Miscellaneous documents and photographs related to the scientific careers of members of the Draper family. Includes publications of the University of the City of New York, with which the Drapers were associated, reprints of papers by John William Draper, F. Melloni, John C. Draper, and Henry Draper, publications of the New York Meteorological Observatory, photographs of the observatory, rare scientific photographs, including photomicrographs (paper prints) by the Drapers, correspondence addressed to Daniel Draper, certificates, diplomas, and other documents.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains materials that revolve around the scientific interests, research, and professional activities of John W. Draper and his three sons. The materials are as diverse in subject as were these four men, with meteorology, solar observation, astronomy, chemistry, and optical science all represented. The collection contains a large number of separate journal issues and articles on these subjects as well as publications of the University of the City of New York, with which the Drapers were associated, mainly covering the periods of 1835, 1838, 1852, and publications of the New York Meteorological Observatory (NYMO), 1876. Included among the NYMO materials are correspondence addressed to Daniel Draper, some acknowledging receipt of publications from NYMO, circa 1892-1908, and photographs of NYMO. The collection also contains reprints of John William Draper, circa 1844-1877; M. Melloni, "A Radiation of Incandescence and Elementary Colors," 1848; John C. Draper, 1856; and reprints of Henry Draper, 1873, 1882.
Also included in the collection are some of the Draper's notebooks, lecture notes, experiment literature and notebooks, and experimental photographs concerning the Draper's professional endeavors in meteorology, chemistry, and astronomy in the late 19th century. There are also a number of materials relating to biographical information on the Draper family, including a substantial number of certificates and diplomas received by the Drapers. In addition, there is personal correspondence, articles on the members of the family, and a copy of Dorothy Catherine Draper Nye's will. While most of the documents are originals, the collection also contains many photocopied or reproduced documents.
A photograph by Mora in the collection, marked "J.W. Draper," does not appear to depict the same man as in Neg. No. 52,757.
The collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1: Draper Family, 1829-1936
Series 2: John W. Draper, 1811-1936
Series 3: Henry Draper, 1837-1882
Series 4: Daniel Draper, 1841-1931
Series 5: John Christopher Draper, 1835-1885
Biographical / Historical:
The Draper family made a number of important contributions to American science, particularly in the fields of meteorology, astronomy, and chemistry during the 19th and early 20th centuries. John William Draper (1811-1882), primarily a chemist, did pioneer work in photography, and on the chemical effects of radiant energy. He took the first photograph of the moon in 1839-1840 and the first photograph of the diffraction spectrum.
Draper's three sons also did notable work. John C. Draper (1835-1885) was a noted Physician and chemist. Henry Draper (1837-1882) was an early astronomical photographer and also did work on stellar spectra and spectrum analysis. Daniel Draper (1841-1931) was a meteorologist and established the New York Meteorological Observatory in Central Park in 1868. He served as its first director until 1911.
Deeded to the Smithsonian Institution by John William Christopher Draper and James Christopher Draper on January 2, 1972.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.