Guide to the Martin Edward Hellman Papers

Daniel Hartwig
Stanford University Libraries Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Stanford, California
November 2013
Copyright © 2014 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.


Call Number: SC1176
Creator: Hellman, Martin E.
Title: Martin Edward Hellman papers
Dates: 1971-2013
Bulk Dates: 1976-1988
Physical Description: 3 Linear feet (and 265 megabytes)
Language(s): The materials are in English.
Repository: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Stanford University Libraries
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6064
Phone: (650) 725-1022

Administrative Information

Information about Access

The materials are open for research use.
Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

Ownership & Copyright

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See:
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Cite As

[identification of item], Martin Edward Hellman Papers (SC1176). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Biographical/Historical note

Martin Edward Hellman was born in New York, NY in October 1945. He received his B.E. from New York University in 1966, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1967 and 1969, all in Electrical Engineering.
Prof. Hellman was at IBM's Watson Research Center from 1968-1969 and an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT from 1969-1971. Returning to Stanford in 1971, he served on the regular faculty until becoming Professor Emeritus in 1996. He has authored over seventy technical papers, ten US patents and a number of foreign equivalents.
Hellman is best known for his invention, with Diffie and Merkle, of public key cryptography. In addition to many other uses, this technology forms the basis for secure transactions on the Internet. He has also been a long-time contributor to the computer security debate, starting with the issue of DES's key size in 1975, serving (1994-96) on the National Research Council's Committee to Study National Cryptographic Policy, and currently serving on Verified Voting's Board of Advisors.
Prof. Hellman also has a deep interest in the ethics of technological development. With Prof. Anatoly Gromyko of Moscow, he co-edited Breakthrough: Emerging New Thinking, a book published simultaneously in Russian and English in 1987 during the rapid change in Soviet-American relations. His current project in this area, Defusing the Nuclear Threat, has been endorsed by a number of prominent individuals including a former Director of the National Security Agency, Stanford's President Emeritus, and two Nobel Laureates.

Scope and Contents

The materials consist of research files, subject files, publications and correspondence documenting public key cryptography and the Beyond War project.

Access Terms

Diffie, Whitfield.
Merkle, Ralph Charles.
Cryptography--United States--History--20th century.
Data encryption (Computer science)--United States.
Data Encryption Standard.
Information theory.

Collection Contents


Public key cryptography

Box 1, Folder 1

DES (Data Encryption Standard) - Misc. Correspondence 1975-1977

Box 1, Folder 2

Science Magazines 1977

Box 1, Folder 3

News Week ,agazine & Datamation magazine 1976-2001

Box 1, Folder 4

DES - PR circa 1970s - 1990s

Box 1, Folder 5

DES - IBM 1976-1977

Box 1, Folder 6

NBS - Originals 1974-1976

Box 1, Folder 7

NBS 1975 Jun - 1977 Jan

Box 1, Folder 8

DES - Congress 1976-1977

Box 1, Folder 9

Meyer - NSA - IEEE 1977

Box 1, Folder 10

DES - BIL 1976

Box 1, Folder 11

NIST - DES RVW 1992 Dec

Box 1, Folder 12

Misc. Articles Re: Marty circa 1970s - 1980s

Box 1, Folder 17

Racia - Milgo Patent Q. & MIT circa 1980s

Box 1, Folder 18

Resume - Photos 1999 Dec

Box 1, Folder 19

Resume, Biogr., & Pics circa 1990s

Box 1, Folder 20

RSK - Notes circa 1980s

Box 1, Folder 21

RSA License - MIT 1983

Box 1, Folder 22

EE478 - Originals 1991

Box 1, Folder 23

An Evaluation of the Data Encryption Standard

Box 1, Folder 24

Results of an Intial Attempt to Cryptanalyze the NBS Data Encryption Standard 1976 Nov

Box 1, Folder 25

Crypto Bibliography 1980 Nov

Box 1, Folder 26

Factoring Schroeppel 1976-1979

Box 1, Folder 27

"On the Necessity of Cryptanalytic Exhaustive Search" - Hellman, Karnin, & Reyneri 1981-1982

Box 1, Folder 28

Patents - Crypto 1977

Box 1, Folder 29

Ralph C. Merkle 1974-1977

Box 1, Folder 30

Secure Communications Over Insecure Channels - R. Merkle

Box 1, Folder 31

A Knapsack Method 1977

Box 1, Folder 32

Public Key Encipher 1975-1977

Box 1, Folder 33

Ralph Merkle - Logs Mod P 1976 Jul

Box 1, Folder 34

EE478 - Martin Hellman - Class Notes 1995

Box 1, Folder 36

IEEE Communications Magazine 2002 May

Box 1, Folder 37

Information Theorectic Approach to Cryptography 1974 Apr

Box 2, Folder 44

Inman, Bob letter to Hellman 1980 Nov 22


Beyond War project 1984-1988

Box 1, Folder 38

Soviet Visit 1988 Jan-Apr

Box 1, Folder 39

Beyond War ISI - $50k Prigl./ SB & SLO Talk circa 1980s

Box 1, Folder 40

Russian/Eng XLTN Q's 1987 Nov

Box 1

Breakthrough (in Russian) copyright 1988

Box 1

Breakthrough (in English) 1988

Box 2, Folder 1

Hungary & USSR Trip 1984 Aug

Box 2, Folder 2

USSR/ Hungary Trip 1984 Nov

Box 2, Folder 3

Moscow Trip - IFSNTB Meeting 1986 Jul 11-13

Box 2, Folder 4

Nuclear Weapons - Arms Race circa 1980s

Box 2, Folder 5

Moscow Trip 1986 May 27-29

Box 2, Folder 6

Japan Trip 1985 Jul-Aug

Box 2, Folder 7

USA/USSR Task Force to Build a World Beyond War 1985 Sep 9

Box 2, Folder 8

Earth Scientists for the Preservation of the Planet & The Problem - Victor F. Weisskopf 1986 May

Box 2, Folder 9

USSR Trip - Notes, etc. 1985 Oct

Box 2, Folder 10

Correspondence b/w Richard Rathbun & Central Jersey Region Beyond War 1988

Box 2, Folder 11

USA/ USSR Task Force (photos enclosed) 1984

Box 2, Folder 12

USSR Trip - Notes/RPT 1986 Jun

Box 2, Folder 13

USSR Trip 1988 Aug

Box 2, Folder 14

Moscow News Newspaper 1930 Oct 5

Box 2, Folder 15

Update - Auth & Ed. 1987 Jan 27

Box 2, Folder 16

Biogs. 1987

Box 2, Folder 17

Axel Rod - Multi-lingual

Box 2, Folder 18

Barton B. Bernstein circa 1960s - 1980s

Box 2, Folder 19

Alan Borning 1987

Box 2, Folder 20

Kenneth E. Boulding 1987

Box 2, Folder 21

Paul Bracken 1987

Box 2, Folder 22

Admiral Eugene J. Carroll Jr. 1986-1987

Box 2, Folder 23

Stephen F. Cohen 1986-1987

Box 2, Folder 24

Randall Forsberg 1985-1987

Box 2, Folder 25

Jerome D. Frank 1986-1987

Box 2, Folder 26

Papers w/ Notes on Nuclear Weapons - multiple authors 1987

Box 2, Folder 27

Martin E. Hellman 1986-1987

Box 2, Folder 29

Sergei P Kapitza/ Martin E. Hellman 1988

Box 2, Folder 30

Lawrence Klein 1987

Box 2, Folder 31

Einar Kringlen 1987-1988

Box 2, Folder 32

Steven Kull 1987

Box 2, Folder 33

Boris Raushenbakh 1987 Jan 22

Box 2, Folder 34

John M. Richardson Jr. 1987

Box 2, Folder 35

Everett M. Rogers 1983-1987

Box 2, Folder 36

Richard R. Roney 1987

Box 2, Folder 37

Linn Sennott 1987

Box 2, Folder 38

Theodore B. Taylor 1987

Box 2, Folder 39

William L. Ury 1987

Box 2, Folder 40

I. William Zartman 1987

Box 2, Folder 41

The Story 1987

Box 2, Folder 42

Fairchild Auditorium Presentations

Box 2, Folder 43

Soivet Papers - Old & Repr./ Sample (problems) & Burlatsky Dial


2013 Nov 19

Box 1, Folder 35

Reprints - MH & TC Scowned - Website 1970-1976


Computer files


Publications 1971-2012


Physical Description: 42 computer file(s) (PDF)

Scope and Content Note

PDFs of most of Hellman's published papers. The numbered entries correspond to the publications page  on his website.

Breakthrough History 1986 Feb

Breakthrough History

Physical Description: 5 computer file(s)

Scope and Content Note

Images of a telegram and a telex, with crops of those showing the most important parts.
Notes from Martin Hellman:
860205 telegram.tiff 860205 telegram.tiff is a February 5, 1986 telegram from Andrei Kokoshin and another Soviet (Oznobistchev) whom I don't remember. Andrei was one of Evgeny Velikhov's Deputies -- and Velikhov was a VP of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and later Gorbachev's Science Advisor. When we tried to meet with Velikhov in the Fall of 1984, he had us meet with Kokoshin instead. Later Kokoshin was a high level official in the Russian Ministry of Defense. When we worked with him, he was at the Academy of Science's Institute on USA and Canada, often known as IUSA. The telegram refers to "OUR COMMON WORKING MEETING IN SPRING ... NOT EARLIER THAN APRIL" In fact, that meeting did not take place until April 1987 (see picture caption on page 268 of the book). That was probably just as well since Gorbachev was not able to lift censorship until the Fall of 1986, so the earlier meeting date would have been severely hampered. In contrast, by April 1987 we were able to have totally unfettered discussions with the Soviets, with no limitations. There was a real discontinuity in late 1986.
That telegram also refers to their "HAVE NOT GOT TELEX." Earlier, we had to use telegrams at about $0.25 per word to communicate in both directions, but by February 1986, Beyond War had obtained a CP/M program which allowed us to use a personal computer as a telex machine at roughly 1/10 the cost per word of telegrams. While the Soviets could receive our telexes, they could not send and had to use telegrams still.
860225 telex.tiff is our reply to that telegram. A few words in the second paragraph are hard to read so here they are, "We have begun work based on the Draft Memorandum of Understanding which we formulated ...".

Cryptography History

Cryptography History

Physical Description: 38 computer file(s)

Scope and Content Note

Notes from Martin Hellman:
_Autobiography FrameMaker folder has a ReadMe.txt which explains what's there. I mostly included it for Chapter 1, which details my meeting with John Schwartz concerning the Meyer letter.
Crypto History/1976 1110 cryptanalysis of DES.pdf has a scan of what I've called "the Lexar Report," except this is the Stanford version which we had to wait a few months to release for the reasons mentioned in my verbal comments when you were here.
Crypto History/1977 0707 Meyer letter folder has files related to Meyer's letter sent to the IEEE, including that letter.
Crypto History/1978 0703 TIME article has the July 3, 1978 TIME article in both scanned and text versions The text version is in Pages, a Mac word processor.
Crypto History/IBM folder has correspondence between me and IBM when I was trying to get IBM to help increase the key size of DES.
Crypto History/Inman folder has Bob Inman's 1980 handwritten letter to me.
Crypto History/NBS folder has several files related to my interactions with NBS over DES' key size.
Crypto History/Science Magazine articles folder has several articles from Science magazine related to my work. I own no rights to those articles since I did not write them.

Merkle, Ralph C. 1974-

Merkle, Ralph C., 1974-

Physical Description: 17 computer file(s)

Autobiography, Chapter 1

Autobiography, Chapter 1

Physical Description: 1 computer file(s) (PDF)

Scope and Content Note

Chapter from uncompleted memoir describing Hellman's interaction with John Schwartz and what happened at the 1977 symposium. This relates to the Meyer file. It was written about 20 years ago in a now obsolete word processor, and was translated into Word.