Foundations of Temporal Logic – The WWW-site for Prior-studies
a joint project between
Department of Information Studies – University of Copenhagen
Department of Communication and Psychology – Aalborg University


A brief History of the Prior Archive in the Bodleian Library

Shortly after the death of Arthur Norman Prior on October 6, 1969, his widow Dr. /About+Prior/Secondary+Litterature/Mary Prior, aided by Peter Geach, went through his papers, notes, correspondence etc. The material was deposited in the Bodleian Library. David and Steffi Lewis ordered the papers shortly after they were deposited, probably in the summer of 1970 (see Mary Prior's remark below).

The following researchers have at various times paid visits to work in the Prior archives: David and Steffi Lewis, Roger Gallie, Olav Flo, Mary Cresswell, P.T. Geach, A.J.P. Kenny, Kit Fine, Jack Copeland, Peter Øhrstrøm, Torben Braüner, Tine Kleif and myself. (Some important visits may be missing in this listing.)
On the work undertaken by David and Steffi Lewis, Mary Prior writes: "David and Steffi Lewis were responsible for much of the ordering of the papers once they reached Bodley. I think Bodley even paid them a small honorarium for their work. I shall always be grateful to them for the gift of their time during a sabbatical – I think the summer after the papers were deposited."
Olav Flo worked out a thorough bibliography, which was published in Theoria 1970 [Flo 1970]. It has, however, since been possible to locate a considerable number of papers not found therein, especially rather early papers and papers on theological subjects. A few of these are now included in the Øhrstrøm/Flo bibliography at this WWW-site. Most of the papers found since Flo 1970 are, however, listed in the separate document Additions to Bibliography.
Mary Cresswell (who was a member of the staff of the Journal of Symbolic Logic, while Prior was an editor of this journal) observed a few minor publications not listed by Olav Flo. (See Mary Cresswell/box 5.)
P.T. Geach and A.J.P. Kenny twice edited and published a number of papers (cf. 1971a and 1976b). They also published one book based on Prior's manuscript The Craft of Formal Logic under the title The Doctrine of Propositions and Terms [1976a] (see Items from a dictionary of formal logic/box 6 and The Craft/box 22). Kit Fine also edited some of Prior's manuscripts, which appeared as [1977a]. Peter Øhrstrøm and Jack Copeland edited and published a few more papers, as well as the afore-mentioned Øhrstrøm/Flo bibliography in [1996a].
Since 1993, Peter Øhrstrøm and I have been to the archive a number of times, in order to sort the material further and, especially, to describe it in considerably greater detail than had previously been done. To a large extent, this WWW-site for Prior-studies is the result of this work, with the help of a number of persons and institutions (see WWW-site for Prior-studies/Acknowledgements). Finally, a number of publications by Peter Øhrstrøm and myself have made use of material in the archives, especially [Øhrstrøm & Hasle 1993, Øhrstrøm & Hasle 1995, Hasle 1997b].
--- Per Hasle
Updated December 23, 2017