Willy Hartner

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Willy Hartner (22 January 1905 16 May 1981) was a German scientist and polymath. He studied at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, where he obtained his PhD in physics in 1928 and where he later served as professor from 1940, as ordinary professor [German academic terminology] from 1946.


In 1943, he founded the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences, today part of the Institute of Physics at the university. Hartner received the George Sarton Medal in 1971. He was president of the Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences from 1971 to 1978. He was a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society from 1935, of the Academia Real de buenas letras, Spain, in 1968 and of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy, in 1975, and of the Royal Danish Academy in 1980. In 1975, he received the rank of knight in the Légion d'honneur .

The George Sarton Medal is the most prestigious award given by the History of Science Society. It has been awarded annually since 1955. It is awarded to an historian of science from the international community who became distinguished for "a lifetime of scholarly achievement" in the field.


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    The German National Library is the central archival library and national bibliographic centre for the Federal Republic of Germany. Its task is to collect, permanently archive, comprehensively document and record bibliographically all German and German-language publications since 1913, foreign publications about Germany, translations of German works, and the works of German-speaking emigrants published abroad between 1933 and 1945, and to make them available to the public. The German National Library maintains co-operative external relations on a national and international level. For example, it is the leading partner in developing and maintaining bibliographic rules and standards in Germany and plays a significant role in the development of international library standards. The cooperation with publishers has been regulated by law since 1935 for the Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig and since 1969 for the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt.