The Caltech Archives are housed in a modern facility in the heart of the Caltech campus. Our reading room provides a small number of research stations, a browsing and reference library, and a small display space. We are open on weekdays only. Qualified outside researchers may apply for an appointment. For detailed visiting information, hours and directions visit our Access and Use page
The Beckman Room
The Archives also maintains the Beckman Room, which currently features a special exhibition on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Richard Feynman's birth, The Mind’s Eye: Richard Feynman in Word and Image.
In work and play, Richard Feynman was a distinctively visual thinker. The Caltech Archives is telling the story of Feynman’s life and physics by exhibiting the notes and artwork through which he shared his vision.
Highlights include the early Feynman diagrams with which Feynman developed his Nobel Prize-winning contributions to quantum electrodynamics, illustrated lecture notes for the famous Feynman lectures on physics, sketches of colleagues and campus sites, and photographs of Feynman as a teacher, drummer, and amateur actor. The exhibit now also includes a virtual reality experience which brings Feynman's playful spirit to life with one of his favorite autobiographical stories.
The exhibit now also includes a virtual reality experience which brings Feynman’s playful spirit to life with one of his favorite autobiographical stories. Additional information here.
Hours: May 14 2018– June 14, 2019
Monday to Friday: 11 am to 4 pm
Location: The Beckman Museum is located in room 131 on the 1st floor of the Beckman Institute.
Admission: Admission is free. Thanks to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for their generous sponsorship of this exhibit.
In the lobby of the Beckman Institute, two cases are displaying a selection of photographic works and personal papers from the collection of astronomer George E. Hale (1868-1938). Presented by Mt. Wilson Institute in collaboration with Carnegie Observatories, Caltech Archives, Elizabeth Moule and Stephanos Polyzoides.
The Reading Room
Currently on display is "The Year 1900: Looking Back from the Millennium," a display of photos and artifacts from Caltech's predecessor institution, Throop (pronounced T-R-O-O-P) Polytechnic Institute.
A prior Reading Room exhibit "Scientific Instruments Ancient and Modern" may be viewed online.