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.

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

In the News

Fred Anson papers collection guide online.
The papers of Professor Anson -the Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus- have been processed, and the searchable collection guide is now available online at the Online Archive of California (OAC). Posted 4-19-2016

How to integrate traditional processing into digitization project.
The Archives and the Digital Library Development staff gave a joint presentation to the Society of California Archivists, Annual General Meeting. See the slides here. Posted 4-13-2016

Melvin Levet Oral History online.
Alumnus Melvin Levet (born in 1917; BS 1939, MS 1940) shares his Caltech, World War II and life memories stretching back nearly a century. Read the full interview here. Posted 3-2-2016

image In The News archive

for access to our collections

Talk of the Archives

April Fool, the Caltech way

The 2001 Olive Walk chair prank

At Caltech, pranks are an integral part of student life. Over the years students pranked their comrades, student Houses pranked other Houses, and their witty machinations often spread outside campus.

The pranks were varied, involving furniture, vehicles, and even architecture, but all share the trademark Caltech ingenuity, and the sheer pleasure of working together to solve difficult problems. This light side of Caltech life, on par with scientific achievement, remains a highlight among the memories of many alumni.

For this year's April Fools Day, the Caltech Archives pay a photographic tribute to all the Caltech students who, over the decades, have used their creativity, imagination and hard work to explore not only the boundaries of science, but also those of humor and merriment. - EP
Visit the photographic gallery here.

Posted 3-31-2016

image previous "Talk of the Archives"

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