Digital Collections

Image Archive

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The Image Archive contains over 10,000 images representing Caltech’s history and the people who have made and continue to make it. It includes historic and contemporary photographs of people and places, photographs of historic scientific artifacts and art, and illustrations drawn from Caltech’s rare book collection in the history of science and technology.

Paul B. MacCready Papers

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Paul B. MacCready (1925–2007), a Caltech graduate, was an inventor and an entrepreneur who pioneered alternative energy solutions. The collection documents most aspects of MacCready’s personality and career through a diverse array of documents, media, objects, manuscripts, and printed material. Especially prevalent within the collection are papers and ephemera during the time MacCready was working on his human-powered airplanes, the Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross.

Oral Histories

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The Caltech Archives Oral History Project began in 1978 for the purpose of recording the personal memoirs of the distinguished scientists, teachers, and administrators of the Institute. To date, approximately 200 interviews have been completed and most are open to readers in transcript form. Beginning in 2002, selected interviews have been made available to the public in digital form through this repository.

Lab Notes Online

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Lab Notes Online presents historic scientific data from the Caltech Archives’ collections in digital facsimile. Beginning in the fall of 2008, the first publication in the series is Robert A. Millikan’s notebooks for his oil drop experiments to measure the charge of the electron, dating from October 1911 to April 1912. Other laboratory, field, or research notes will be added to the archive over time.

Donald A. Glaser Papers

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Donald A. Glaser (1926–2013) completed his PhD in physics at Caltech in 1950 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1960 for his invention of the bubble chamber. His scientific work transitioned then to molecular biology and later to neuroscience, leading to significant contributions in both fields. The Glaser Digital Collection unites two physical collections owned by the University of California, Berkeley and Caltech. It is extremely rich and significant and includes papers, diaries, notebooks, photos, and slides.

George E. Hale Papers

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George E. Hale (1868–1938) was an influential astrophysicist and scientific administrator. He quickly established a distinguished scientific reputation for his invention of the spectroheliograph, then made important contributions to the study of solar phenomena. He was the leading figure in the founding of the Kenwood, Mount Wilson, and Palomar Observatories as well as the California institute of Technology, Huntington Library, and the National Research Council.

COVID-19 Experiences

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Beginning in April 2020, the Caltech Archives is collecting the experiences of the Caltech community on campus, at home, and elsewhere during this unprecedented time. These contributions are those that we have permission to publish; they are part of a larger collection which will be available to students and researchers in the future.