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Nelson and Henry C. White research material

Creator:
White, Henry Cooke, 1861-1952  Search this
White, Nelson C.  Search this
Names:
Tryon Art Gallery  Search this
Barnard, George Grey, 1863-1938  Search this
Benson, Frank Weston, 1862-1951  Search this
Brush, George de Forest, 1855-1941  Search this
Churchill, Alfred Vance, 1864-1949  Search this
Cortissoz, Royal, 1869-1948  Search this
Currier, Elizabeth  Search this
Currier, J. Frank (Joseph Frank), 1843-1909  Search this
Dewing, M. O. (Maria Oakey), 1855-1927  Search this
Dewing, Thomas Wilmer, 1851-1938  Search this
Fantin-Latour, Henri, 1836-1904  Search this
Freer, Charles Lang, 1856-1919  Search this
Fuertes, Louis Agassiz, 1874-1927  Search this
Kaup, Elizabeth Dewing, b. 1885  Search this
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945  Search this
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Augustus, 1848-1907  Search this
Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925  Search this
Taber, E. M.  Search this
Thayer, Abbott Handerson, 1849-1921  Search this
Thayer, Emma B., 1850-1924  Search this
Thayer, Gladys, 1886 or 7-1945  Search this
Thayer, Kate Bloede  Search this
Thayer, Wm. Henry (William Henry), 1822-1897  Search this
Tryon, Dwight William, 1849-1925  Search this
Whistler, James McNeill, 1834-1903  Search this
Williams, George Alfred, 1875-  Search this
Extent:
4.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Photographs
Sketches
Date:
circa 1851-1961
Summary:
The research material of Connecticut artists and authors Nelson and Henry C. White, measures 4.5 linear feet and dates from circa 1851-1961. The bulk of the collection consists of Nelson C. White's correspondence, writings, and research, primarily related to J. Frank Currier and Abbott Handerson Thayer, and referencing Thomas Wilmer Dewing. Also found are the correspondence, writings, and research files of Nelson's father, Henry C. White, primarily relating to Dwight W. Tryon. Research files include artist correspondence, writings and notes, printed material, photographs of the artists, and photographs of artwork and exhibition installations.
Scope and Contents:
The research material of Connecticut artists and authors Nelson and Henry C. White, measures 4.5 linear feet and dates from circa 1851-1961. The bulk of the collection consists of Nelson C. White's correspondence, writings, and research, primarily related to J. Frank Currier and Abbott Handerson Thayer, and referencing Thomas Wilmer Dewing. Also found are the correspondence, writings, and research files of Nelson's father, Henry C. White, primarily relating to Dwight W. Tryon. Research files include artist correspondence, writings and notes, printed material, photographs of the artists, and photographs of artwork and exhibition installations.

Nelson C. White's correspondence is with Elizabeth Currier, gallery owners, and other individuals in possession of artwork by Currier, conducted during his research on J. Frank Currier, as well as with Elizabeth Dewing Kaup and others concerning his research on Thomas Wilmer Dewing. Miscellaneous material includes reviews of White's autobiography on Abbott Handerson Thayer, and White's ink sketches for a holiday card.

Nelson C. White's writings and notes consist of annotated drafts of Abbott H. Thayer: Painter and Naturalist, The Life and Art of J. Frank Currier, and articles including "Cremona," and "The Art of Thomas W. Dewing."

White's research files form the bulk of the collection. 9 folders of research material on J. Frank Currier consist primarily of photos of artwork and of an installation at Lyman Allyn Museum, but also include a transcript of Currier's 1870 diary, and 3 photographs (copy prints) of Currier. White's research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer is substantial and includes: biographical material on Thayer, such as family reminiscences by Thayer's daughter, Gladys Thayer, and his father, William Henry Thayer; copies and originals of Thayer's letters to his first wife, Kate Thayer, and his second wife, Emma Beach Thayer, and correspondence with William Henry Thayer; typescript copies and originals of Thayer's correspondence with artists, politicians, naturalists and others including George Grey Barnard, Frank Weston Benson, George de Forest Brush, Royal Cortissoz, Maria Oakey Dewing, Thomas Wilmer Dewing , Charles Lang Freer, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent, Edward Martin Taber, and George Alfred Williams; annotated drafts of Thayer's writings and notes on art, philosophy, and nature including his theories on concealing coloration and wildlife preservation; printed material including 2 Thayer exhibition catalogs and news clippings of Thayer's letters to editors; and photographs of Thayer, his family and friends, his home and studio, and his artwork.

Henry C. White's papers include a folder of White's correspondence relating to the publication of his book, The Life and Art of Dwight William Tryon and including a letter from Elizabeth Currier; drafts of his biography of Tryon, including revisions by Mrs. Bender, Alfred Vance Churchill, and Mr. Rossiter; research material on Tryon including transcripts of letters from Tryon to George Alfred Williams, from Charles Lang Freer to Tryon, and from James McNeill Whistler to Henri Fantin-Latour; a typescript of autobiographical "notes and recollections" by Tryon; and photographs of Tryon, his home and studio, his artwork, and the Tryon Art Gallery at Smith College.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 4 series.

Series 1: Nelson C. White Correspondence and Miscellaneous Material, 1921-1953 (Box 1; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 2: Nelson C. White's Writings and Notes, circa 1929-circa 1951 (Box 1, OV 6; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Nelson C. White's Research Files, circa 1851-1961 (Boxes 1-4, OV 6; 2.65 linear feet)

Series 4: Henry C. White Papers, circa 1860-1954 (Boxes 4-5; 1.1 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Connecticut painter, art historian, and collector, Nelson C. White (1900-1989) was born in Waterford, Connecticut, to artist Henry C. White. He studied at the National Academy of Design and Yale University and established himself as a landscape painter whilst also pursuing a literary career. He was the author of two biographies: The Life and Art of J. Frank Currier (1936), and Abbott H. Thayer: Painter and Naturalist (1951). White also penned an article on his friend, Thomas Wilmer Dewing ("The Art of Thomas Wilmer Dewing"), which was published in 1929.

White's father, Henry C. White (1861-1952), was an artist known primarily for his landscapes and seascapes of his native Connecticut. Born in Hartford, White began his career in 1875, studying with Dwight W. Tryon. In the 1880s he enrolled in the Art Students League in New York, while continuing to study with Tryon and other artists, including Kenyon Cox and George de Forest Brush. In the 1890s he traveled in Europe and then returned to Hartford where he taught drawing at the Hartford Public School, and co-founded the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts in 1910. Like his son, White had literary aspirations, and in 1930 published a biography of his life-long friend and teacher entitled The Life and Art of Dwight W. Tryon. Two years after his death in 1952, the Lyman Allyn Museum held a memorial exhibition for White, curated primarily by Nelson C. White.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art holds several collections related to the Nelson and Henry C. White research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer and Dwight William Tryon. These include research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer and other artists, 1895-1990, donated by Thomas B. Brumbaugh; the Abbott Handerson Thayer letter and drawings to Caroline Peddle Ball, circa 1890-1893; and the Dwight William Tryon papers, 1872-1930.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels 1330 and 2807) including autobiographical notes by Tryon, letters to Nelson C. White and Henry C. white, photographs of artwork, and an article. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Archives of American Art purchased two linear feet of material from Nelson C. White in 1956. White also lent material and donated papers in 1978 and 1983.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Connecticut  Search this
Art historians -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Connecticut  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Protective coloration (Biology)  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Wildlife conservation  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
Nelson and Henry C. White research material, circa 1851-1961. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.whitnels
See more items in:
Nelson and Henry C. White research material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-whitnels
Online Media:

Abbott Handerson Thayer and Thayer Family papers

Creator:
Thayer, Abbott Handerson, 1849-1921  Search this
Names:
Clemens, Samuel Langhorne, 1835-1910  Search this
Colman, Samuel, 1832-1920  Search this
Cortissoz, Royal, 1869-1948  Search this
Dow, Thomas Millie  Search this
Emerson, Edward Waldo, 1844-1930  Search this
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882  Search this
Faulkner, Barry, 1881-1966  Search this
Foster, Ben, 1852-1926  Search this
Freer, Charles Lang, 1856-1919  Search this
French, Daniel Chester, 1850-1931  Search this
Fuertes, Louis Agassiz, 1874-1927  Search this
Gellatly, John, 1853-1931  Search this
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Meryman, Richard Sumner, 1881-1963  Search this
Plunket, Jean Reasoner  Search this
Reasoner, David  Search this
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919  Search this
Sainsbury, Everton  Search this
Taber, E. M.  Search this
Thayer, Emma B., 1850-1924  Search this
Thayer, Gerald Handerson, 1883-1939  Search this
Thayer, Gladys, 1886 or 7-1945  Search this
Thayer, Kate Bloede  Search this
Thayer, Mary  Search this
White, Stanford, 1853-1906  Search this
Extent:
5.12 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1851-1999
bulk 1881-1950
Summary:
The papers of painter and naturalist, Abbott Handerson Thayer, and the Thayer family date from 1851 to 1999, with the bulk of the material dating from 1881 to 1950, and measure 5.12 linear feet. Thayer's painting career, interest in concealing coloration (camouflage) in nature, and relationships with artists, patrons, family, and friends are documented through correspondence, writings, scattered legal and financial records, printed materials, and a scrapbook. Photographs are of Thayer, his family, studio, and friends, including artists. The collection also contains family papers created by his second wife, Emma Beach Thayer, his son Gerald, his daughters Mary and Gladys, and Gladys' husband David Reasoner, who managed Thayer's estate after his death.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and naturalist, Abbott Handerson Thayer, and the Thayer family date from 1851 to 1999, with the bulk of the material dating from 1881 to 1950, and measure 5.12 linear feet. Thayer's painting career, interest in concealing coloration in nature, and relationships with artists, patrons, family, and friends are documented through correspondence, writings, scattered legal and financial records, printed materials, and a scrapbook. Photographs are of Thayer, his family, studio, and friends, including artists. The collection also contains family papers created by his second wife, Emma Beach Thayer, his son Gerald, his daughters Mary and Gladys, and Gladys' husband David Reasoner, who managed Thayer's estate after his death.

Scattered Biographical Material includes a brief autobiographical statement and chronology by Abbott Thayer, lists of artworks by Abbott Thayer and Gladys Thayer Reasoner, and biographical information about Thayer's granddaughter, Jean Reasoner Plunket. Two linear feet of family correspondence includes Abott Thayer's correspondence with patrons Charles L. Freer and John Gellatly; with many artists, several of whom were close friends, including Samuel Colman, Thomas Millie Dow, Daniel Chester French, Richard Meryman, Everton Sainsbury, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, and E. M. Taber; and former students, such as Ben Foster and Barry Faulkner; and with other friends, many of them prominent members of society, such as Samuel Clemens, Royal Cortissoz, Edward Waldo Emerson, and Stanford White. Also found is Thayer's correspondence with scientists and naturalists discussing his theories on protective coloration in nature. Correspondence of his second wife Emma Beach Thayer, his first wife, Kate Bloede Thayer, his daughter, Gladys Thayer Reasoner, her husband and executor of Thayer's estate, David Reasoner, and other family members are also included in the papers.

Writings and notes by Thayer record his thoughts on concealing coloration, nature, restoration of artwork, and other topics. Writings by others include those by Emma Beach Thayer, daughters Mary and Gladys, and Thayer scholars. The collection also contains correspondence of David Reasoner and other family members, as well as financial and legal documents regarding the estate of Abbott Handerson Thayer and Emma Beach Thayer. Additional financial and legal material includes ledgers, accounts statements, bills, a patent granted to Thayer and Gerome Brush, legal agreements, property deeds, and a map of Thayer's property.

Printed material include books, including one written by Theodore Roosevelt in response to Thayer's book on concealing coloration. Also found are newspaper and magazine clippings, and exhibition announcements and catalogs. Photographs are of Abbott Thayer, his wife Emma; his studio and home in Dublin, New Hampshire; friends, including Rockwell Kent and Ralph Waldo Emerson; and of unidentified people. Artwork includes a few drawings by Thayer, drawings and paintings by his children, and sketchbooks belonging to David Reasoner and Jean Reasoner Plunket. The collection also includes one large scrapbook kept by David Reasoner documenting Abbott Thayer's artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 10 series. Glass plate negative is housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1878 - circa 1966 (Box 1; 7 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1867-1987 (Box 1-3; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1888-1945 (Box 3; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 4: Estate Papers, 1921-1954 (Box 3-4; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Other Financial Records, 1889-1957 (Box 4; 7 folders)

Series 6: Legal Records, 1891-1927 (Box 4; 4 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1851, 1896-1999 (Box 4-5; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1861-1933 (Box 5, MGP 2; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, 1887 - circa 1940s (Box 5-6, 8; 8 folders)

Series 10: Scrapbook, circa 1910-1920 (Box 7; 0.3 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921) was born in Boston to Dr. William Henry Thayer and Ellen Handerson Thayer. After his birth his family moved to Woodstock, Vermont, and in 1855 settled in Keene, New Hampshire. As a child Thayer developed a love of nature that was encouraged by his close family, which included three sisters, Ellen, Margaret, and Susan. At the age of fifteen he was sent to the Chauncy Hall School in Boston, and while there he met Henry D. Morse, an amateur animal painter. Under Morse's instruction Abbott developed his skill in painting birds and other wildlife and began painting animal portraits on commission. In 1867 he moved to Brooklyn, New York and attended the Brooklyn Academy of Design where he studied under J. B. Whittaker for two years. In 1868 he began showing his work at the National Academy of Design and enrolled there in 1870, studying under Lemuel Wilmarth. He met many emerging artists during this period, including his future first wife, Kate Bloede and his close friend, Daniel Chester French. Thayer became part of progressive art circles, showing his work at the newly formed Society of American Artists, while continuing to develop his skill as an animal and landscape painter.

Thayer and Kate Bloede were married in 1875. They moved to Paris and he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, first under Henri Lehmann, and then with Jean-Léon Gérome. While in Europe he befriended fellow artists Everton Sainsbury, Thomas Millie Dow, George de Forest Brush, and Dwight Tryon. His daughter Mary was born in 1876 and his son William Henry in 1878. The family returned to America in 1879 and settled in his parent's home in Brooklyn, where he changed his focus to portraits. After the tragic deaths of William Henry in 1880 and of their second son, Ralph Waldo, in 1881, the family led a migratory existence living in various parts of New England. In 1881 while living in Nantucket they met Emmeline (Emma) Beach (1850-1924) who would become close friends with Abbott and Kate and would be known as "Addie" to the family. In 1883 their son Gerald was born and in 1886 their daughter Gladys was born. In 1887 Thayer settled his family in Keene, New Hampshire, and began teaching a small group of students. Around this time his wife began suffering from severe depression and went to a sanatorium in 1888. She died in 1891 and that fall Thayer married Emma Beach who had helped to care for him and his children during his wife's illness.

Despite family tragedies, Thayer became a leader in the New York art world during the 1880s and 1890s. He was a successful portraitist and painted allegorical figures of angels, women, and children, which were popular among collectors of this period, including his patrons Charles Lang Freer and John Gellatly. He often used his children as models, especially his eldest daughter, Mary.

In the late 1880s one of Thayer's students, Mary Amory Greene, built a house and studio for the Thayer family on her land in Dublin, New Hampshire, and in 1901 the family settled there permanently. Many of Thayer's artist friends lived nearby, such as Richard Meryman and George de Forest Brush, and the Thayer family frequently entertained prominent visitors such as Edward Waldo Emerson and Samuel Clemens. Abbott Thayer taught painting to his children, and Gerald and Gladys both became artists and art educators. Gladys married David Reasoner, a student of Abbott Thayer who later became his assistant. Other students of Thayer included Rockwell Kent, Ben Foster, Barry Faulkner, and Louis Agassiz Fuertes.

Greatly influenced by transcendentalism and the spirituality of nature, Thayer again began to paint landscapes, especially of nearby Mount Monadnock. He was very interested in the study of protective coloration in the wild, and was an advocate for nature conservation and bird sanctuaries. He published the book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom in 1909 with his son Gerald, but encountered much resistance to his theories. Thayer also wrote about how his camouflage theories could be applied to military warships and uniforms. These theories failed to gain widespread government interest and after suffering from nervous exhaustion, he spent the rest of his life painting landscapes at his home in Dublin, until his death in 1921.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds several collections related to Abbott Handerson Thayer. These include research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer and other artists, 1895-1990, donated by Thomas B. Brumbaugh; the Abbott Handerson Thayer letter and drawings to Caroline Peddle Ball, circa 1890-1893; "The Drawings of Abbott Thayer", by Elizabeth Robins Pennell, circa 1921; and the Nelson and Henry C. White research material, 1898-1978, which includes many letters, photographs, and other material originally belonging to the Thayer family.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels 48 and 3417) including a diary kept by Thayer, a "Family Record" written by William Henry Thayer, correspondence, printed material, photographs, and original artwork by Abbott Handerson Thayer. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Anne Whiting, a niece of Abbott Handerson Thayer, loaned the Archives of American Art material for microfilming in 1971 and Jean Reasoner Plunket, Thayer's granddaughter, loaned original artwork for microfilming in 1985. The rest of the Abbott Handerson Thayer and Thayer Family papers were donated in 1999 by Abbott Thayer's great-grandson, John Plunket, who received the papers from his mother Jean Reasoner Plunket. In 2005 Bruce Gimelson donated additional material purchased from the relatives of Emma Beach Thayer.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Rights:
Reel 3417 (art works): Authorization to publish, quote or reproduce requires written permission from Jean Reasoner Plunket. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New Hampshire -- Dublin  Search this
Topic:
Naturalism  Search this
Camouflage (Biology)  Search this
Art and camouflage  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Abbott Handerson Thayer and Thayer Family papers, 1851-1999 (bulk 1881-1950). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.thayabbo
See more items in:
Abbott Handerson Thayer and Thayer Family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-thayabbo
Online Media:

Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbook 2

Collection Creator:
Kilbourne, Elaine Margretta, 1923-2014  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1955-1966
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist at ACMarchives@si.edu
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Elaine M. Kilboroune Scrapbooks, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Guy A.Toscano.
See more items in:
Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbooks
Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbooks / Series 1: Scrapbooks
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-105-ref10
4 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbook 2 digital asset number 1
  • View Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbook 2 digital asset number 2
  • View Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbook 2 digital asset number 3
  • View Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbook 2 digital asset number 4

Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbook 3

Collection Creator:
Kilbourne, Elaine Margretta, 1923-2014  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1966-1967
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist at ACMarchives@si.edu
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Elaine M. Kilboroune Scrapbooks, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Guy A.Toscano.
See more items in:
Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbooks
Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbooks / Series 1: Scrapbooks
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-105-ref11
3 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbook 3 digital asset number 1
  • View Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbook 3 digital asset number 2
  • View Elaine M. Kilbourne Scrapbook 3 digital asset number 3

Willy Ley Papers

Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Names:
American Interplanetary Society  Search this
American Rocket Society  Search this
National Aeronautics and Space Administration  Search this
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Extent:
48.29 Cubic feet (107 Boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Photographs
Manuscripts
Publications
Financial records
Date:
1859-1969
bulk 1930-1969
Summary:
This collection consists of Willey Ley's personal files, including his business correspondence, book contracts, and galley proofs, as well as publicity concerning Dr. Ley and his activities, and inquiries and comments from Ley's readership during his tenure as columnist for Galaxy Magazine (1952-1969). The material also includes articles gathered by Ley on topics ranging from astronomy and space travel to biology and natural parks to mythology, psychic phenomena, and UFOs.
Scope and Contents note:
The Willy Ley Collection reflects Ley's broad, restless curiosity about the world around him. However, the main thrust of this material emphasizes his intense interest in the aerospace field. Ley's significant contributions as a great proponent, theorist and historian of rocketry and space travel are quite evident in this collection.

For the most part, the collection encompasses the years Ley spent in the U.S., roughly, from the mid 1930s to his death in 1969. Accordingly, very little pertaining to Ley's time in the VfR is found here. This wide array of materials was sold to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) by Ley's widow, Olga, in 1970.(1) Later that year, NASM personnel traveled to Ley's home in New York to transfer this collection to the museum. They were careful to maintain the overall order of the collection which reflects its original organizational structure, as well as the research techniques and thinking processes of Ley himself.

The collection of materials listed in the finding aid is arranged into four series. The first series is composed of personal materials that include correspondence, book and article contract materials, galley proofs, manuscript and article drafts, notes, articles, lecture invitations and brochures, photographs, drawings, travel and war-time memorabilia, newspaper and press clippings, book reviews, personal bills and receipts, business cards, children's' report cards and Christmas cards. The materials of this series range in date from the early 1930s to 1969. Except for moving this series to the beginning of the collection, original order was maintained. Additionally, original folder titles were retained (as they were for the rest of the collection). Correspondence, book/article contracts materials, research notes, articles, newspaper and press clippings and miscellaneous personal materials are arranged chronologically while the manuscript drafts, galley proofs and book reviews are organized alphabetically by title.

The second series comprises the bulk --about two-thirds, of the Willy Ley Collection. This series, the aerospace subject files, ranges in date from the late 1800s to 1969, and covers the following topics: biography (Ley and others), aviation, inventions, astronomy, space travel, rockets, artificial satellites, manned space flight, ground support and rocket test centers. The folders include correspondence, photographs, notes, reports, brochures, pamphlets, magazines, articles and newspaper clippings. Original order was maintained for this series. The materials are organized by subject.

The third series consists of printed materials. This series ranges in date from the early 1950s to 1970 and includes various publications (newsletters, pamphlets, journals, reports, directories, magazines and books). Also included are article and newspaper clippings. Ley organized the newsletters by title and then chronologically.

The fourth and final series of this collection contains non-aerospace subject files. Ley's certificates, citations and a scrapbook are found in this series. The certificates and citations are for Ley's civic and professional achievements. The scrapbook contains miscellaneous newspaper clippings regarding rocketry and space travel (in English and German) from the 1930s and 1940s. However, this series, ranging in date from the early 1900s to 1969, mainly encompasses materials not directly related to aviation, rocketry or space travel. Original order was maintained for this series. The materials are organized by subject.

The researcher should note that all the folders (except for those of Series 4) are numbered. This numbering system reflects an effort by NASM's Department of Space History in 1970 to create a rough catalog of the Willy Ley Collection as it was being moved to the museum. Though now obsolete as an index, these penciled numbers were retained and are written in the upper right corner of the folders.

Endnotes: 1. That same year, Mrs. Ley also sold her husband's collection of books and journals to the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Currently, it is known as the Willy Ley Memorial Collection and resides at the University's library. Wernher von Braun and NASA Saturn launch vehicle program manager Arthur Rudolph participated in the dedication ceremony in 1971.
Arrangement note:
Series 1: Personal Materials

Series 2: Aerospace Subject Files

Series 3: Printed Materials

Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Biographical/Historical note:
Willy Ley was a world-renown expert in and proponent of rocketry and space travel. Born in Berlin, Germany on October 2, 1906, Ley attended the Universities of Berlin and Konigsberg and studied astronomy, paleontology, zoology and physics. Beyond these studies however, he developed a passionate interest in rocketry and its potential applications for space travel. Accordingly, he wrote and published his first book, Die Fahrt in den Weltraum (Travel in Outer Space) in 1926 and helped found Germany's early rocketry and spaceflight club, Verein fur Raumschiffahrt or VfR (Society for Space Travel) the following year. In 1929, Ley, along with well-known rocketry theorist Hermann Oberth, acted as a technical consultant on Fritz Lang's film, Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon). Throughout the late 1920s and early 1930s, he continued to write books, as well as numerous articles in German and foreign publications, on the subject of rockets and spaceflight. Once Adolf Hitler took power in 1933, the Nazis pressured Ley to cease publishing his articles in foreign journals and magazines due to rocketry's potential as a weapon in Germany's arsenal. Also, the VfR disbanded during the Nazis' first year in power amid concerns among the membership regarding the interest the German military was taking in their activities. These factors compelled Ley to leave Germany for Britain briefly and then to the U.S. in 1935. He became an American citizen in 1944.

Until World War II, Ley focused his writing career on topics unrelated to rocketry and space travel. He discovered little interest in these fields among the U.S. public. He was successful though, with a number of non-space publications such as Salamanders and Other Wonders and The Lungfish, the Dodo and the Unicorn. From 1940-44, Ley was science editor of the New York newspaper, PM and later lectured as a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. He was also a regular contributor to a myriad of magazines, encyclopedias and digests such as Popular Mechanics, Cowles Encyclopedia and Galaxy. However, once World War II began and especially after Germany launched V-2 missile attacks on Britain in 1944, Ley found himself in great demand as an expert in rocketry. Following the end of the war, his writings, lectures and newspaper, radio and television interviews helped to spur even greater public interest in rockets and their potential for space flight. Additionally, his books on this subject were widely read in the U.S. and around the world. First published in 1944, Ley's Rockets, Missiles, & Space Travel enjoyed a great deal of popularity and justified numerous printings of revised editions. Other highly successful titles that Ley produced during the 1950s and 1960s included The Conquest of Space, The Conquest of the Moon (written with Wernher von Braun and astronomer Fred Whipple) and Beyond the Solar System. Ley, along with von Braun, artist Chesley Bonestell and others, collaborated on a series of space-themed issues of Collier's (1952-54) that helped to foster popular support for future U.S. missions to earth orbit, the moon and the planets.

Aside from his busy career as a prolific author and populizer of rockets and space travel, Ley was also a husband and father of two children. His wife, Olga, was an accomplished ballet dancer, model and author in her own right. The couple had to two daughters, Sandra and Xenia. Ley had hoped to attend the Apollo 11 launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida but died of a heart attack at his home in Jackson Heights, New York, on June 24, 1969. His death came only four weeks before the launch of mankind's first landing on the moon's surface.

1906 October 2 -- Ley born in Berlin, Germany

1920 January 11 -- Smithsonian Institution publishes A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, a pamphlet written by U.S. rocket scientist Dr. Robert H. Goddard

1923 -- Romanian rocket scientist Hermann Oberth publishes short book, Die Rakate zu den Planetenraumen (The Rocket into Planetary Space)

1926 -- Ley writes and publishes first book, Die Fahrt in den Weltraum(Travel in Outer Space)

1926 March 16 -- Goddard successfully launches first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts

1927 July 5 -- Ley helps found Germany's early rocketry and space travel club, Verein fur Raumschiffahrt or VfR (Society for Space Travel)

1929 -- Ley (along with Oberth) acts as a technical consultant for Fritz Lang film, Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon)

1933 January 30 -- Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany

1935 -- Russian rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky dies

1935 -- Ley leaves Germany for Britain and then to the U.S.

1939 September 1 -- Germany invades Poland – World War II begins

1940 -- Ley begins stint as science editor of New York newspaper, PM

1942 October 3 -- First successful launch of Nazi V-2 (A-4) rocket, Peenemunde, Germany

1944 -- Ley becomes a U.S. citizen

1944 -- Ley publishes first edition of book, Rockets (book would eventually see many revised editions and renamed Rockets, Missiles, & Space Travel)

1944 September 7-8 -- First V-2 rocket attacks on London and Paris

1945 May 8 -- Germany surrenders to Allies

1945 August 10 -- Goddard dies

1945 September 2 -- Japan surrenders to Allies

1945 September 29 -- Wernher von Braun and other captured German rocket scientists are taken to the U.S.

1945 October -- Arthur C. Clarke first proposes concept of communication satellites in Wireless World magazine

1946 April 16 -- First successful launch by the U.S. of a captured V-2

1950 -- Ley publishes book, The Conquest of Space

1952 -- Ley collaborates with von Braun, artist Chesley Bonestell and others on a series of space-themed issues of Collier's

1953 -- Ley collaborates with von Braun and Fred Whipple and publishes book, The Conquest of the Moon

1957 October 4 -- Russia's successful launch of first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1

1958 January 31 -- Successful launch of first U.S. artificial satellite, Explorer 1

1961 April 12 -- Russia's successful launch of first human into space, Yuri Gagarin aboard Vostok 1

1961 May 5 -- Successful launch of first U.S. astronaut into space, Alan Shepard aboard Mercury-Redstone 3 (Freedom 7)

1964 -- Ley collaborates with Bonestell and publishes book, Beyond the Solar System

1969 June 24 -- Ley dies at his home in Jackson Heights, New York

1969 July 16-24 -- Flight of Apollo 11 succeeds in landing U.S. astronauts on the moon
List of Acronyms:
AFB -- Air Force Base

ARCAS -- All-Purpose Rocket for the Collection of Atmospheric Soundings

AS -- Apollo-Saturn [spacecraft-launch vehicle stack]

ELDO -- European Launcher Development Organization

GALCIT -- Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology

GAPA -- Ground-to-Air Pilotless Aircraft

GT -- Gemini-Titan [spacecraft-launch vehicle stack]

HASP -- High Altitude Sounding Projectile

IMP -- Interplanetary Monitoring Platform [satellite]

JPL -- Jet Propulsion Laboratory [Pasadena, California]

MA -- Mercury-Atlas [spacecraft-launch vehicle stack]

MOL -- Manned Orbiting Laboratory

NACA -- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

NACA RM -- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Research Memorandum

NACA TM -- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Technical Memorandum

NARTS -- Naval Air Rocket Test Station

NACA TN -- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Technical Note

NASA -- National Aeronautics and Space Administration

OGO -- Orbiting Geophysical Observatory

OSO -- Orbiting Solar Observatory

PET -- Propulsion, Experimental

RAT -- Rocket-Assisted Torpedo

UFO -- Unidentified Flying Object

USSR -- Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

VfR -- Verein fur Raumschiffahrt [Society for Space Travel]
General note:
Other material: Skin sample from Echo-series satellites.
Provenance:
Willy Ley Estate, Purchase, unknown, XXXX-0098, not NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Topic:
Rockets (Aeronautics)  Search this
Rocketry  Search this
Space flight  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Photographs
Manuscripts
Publications
Financial records
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0098
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098
Online Media:

Non-Aerospace Subject Files

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Scope and Contents note:
This series, ranging in date from the early 1900s to 1969, encompasses materials not directly related to aviation, rocketry or space travel. Original order was maintained for this series. The materials are organized by subject. Ley's certificates, citations and a scrapbook are also found in this series. The certificates and citations are for Ley's civic and professional achievements. The scrapbook contains miscellaneous newspaper clippings regarding rocketry and space travel (in English and German) from the 1930s and 1940s.
Arrangement note:
Arranged by: Inventions, Miscellaneous, Biology, Natural History, Atomic Energy, Geology, Cendrillon (Footware), Mythology, Assorted Single Subject Files, Geography
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0098, Series 4
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1067

Miscellaneous, biology

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 87
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1961-68
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1123

Biology, general

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 89, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1931-66
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1140

Biology, myths and giants

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 89, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1937-52
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1141

Biology, biotin

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 89, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1942-44
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1142

Biology, protoplasm and silicone life

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 89, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1941-68
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1143

Biology, virus and origin of life

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 89, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1941-68
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1144

Biology, Basilisks and Jenny Hanivers

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 90, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1934-61
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1145

Biology, historical items pertaining to botany

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 90, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1941-59
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1146

Biology, botany in China

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 90, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1930-49
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1147

Biology, the Lysenko case

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 90, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1948-61
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1148

Biology, colchicine

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 90, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1940-46
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1149

Biology, pandas

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 90, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1937-66
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1150

Biology, mammals, marsupials (other than Australian)

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 90, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1950-57
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1151

Biology, mammals, prototheria (platypuses)

Collection Creator:
Ley, Willy, 1906-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 90, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1944-59
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
See more items in:
Willy Ley Papers
Willy Ley Papers / Series 4: Non-Aerospace Subject Files
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0098-ref1152

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