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University of Arizona

Primary Sources on the History of Science


Correspondence Regarding Sulphur Smoke Injury To Crops in Sulphur Springs Valley, Cochise County, Arizona (AZ 363)
Chiefly letters between R. B. Streets and J. G. Brown, plant pathologists at the University of Arizona, and Wyatt W. Jones employed by Phelps Dodge Corporation, Copper Queen Branch, Douglas. See the Collection guide.

Records Relating to the Agency for International Development Contract With The Federal University of Ceara, Brazil (AZ 441)
The objectives of the grant project were to ascertain the needs of the agricultural colleges at Fortaleza, Ceará, and Recife, Pernambuco with regard to administration, faculties, facilities, finances, and research programs. Collection includes correspondence, reports, workbook and historical materials. See the Collection Guide.

James W. Toumey Agricultural Correspondence (MS 649)
Correspondence, from the 1890s, mostly with colleagues from other colleges and universities and state agricultural agencies concerning plants both sharing plants and issues with plants. See the Collection Guide.


Thomas W. Barrett Papers (MS 712)
Thomas W. Barrett was born September 6, 1917 in Orem, Utah, on a fruit farm. While growing up on the family farm, Barrett became interested in crops, soils, and would later find a passion for agronomy (the science of soil management and crop production). The Thomas W. Barrett papers include personal correspondence, photographs, and a few family papers. A majority of the collection consists of research correspondence, photographs, negatives, transparency slides, research files, field notes, and publications by both Barrett and other agronomists and agriculturalists. See the Collection Guide.






Bart Bok Collection (MS 403)

Bart Bok (1906-1983) was an accomplished astronomer, educator and administrator. Born in Hoorn, Holland in 1906, he studied at the University of Leiden and the University of Groningen, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1932. He served as R.W. Willson Fellow in Astronomy at Harvard University from 1927-1929, Professor of Astronomy at this same institution from 1933-1957, and Associate Director of the Harvard Observatory from 1946-1952. Dr. Bok and his family lived in Canberra, Australia, from 1957-1966, where he served as the Director of the Mount Stromlo Observatory and Professor of Astronomy at the Australian National University. Dr. Bok was appointed as Director of the Steward Observatory and Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona from 1966-1970, where he served as Professor of Astronomy until his retirement in 1974. He was Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at the University of Arizona from 1974-1983.

The collection documents his astronomical research, instruction and administration at Harvard University, the Australian National University, the University of Arizona and associated observatories. The collection also includes material relevant to the study of galactic structure and dynamics and interstellar matter, with particular emphasis on:  The Milky Way, Dark Nebula, Star Formation, Spiral Structure of the Galaxy, Star Clouds of Magellan and Radio Astronomy.  The bulk of the collection is comprised of correspondence (1945-1983), and includes biographical, research, professional and public lecture, instruction, subject, publication and photograph files.

Collection Guide - Bart Bok Collection


Papers of Edwin Francis Carpenter (MS 332)

Contains biographical materials, correspondence, publications and appearances, printed materials, and photographs. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence documenting his professional activities, and photographs documenting the building and instrumentation of Steward Observatory at The University of Arizona, and Kitt Peak National Observatory in the Quinan Mountains, west of Tucson, Arizona. Selected correspondents include Bart Bok, Raymund Dugan, Sture Holm, Knut Lundmark, Otto Struve, and Harlow Shapley.

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Andrew Ellicott (A.E.) Douglas (AZ 072) SEE ALSO:  Dendrochronology, University of Arizona Tree-Ring Lab

American astronomer and educator, founder of the science of dendrochronology. Associated with the Harvard College Observatory, 1889-1894, and its expedition to Peru; as well as the Lowell Observatories in Flagstaff, Arizona, 1894-1901, and Mexico, 1896-1897. At the University of Arizona, Tucson, 1906-1962; Douglass served as professor, dean, acting president, and first director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, and also the Steward Observatory.

Chiefly materials related to A.E. Douglass' astronomical and tree-ring research, and administration, at the Harvard College Observatory, Lowell Observatories, Steward Observatory, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, and University of Arizona. Includes correspondence, photographs, and an unpublished biography.

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Michael Drake Papers (MS 511)

This collection is comprised of the professional papers of Michael J. Drake.  The bulk of the material relates to his career as a researcher and professor in geochemistry, planetary sciences, and meteoritics at the University of Arizona.  The majority of this collection predates 1994 when Dr. Drake became the director of the Lunar Planetary Laboratory and head of the Department of Planetary Sciences.  The largest series is the publications which is divided into four subseries; presentations, articles, books chapters, and general.   Other items in the collection are his personal files, correspondences, proposals and grants, professional services, and a subject file.

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Tom Gerhels Papers  (MS 541)

Papers 1894-2010 (bulk 1960-2000). This collection consists of the professional and some personal papers of Tom Gerhels. The bulk of the material consists of his correspondence with other astronomers, scientists, state and federal politicians. There are also scholarly files, research files, and personal interest files. Almost all amassed during his fifty year career at the Lunar Planetary Laboratory and the Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona. Other items in the collection are environmental files, travel files, instructional files, newspaper clippings, photographs, slides, film, computer disks and CDs.

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Donald M. Hunten Papers (MS 578)

Don Hunten was a major contributor to the unmanned space program. He was very involved in the planning and implementation of many of the NASA planetary missions including Pioneer, Venus, Voyager, Galileo and Cassini.The bulk of this collection consists of 25 notebooks. The majority are related to his career as an astronomical researcher at the University Saskatchewan, Kitt Peak Observatory and the University of Arizona. Other items in the collection are correspondence, photographs, computer disks and CD’s. 

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Gerard P. Kuiper Papers (MS 480)

Gerard P. Kuiper (1905-1973) is considered by many as the father of modern planetary science. In 1960 Kuiper established the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL), first as part of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and later as a separate unit at the University of Arizona. In his years at LPL Kuiper established a group of telescopes in the Santa Catalina Mountains above Tucson; made balloon spectroscopic observations of the Earth’s atmosphere; and conducted observatory site surveys in Hawaii, Mexico, and California. He also studied the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan in 1944, the carbon dioxide atmosphere of Mars in 1948, Uranus’s satellite Miranda in 1948, and Neptune’s satellite Nereid in 1949. The Gerard P. Kuiper Papers are comprised of the personal and professional papers of astronomer Gerard P. Kuiper. The bulk of the material relates to his careers as an astronomical researcher and administrator at the Yerkes Observatory (University of Chicago), McDonald Observatory (University of Texas), and the Lunar Planetary Laboratory (University of Arizona). Items included in the collection are correspondence, publications, research material, newspaper clippings and photographs as well as Kuiper's personal experience as a member of the ALSOS Mission following World War II. 

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Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) Collection (MS 674)

The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) was founded in 1960 by astronomer Gerard P. Kuiper at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Contains correspondence, documents, photographs, maps and reports related to its founding and work performed by LPL scientists over time. Individuals represented include: Leif Andersson, Robert Strom, Gerard P. Kuiper, Harold Urey and others. Subjects include Mauna Kea Observatory the dedication of the Space Sciences building, and various lunar missions.

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Robert McMillan Radial Velocity Papers (MS 668)

Robert S. McMillan materials documenting the Radial Velocity Project of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. The project developed and used a spectrometer to detect the reflex Doppler shift of solar-type stars orbited by Jupiter-sized planets. Observation log books, grant materials, research files, instruments, photographs, and compact disks. 

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OSIRUS Rex Mission Records (MS 698)

Records of the OSIRIS-REx next hit Asteroid Sample Return Mission. A NASA mission led by Primary Investigator Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in collaboration with Goddard Space Flight Center and Lockheed Martin. Born-digital collection with online access through the University of Arizona Libraries Campus Repository. Included in the collection are mission notes and summaries from the OSIRIS-REx next hit Mission Information Wiki page. Collection is currently ongoing with materials deposited in the Campus Repository.

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Elizabeth Roemer Papers (MS 664)

Papers of astronomer Elizabeth Roemer (1929-2016), specialist in astrometry of comets, asteroids, and minor planets, and Professor Emeritus of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Department of Planetary Science and Steward Observatory. Includes research materials, correspondence, project files, notes, clippings, ephemera and publications related to her scientific research, teaching, and extensive committee work including the University of Arizona Faculty Senate

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Papers of Krzysztof M. Serkowski (MS 669)

Papers of Krzysztof M. Serkowski, Research Professor in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona and Astronomer at the Steward Observatory. Includes biographical materials, unpublished essays, and eight observation logs and lab notebooks.

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Peter Hollingsworth Smith (MS 605)

Professional papers of Peter Hollingsworth Smith, Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. The collection predominantly documents the development of scientific instruments and the project management of missions to the planet Mars including Pathfinder, the Mars Surveyor Program and the Phoenix Mars Mission. The papers include extensive research materials, data, correspondence, publications, grant proposals, workshops and conferences, education and public outreach activities and media coverage.

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Charles P. Sonett Papers (MS 520)

This collection is comprised of the personal and professional papers of nuclear physicist Charles P. Sonett. The bulk of the material relates to his career as an astronomical researcher and administrator at the Department of Planetary Sciences and the Lunar Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona.

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Ewen Whitaker Papers (MS 662)

Papers of astronomer Ewen Whitaker (1922-2016), expert on the geography of the moon (selenography). Contains correspondence, project files, extensive photographs and maps, and other materials related to NASA lunar missions (Ranger, Apollo, Surveyor, Lunar Orbiter), selenographic studies, lunar nomenclature and his professional career at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory working with founder Gerard P. Kuiper.

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Wieslaw Z. Wisniewski Papers (MS 546)

The Wieslaw Z. Wisniewski Papers document the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory astronomer's research in the field of comets, stars, extra-galactic objects, and asteroids. This collection includes observational findings, research, and correspondence related to his research endeavors. The bulk of his research focused on near-Earth objects, especially asteroids.

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The Virgin Irons of Tucson:  The Frontier History and Mystery Surrounding the Great “Tucson Meteorite” (AZ 556)

Typescript version of the above.

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Traite de L’Horloge A Pendule, Chrétien Huygens (MS 144)

Chrétien Huygens was a dutch mathematician and astronomer.  Two volumes: Volume 1 contains a handwritten translation by an unknown compiler of the five chapters of Huygens' book, plus an index. This is followed by three sections: "Vie d'Huygens," "Horloge de Chrétien fils de Constanti Huygens de Zulichem," and "Instruction d'Huygens sur l'usage de ses horloges pour trouver les longitudes." Volume 2 contains original steel-plate engravings of diagrams related to the text.

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Observation, Elements of the Orbit and Emphemeris of Swift’s Comet, 1892, and Pleiades, 1899. (MS 264)

Holograph observations by Milton Updegraff of Swift's Comet after its 1892 discovery. Includes 1898 chart of Trails of Leonid Meteors; also a section of observations of the stars in the Pleiades group, made from the Laws Observatory, University of Missouri, 1899.

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Tycho Brahe (MS 677)

1 bound volume entilted "Topographia Insulae Hvennea" handwritten by J. L. E. Dreyer regarding Tycho Brahe and the observatory built on the island of Hven in the late 16th century. It includes 7 maps, two of which are folding. 1 pamphlet titled "Tycho Brahe's Island" by Charles D. Humberd, M.D.

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Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) Cassini Orbiter Instrument Records (MS 706)

Records of the Science Team for the Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument on the Cassini Orbiter of the Cassini-Huygens space research mission run by NASA and international collaborators. Includes records related to the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby Mission (CRAF) sister mission which was cancelled in the early 1990s. Includes correspondence, documents, reports, instrument design and calibration specifications and some publications and graphics. Collection Guide:


Automotive (History and Development in the U.S.)

The Horseless Carriage:  A Collection of Material Relating to the History and Development of the Automobile (MS 035)

Assorted pamphlets, magazines, promotional reports, newspaper articles, advertisements, calendars, newsletters, photographs, and pictorial items relating to cars, from their early development in the 1890s through contemporary trends of the early 1960s. The turn-of-the-century materials are in nostalgic reprints; the earliest original item is a 1924 Automobile Trade Journal. Most of the items date from the 1940s and 1950s, and were distributed by car and tire dealerships, auto manufacturers, petroleum and motor oil corporations, automobile clubs, and the specialty publisher Floyd Clymer. Some publicity brochures describe particular makes of cars. While the emphasis is on the United States, a small amount of material is about the British and German automobile industries. Clipped articles and advertisements are from newspapers and popular magazines such as "Life." The Horseless Carriage Club, headquartered in Los Angeles, is represented by newsletters, clippings, and notices of activities, mostly from 1938 to 1949; also issues of its "Gazette," 1938-1948. 

Brochures and clippings commemorate special events, such as the 1908 New York to Paris Race, and the Automobile Industry celebrating its Golden Jubilee in 1946. Memorabilia is also present about J. Frank Duryea, his winning of America's first automobile race in 1895, and also partaking in the fiftieth anniversary race in 1945. Visual materials include black-and-white photographs from 1938 to 1940 of collectors with their antique cars, and several original drawings by Alexander G. Telatco. Calendars from 1946 and 1953 have color reprints of early cars in Americana settings, by artists such as Norman Rockwell. In addition, much of the printed material contains reproductions of historic photographs depicting different automobile models being driven in various situations.

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Janice Emily Bowers Notebooks (MS 558)

The field notebooks held within this collection belonged to Janice Emily Bowers, a botanist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Tucson, Arizona. The materials in this collection form the basis of two of her books, "The Mountains Next Door" and "A Full Life in a Small Place and Other Essays from a Desert Garden".  Notebooks measure 9.25 inches by 6 inches, with a few measuring 9.75 inches by 7.75 inches. Each contains entries for each plant specimen that was collected on the corresponding field visit. Also included are interspersed media clippings, home recipes, and other assorted information. The entries include both specimen lists and personal narrative.

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Howard Scott Gentry (MS 657)

Howard Scott Gentry was an American botanist who is especially known for his expertise on the agave plant. Over the course of his work, Gentry introduced 15,000 plants into the United States for study, with his most notable contributions consisting of the development of a cortisone precursor compound, the introduction of disease-resistant wild beans, and the development of jojoba oil. This collection is comprised of professional correspondence, proposals, and manuscripts related to his research of plant species. Also included are some photographs and related material to individual plants in the forms of published articles, pamphlets, booklets, and notes.

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Paul Bigleow Sears Collection (MS 455)

The collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, grant proposals, reports, photographs, subject files, field notes, pollen samples and data relating to desert ecology which document Paul Sear's career as a botanist, ecologist and educator. The bulk of the collection is comprised of correspondence between Sears and other researchers. The collection also includes research reports and manuscripts written by Sears and other researchers; activity files of various meetings and conferences attended by Sears and field notes of peat and pollen data collected and analyzed in different states, Mexico and Canada.  Collection Guide:

Forest Shreve Photographs (AZ 518)

Forrest Shreve was a botanist and desert plant ecologist. He served on the staff of the Desert Botanical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution, Tucson, Arizona, from 1908 to 1929, and as director from 1929 to 1938. This collection consists of 1102 photographs, chiefly of vegetation taken throughout Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Mexico (Sonora and Baja California). It also includes photographs of Shreve and his family, the Desert Botanical Laboratory, early automobile trips, and a number of towns in Sonora, Mexico. Some photographs were taken by Laboratory director, D.T. MacDougal, staff members Godfrey Sykes and H.S. Gentry, and others.

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Dr. Homer Leroy Shantz Papers (MS 030

Homer Leroy Shantz was a plant physiologist for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; Botany professor at several universities; later, Chief of Wildlife Management Division, U.S. Forest Service. This collection contains field notebooks, reprint articles, speeches, survey abstracts, photographs, diaries, and correspondence pertaining to Shantz's interests in worldwide agriculture and botany. Shantz's various trips to Africa resulted in extensive field notes, including those for the Smithsonian African Expedition, 1919 to 1920, and the African Education Commission, 1923 to 1924. Background material he collected about Africa encompasses maps; postcards; dictionaries and primers on languages, including Swahili; also, articles on the people, the areas they inhabited, and specific problems, such as the tsetse fly, sleeping sickness, forced labor, and race relations. Photographs of his travels from the Cape to Cairo depict the Nile, Egyptian ruins, wild and domestic animals, vegetation and the landscape, villages and cities, and people in tribal dress. Communal activities documented include cultivation, thatching roofs, building a road, and weaving a large bamboo mat to cover a bridge walkway.

United States material primarily concerns the West, with a focus on Colorado. A study of its vegetation changes includes over 200 photographs. Items from other countries are South American survey abstracts by various authors; Shantz's diary and notes from the International Phytogeographic Expedition to Switzerland, 1923; also his field notes and diaries from Ontario, 1916; the U.S.S.R., 1930; and Germany, 1934. Correspondence concerns his various projects. The bound reprints of his writings have some material concerning wildlife, as it relates to larger ecological schemes.

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Dr. Homer Leroy Shantz Photograph Collection (MS 481)

Dr. Homer L. Shantz (1876-1958) was a leading American botanist and former president of the University of Arizona. He was born in Michigan in 1876, was educated at Colorado College, and received his PhD from the University of Nebraska in 1905. He performed many important duties during his lifetime, including research with the Department of Agriculture, guidance of the botany department of the University of Illinois, President of the University of Arizona, and became the first director of the United States Forest Division of Wildlife Management in 1936, he served in until 1944. In 1956 he traveled one more time to Africa as a member of the Geography Branch of the Office of Naval Research. In this trip he re-photographed many of the sites he had documented earlier. In 1958 he published Photographic Documentation of Vegetational Changes in Africa Over a Third of a Century, which culminated his work in Africa. Homer Shantz died in Rapid City, South Dakota, on June 23, 1958.

The Homer Shantz photograph collection is composed of glass plates, photographs, and negatives documenting distinct environments around the world. Images from the 1919-1920 Smithsonian African Expedition and the 1913 International Phytogeography Expedition are featured in this collection. The collection also contains negatives and prints by Jack McCormick and Walter S. Phillips.

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