|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.
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The Archives Reading Room and the Becoming Caltech exhibition are both CLOSED.
For research assistance please contact archives[at]caltech.edu.
Information about the planned opening of the exhibition can be found here.
In the News
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
Contribute a COVID-19 experience
The Caltech Archives is collecting the experiences of the Caltech community on campus, at home, and elsewhere during this unprecedented time. Your contributions will document how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our community. Learn more.
Now online 4 new oral histories
Our interviews with physicists Stanley E. Whitcomb and William Ralph Smythe, chemist Joseph B. Koepfli and administrator and English lecturer L. Winchester Jones are now online.
In The News archive
Talk of the Archives
Becoming Caltech, 1910-1930 PRESENTATIONS
The whole series is now available online
A century ago, a small institution called Throop Polytechnic Institute dramatically reinvented itself, transforming from a manual arts academy to an engineering school, then expanding into a research institute. In 1920, it became the California Institute of Technology.
In summer 2020, Caltech archivists gave a series of livestreamed presentations on the science, engineering, architecture, and community life of early Caltech. Here is the link to video of these presentations.
previous "Talk of the Archives"