In the News Archive
Now online 4 new oral histories.
Our interviews with physicists Ronald Drever and David Goodstein, engineer Frederick Lindvall, administrator and English lecturer Charles Newton are now online. Read more about our oral history program here.
The George E. Hale collection is online!
George Ellery Hale (1868–1938) founded not only Caltech, but also the world’s largest telescopes. We’ve digitized his papers for the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Now online the Keck Observatory interviews
A series of seven oral histories conducted by the Caltech Archives between 1991 and 1992 to document the early history and development of the Keck Observatory at Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
The Mind's Eye: Richard Feynman in Word and Image
A Caltech Archives special exhibition on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Richard Feynman's birth. Additional information here.
Jerome Pine Oral History online
Read our interview with Jerome Pine (1928-2017), neuroscientist and physics professor in the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy.
Now online six Legacy Oral Histories
- Richard H. MacNeal (Electrical engineering)
- H. Victor Neher (Physics)
- David S. Saxon (Astronomy)
- Apollo M. O. Smith (Mechanical engineering; Aeronautics)
- Hallet D. Smith (History)
- Robert L. Walker (Physics)
Carver Mead's video on the story of the realization of his "First Chip" is online!
Learn more here. Posted 10-23-2017
Now online six Legacy Oral Histories:
- Frank Estabrook (Gravitational Waves and JPL)
- Philip Fogg (Business Economics)
- Hans Liepmann (Engineering and Applied Science)
- Thayer Scudder (Anthropology)
- Verner Schomaker (Chemistry)
- Peter Wyllie (Geology and Planetary Sciences)
Six new Oral Histories online
Read the recollections of:
- Pol Duwez (Engineering)
- Frank E. and Ora Lee Marble (Engineering)
- Philip Saffman (Engineering)
- Margaret Lauritsen Leighton (Physics)
- Robert Leighton (Physics)
- Richard Marsh (Chemistry) Posted 8-22-2017
Gerald J. Wasserburg oral history online!
G. J. Wasserburg received the prestigious Crafoord Prize in 1986 for his pioneering work on isotope geology. His personal recollections are now available online.
This completes the Wasserburg collection in the Caltech Archives, which are also home to his papers. They are open to researchers and the finding aid can be found online at the Online Archives of California (OAC). Posted 5-19-2017
Ready for a Quick Caltech History Quiz? Learn more
Three new Oral Histories online. Read the recollections of mathematician W. A. J Luxemburg, of LIGO physicist Stanley E. Whitcomb and of Professor of Literature Oscar Mandel. Posted 4/17/2017
Marble papers collection guide online. The papers of Professor Frank E. Marble (1918-2014), one of the fathers of modern jet engines have been processed, and the searchable collection guide is now available online at the Online Archive of California (OAC). Learn more. Posted 9-30-2016
New Oral Histories online! Caltech faculty members, administrators, alumni, and staff have told us their stories, and now you can read them online. Enjoy the recollections shared by Charles Peck (Professor of Physics, emeritus, and former PMA Division Chair), Hans Hornung (Professor of Aeronautics, emeritus), Dana Roth (alumnus and former Chemistry Librarian) and Herman Miller (alumnus). Posted 8-26-2016
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
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
Donald Glaser papers received. 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 molecular biology and his leading contributions to visual neuroscience, Glaser has advanced many of our most important frontiers of scientific discovery and technological progress. 7-13-2015
Richard Ellis Oral History online. Steele 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
Susan Davis Oral History online. Susan Davis had been the administrator for the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at Caltech for more than 20 years (from 1981 to 2012). Read the full interview here. 6-17-2015
Goldberger papers collection guide online. Marvin L. "Murph" Goldberger (1922-2014) was Caltech's fifth President and professor of particle physics, who worked on the Manhattan project (learn more). A researchable collection guide has been published online at the Online Archives of California (OAC). 12-12-2014
Stanley papers collection guide online. Gordon J. Stanley (1921-2001) was a key contributor to radio astronomy, both in Australia and the United States. A researchble collection guide has been published online at the Online Archives of California (OAC). Learn more. 6-10-2014
Collections in preparation: Aron Kuppermann. Professor Aron Kuppermann (1926-2011) was a leader in the field of computational chemistry and was best known for his theoretical studies of the dynamics of chemical reactions. His collection of papers covering different aspects of his work was recently donated to the Caltech Archives. 1-15-2014
50th anniversary of quark models: Murray Gell-Mann oral history available online. 12-6-2013
Wasserburg papers collection guide online.
Professor Gerald J. Wasserburg began donating his papers to the Caltech Archives in 1996. A searchable collection guide to the now 172 archival boxes has been published online at the Online Archive of California (OAC).
Learn more. 5-14-2013
MacCready grant. The Caltech Archives is pleased to announce a generous gift from the MacCready family for the processing and digitizing of the papers of Caltech alumnus, inventor and entrepreneur Paul B. MacCready (1925-2007). Learn more. 5-16-2012
Caltech history video now online. A rich overview of Caltech's past based on historic photos, film, and audio materials from the Caltech Archives. The 10-minute video was created by Archivist Emerita Judith Goodstein in 2000 for the Watson Lecture Series. Watch video. 2-22-2012
James Bonner collection guide now online. The papers of James Frederick Bonner (1910-1996), Caltech alumnus (PhD, 1934) and professor of biology, 1938-1981, have been processed, and the collection guide is now available at the Online Archive of California. The collection is especially rich in scientific and personal correspondence. Learn more. 10-21-2011
LIGO oral histories now online. Between 1996 and 2000 the Caltech Archives recorded 15 interviews with members of the community who were then participants in LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory). Six of those interviews have now been released for online access. Learn more. 6-9-2011
Collections in preparation: Milton Plesset.
Milton S. Plesset (1908-1991) was a physicist who taught applied mechanics and engineering science at Caltech from 1948 to 1978. He was known as a world authority in the physics of fluids and in his later years, the problems of nuclear energy. A small collection of papers covering different aspects of his work was recently donated to the Caltech Archives. Learn more. 6-9-2011
100 oral histories now online: Jenijoy La Belle. The 100th oral history place goes to Dr. Jenijoy La Belle, Caltech's first woman professor. Read her story here. The Caltech Archives has been putting oral histories online since 2002. Learn more about the Oral History Project. 12-2-2010
Collection news: Gutenberg's data. Geophysicist Beno Gutenberg (1889-1960) used accumulated recorded earthquake data to study the physical properties of the earth. A gap in Gutenberg's data sets has recently been filled. Learn more. 5-3-2010
Collections in preparation: James Bonner
The papers of James Frederick Bonner (1910 - 1996), Caltech alumnus (PhD, 1934) and professor of biology, 1938-1981, are currently being prepared for use by researchers. The collection is especially rich in scientific and personal correspondence. Learn more. 5-3-2010
The Encyclopedia Britannica on the head of a pin? Or, to use another example, what if when we needed surgery we could swallow the surgeon? In "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom" Feynman challenged his audience to think about information on a small -very small- scale. In 1959 he knew in principle that it could be done. How it would be done was a matter for further discussion. Learn more. 12-1-2009
Death of JPL co-founder: The Chinese state media reported the death of Tsien Hsue-shen, Caltech PhD 1938. Known in China as Qian Xuesen, he died on October 31, 2009, at the age of 98.
Just weeks before his death, a delegation of Chinese archivists came to Caltech in search of his story. Learn more. 12-1-2009
Collections: Caltech Women's Club Papers
Plans are underway to deposit the Caltech Women's Club papers in the Archives. The CWC is in its 94th year and is one of the oldest university women's clubs in the nation. Learn more 12-1-2009
400 years: Observing Galileo's Telescope. Early in 1610 Galileo published an engraving of the moon's surface as observed by him the previous fall with his new telescope. An original edition of his book, The Sidereal Messenger, along with first editions of all of Galileo's major works, may be found in the rare book collection at Caltech. Learn more. 10-1-2009
Collections: Astronomy news and views. 2009 marks the International Year of Astronomy. In the Caltech Archives, important new acquisitions continue in the astronomy field. And old friends like the Hale papers continue to remind us of the critical role Pasadena and Caltech have played in astronomy for well over 100 years. Learn more. 10-1-2009
Old, new, rare, and mostly Italian. Caltech's rare book collection continues to grow, through the generosity of donors and benefactors.Learn more. 07-17-2009
Collections in preparation. The papers of Enrico Volterra. The selected personal correspondence and photo files of civil and aerospace engineer Enrico Volterra, the son of mathematician Vito Volterra, offer a window on the life and times of an Italian scientist who lived in Europe through two world wars, paid the price for being Jewish in Fascist Italy, and embarked on a new university career in postwar America. Learn more. 07-17-2009
T. H. Morgan and Caltech's Biological Evolution. On the Darwin bicentennial, remembering Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945) and the beginnings of Caltech's Biology Division. Learn more. 05-07-2009
New acquisitions The Drosophila Drawings of Edith M. Wallace. Wallace was Thomas Hunt Morgan's laboratory assistant and illustrator for 32 years. Her finely detailed, beautifully executed pen and ink drawings of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, appeared widely in publications by Morgan and his students. Much later they formed most of the illustrations of the famous Red Book, the definitive catalog of Drosophila mutations prior to the electronic FlyBase. Recently a substantial set of Wallace's original Drosophila drawings were returned to the Caltech Archives from England. Learn more. 05-07-2009
Remembering George Housner (1910-2008). Housner, Braun Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, was a good friend of the Caltech Archives. Learn more. 04-09-2009
Collections in Preparation The papers of Olga Taussky-Todd (1906-1995) and John Todd (1911-2007), both professors in the mathematics department at Caltech. Olga was a numberand matrix theorist trained in Vienna, Zürich, and Göttingen. John was a pioneer in numerical analysis and computing. The two left their estate and their mathematical papers to Caltech. Learn more. 04-14-2009
New digital repository "Lab Notes" launched: Robert A. Millikan Oil Drop Experiment Notebooks online! 03-2009
Preservation of Earnest Watson collection of historic maps supported by Friends of the Caltech Libraries (FOCAL). Learn more. 03-2009
Collections in Preparation The Papers of Gerald J. Wasserburg (born 1927). Geologist, geochemist, planetary scientist, and Crafoord Laureate, Wasserburg is known for his isotope studies of lunar materials collected by the Apollo missions and his involvement in US space research programs. At Caltech he ran the laboratory known as the Lunatic Asylum. Learn more. 03-2009