California Institute of Technology
Welcome to the Caltech Archives


The Caltech Archives
was 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.

The Nobel Physicists at Caltech -a Long History
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Images above are from the Caltech Image Archive, an online, searchable database of thousands of images.



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The Becoming Caltech exhibition is now open to Caltech ID holders.

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In the News

A series of four oral histories collected by the Caltech Women’s Club are now online

Close up of five young women standing behind a fence, shown at three quarters. A portion of a  building is seen behind them. 3 are in front, 2 in the back. They all wear light shirts adorned with large collars. Two have a darker jacket, two wear round glasses. Their hair is pulled up and styled in the fashion of the time.

The interviewees share their observations and perspectives on the early history of the Club and on social life on campus in the 1910s and 1920s. The interviews were conducted by Alice Stone in 1978. Posted 09-24-2021

Arden Albee oral history now online

Albee showing a with Mars Observer model

Read our 2017 interview with Arden Albee, Caltech professor of geology and planetary science, emeritus, and a key figure in lunar and Martian exploration. Prof. Albee served as JPL chief scientist and led multiple NASA missions. (He is shown above with a model of the Mars Observer). Posted 05-10-2021

Now online 6 oral histories collected between 1979 and 1985

These oral histories offer a firsthand view of the lives and careers of students, faculty, and administrators with different backgrounds:

J. Harold Wayland (enginering), Howard G. Smits (engineering), Herbert L. Hahn (trustee), Earl Mendenhall (BS 1918)
Harvey W. House (BS 1920), Wesley L. Hershey (Caltech Y, shown here with a group of students). Posted 04-30-2021

image In The News archive



Talk of the Archives

Mars and the Mind of Man

Panelists at the “Mars and the Mind of Man” symposium

On November 12, 1971, Caltech hosted a symposium to discuss the exploration of Mars. The panelists were science fiction writers Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke, scientists Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan, and New York Times science editor Walter Sullivan, who served as moderator. In 1973 a book was published.

It gave an account of the symposium's discussion and included the reflections of the participants on Mariner 9’s discoveries—and in a broader context, on the significance of space exploration. Read the whole story.

image previous "Talk of the Archives"

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