The history of the Theory of Cryptography Library

The need for a forum devoted to the presentation of works in the Theory of Cryptography was first noted in the early 1990's. Early attempts to partially meet the need led to the establishing of the Theory of Cryptography Library by Oded Goldreich in 1996. The Library was first located at MIT (on the site In 1998, the library moved to USCD and was monitored by Mihir Bellare (on the site, and in 2001 it was absorbed by the Cryptology ePrint Archive (at

Below we reproduce the original goals and policy statement.

Our goal is to provide a forum for announcing new work in Theory of Cryptography and providing easy access to this work. Towards this end, we will store all relevant works which we receive and periodically notify the subscribers of new works received. For details on how to submit and subscribe to the library, see the library's operation page.


The library is intended to store works of interest to researchers interested in the theoretical aspects of Cryptography. We hope that we can handle the volume of work which falls into this category, but we certainly cannot handle at this stage larger volumes (e.g., all work in Cryptography). It is indeed hard to define what exactly constitutes a work in Theory of Cryptography, yet the following ingredients may give some idea.

The Library's Policy

The library's policy is to accept every work within the above scope which may be of interest to the subscribers. Thus, our screening will be minimal (at the level of reading the abstract and checking that these conditions seems to be satisfied). We hope that we will never have to reject a submission.

We welcome both original work and surveys. We would prefer to receive full papers containing all essential details. However, we also welcome preliminary versions and extended abstracts. Revisions could be added at later stage.

We do not require that new work (i.e., written in 1996 or afterwards) is not submitted elsewhere (e.g., to a conference, journal or to other WWW libraries such as the ECCC).

The Library's Records

The library will consists of records, each record storing one work. The record will consist of a page containing the abstract, a link to the PostScript file of the full work, and the date the submission was received. (See example of a library record.) In addition, there will be a page per each year listing all records of that year, and one archive page storing work prior to 1996 which were never published.

New work will be listed in the current year page. Unless indicated otherwise, we will assume that the submitted work is new.

The archive: The archive is intended to store works written before 1996 which have never appeared in a conference (with proceedings) or in a journal. (Appearance as a Technical Report or as a ECCC report is fine, but do indicate this.) We ask authors of such works to indicate when the work was written. (We will not verify or vouch for this claim, but we feel it would be nice to include this claim in the work's record: see Operation.)

Revisions: We allow to submit revisions of work appearing in the library. It is up to the authors whether to remove the original version (or other previous versions) or not. The library record will contain the dates of each version and pointers to the PostScript files (in case they were not removed).

Removing a work: Authors can ask their work to be removed from the library at any time. Such a request will result in removing the PostScript file, but the record (with the abstract) will remain. Authors wishing to remove their work from the library are asked to indicate the reason for removal, which will be added to the record page. Potential reasons that we envision are a fatal flaw in the work and, conversely, its appearance in a conference with proceeding or a journal. We leave the decision of whether to remove a work which has been published in such form with the author. In particular, although we don't believe this may be the case, some publishers may insist on such removals in the future. Needless to say that we will appreciate if authors remove a work which is later found to be wrong.

The Library's Books

In addition to papers, the library will also store books, lecture notes, PhD theses and similar manuscripts in the area of Theory of Cryptography.

The Library's Newsletter

Subscribers will receive a monthly newsletter listing the abstracts of work added to the library in the last two months.