journey of discovery. It will also include extensive audio and audiovisual recordings going back to the 1960s.

Three organizations are collaborating on the Gravity Archive: the Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics, the University of British Columbia Library, and the Archive for Mathematical Sciences and Philosophy. The Research Centre, which will be based at UBC, will focus on the history, philosophy and science of gravity.

Project Launch and Conference

Vancouver, September 1-4, 2017

We have organized a major cosmology conference at which we will officially launch Gravity Archive project.


The founding partners provided crucial seed funding to get this project off the ground. Organizers are currently seeking stable funding to allow the Gravity Archive to realize its full potential.

The Archive requires funding in three areas:

Digitization of the Michael Wright archive

This part of the archive involves some 30,000 hours of audio and videotape, going back to the early 1970s, plus some 1.3 million pages of documents, including lectures, correspondence, and other material. This archive has been partially catalogued, but we require additional resources to complete cataloguing, digitize the entire collection, and put it on line.

Scientific papers and interviews

We plan to digitize the scientific papers of the main participants in the gravity revolution from around the world. We also wish to conduct and publish extensive interviews with those participants who are still alive.

The Gravity Archive Centre

Based at UBC, this Research Centre will foster research related to the Archive material. It will involve hiring four permanent faculty, including an internationally respected Director. It would also involve visitor and postdoctoral programs. The faculty would include both members of the Institute and members from other relevant departments at UBC.