California Institute of Technology
Welcome to the Caltech Archives


The Caltech Archives
were formally established in 1968 to serve as the collective memory of the California Institute of Technology. Our mission is to preserve and make accessible the institutional records, personal papers, documents, artifacts and pictorial materials that tell the school's history.

The Archives' unique research collections in the history of science and technology range from the time of Copernicus to today. They are available to the campus community for instructional and research purposes, as well as to qualified non-campus users by appointment.

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Images above are from the Caltech Image Archive, an online, searchable database of thousands of images.

In the News

Kuppermann papers collection guide online.
The papers of Professor Aron Kuppermann (1926-2011), a leader in the field of computational chemistry, have been processed, and the searchable collection guide is now available online at the Online Archive of California (OAC). Learn more. 11-6-2015

Richard Ellis Oral History online.
Richard EllisSteele Professor of Astronomy Richard Ellis joined the faculty at Caltech in 1999, where he served as director of Palomar Observatory/Caltech Optical Observatories, carried out pioneering observations at the W. M. Keck Observatories and Hubble Space Telescope, and was centrally involved in still-ongoing efforts to build the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). Read the full interview here. 7-22-2015

Donald Glaser papers received.
Donald Glaser, et al.The Caltech Archives is pleased to announce it has received the papers of Nobel Prize winner Donald Glaser. The papers include Glaser’s work on his award-winning invention of the bubble chamber, which allowed scientists to study subatomic particles.

Donald. A. Glaser, PhD '50 was one of the most innovative and progressive scientists of the 20th century. From his invention of the bubble chamber to his pioneering role in bioengineering and his leading contributions to visual neuroscience, Glaser has advanced many of our most important frontiers of scientific discovery and technological progress.

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Talk of the Archives

There is something about Harry!

Harry Burkus Gray

As Caltech prepares to celebrate Harry Burkus Gray's 80th birthday and the 25th anniversary of the Beckman Institute, the Archives wishes to send our best to Dr. Gray. We would also like to briefly acquaint everyone with this unique and generous individual.

As a scientist, Dr. Gray has played an important role in the development of the school of inorganic chemistry and in linking that field to biochemistry. Among his many awards—too numerous to list here—is his receiving the National Medal of Science in 1986 "for his pioneering research in bioinorganic chemistry and inorganic photochemistry." And Dr. Gray's seminal work on long-range electron transfer reactions in proteins has been a unifying theme for much of his and his group's research. In 1989, Dr. Gray was honored by becoming the first Director of the then newly established Beckman Institute at Caltech.

Though a well-respected scientist, Dr. Gray has always had a passion for teaching, mixing science with some creativity and a little fun—thereby becoming a beloved teacher in the truest sense of the word, and living by his motto, "You've got to keep people excited." [Dr. Gray's interview in the December 1991 issue of Caltech News, page 3]

And finally, as Founding Director of the Beckman Institute, where the Archives resides, over many years we have found Dr. Gray to have been a supportive “landlord”—respectful of, and interested in, our mission.

Here then, is the Archives tribute to Dr. Gray, and the “Many Sides of Harry!” - LK
Visit the online exhibit here.

Posted 11-11-2015

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