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Fischer Black papers

Identifier: MC-0505

Scope and Contents

The collection documents the professional activities of Fischer Black. Topics within the collection relate to economics, business, accounting, and computers. Materials include articles and papers, reports, correspondence, subject files, and research materials.


  • circa 1960-1999


Access note

This collection is open.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Biographical Note

Fischer Black (1938-1995) was an american economist and professor of finance known for the Black-Scholes Equation. Black graduated from Harvard University in 1959 with a degree in physics and in 1964 with a doctorate in applied mathematics. (1) During the late 1960s and 1970s he collaborated with Myron Scholes and Robert C. Merton, both professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2) In 1971 he became a professor of finance at the University of Chicago, transitioning to a professorship at MIT in 1975. (3) Black left academics by resigning from MIT in 1985 to become a partner at Goldman Sachs. (4) He remained there until his death due to throat cancer in 1995.

Black published two widely regarded books: Business Cycles and Equilibrium (1987) and exploring General Equilibrium (1995). In addition he has both a professorship (the Fischer Black Visiting Professorship of Financial Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management) and an international award (the Fischer Black Prize by the American Finance Association) named in his honor. (5)

1. Henriques, Diana B. “Fischer Black, 57, Wall Street Theorist, Dies.” The New York Times, August 31, 1995, sec. Obituaries.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of the President. “Report of the President for the Academic Year 1969-1970,” 1971.

3. ———. “Report of the President and the Chancellor Issue 1974-1975,” 1975.

4. ———. “Report of the President 1985-1986,” 1986.

5. “Fischer Black, 57, Wall Street Theorist, Dies.”


57.6 Cubic Feet (57 record cartons, 2 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Preliminary Inventory to the Papers of Fischer Black
Ready For Review
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020 June: Biographical Note by Ashlynn August added.
  • 2021 November 19: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
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Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US