23.5 cu. ft. (23 record storage boxes) (1 document box)
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
The papers of Fred Lawrence Whipple document his astronomical research; his professional work in the field of astronomy; his career as director of the SAO; and, to
a lesser extent, his activities as a Harvard University faculty member. They include a large file of correspondence with professional colleagues, amateur astronomers, SAO
staff scientists, Smithsonian Institution officials, scientific societies and professional groups, government agencies, and Harvard University staff and officials. The papers
concern Whipple's research interests, scientific publications, and editorial work; SAO research projects, particularly the Satellite Tracking Program, Project Celescope, the
Radio Meteor Project, and the Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project; Whipple's work for professional organizations and government agencies and committees including the
International Astronomical Union, the Committee on Space Research, the Committee on Space and Astronautics of the United States House of Representatives, the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation; SAO relations with the Smithsonian Institution; and his activities at Harvard
University and the Harvard College Observatory. Also included are college papers, notes, and a copy of his Ph.D. dissertation; manuscripts of articles, lectures, radio talks,
reviews, and notes from his research; research notes on comets; correspondence, notes, reports, minutes and related materials from Whipple's work with professional groups
and committees; files documenting the development of the MMT at Mount Hopkins, Arizona; and a set of Whipple's publications. Researchers should also consult Record Unit 9520,
Fred Lawrence Whipple Interviews, 1976.
Fred Lawrence Whipple (1906- ), an astronomer, received his B.A. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1927, and his Ph.D. from the University
of California at Berkeley in 1931. In 1932, he joined the staff of Harvard University as an instructor of astronomy. By 1950, Whipple had received the title of professor and
chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard. Whipple was appointed director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) when it moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts,
in 1955. Since his retirement in 1973, Whipple has continued his research as a senior scientist at SAO.
During his tenure as director, Whipple oversaw SAO research programs in stellar interiors, the upper atmosphere, meteorites, celestial mechanics, and geodesy studies. Major
SAO projects under his direction included the Satellite Tracking Program, Project Celescope, the Radio Meteor Project, and the Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project,
also known as the Prairie Network. In the late 1960s, Whipple selected Mount Hopkins, Arizona, as the site of a new SAO astronomical facility. Renamed the Fred Lawrence Whipple
Observatory in 1981, the facility houses the Multiple-Mirror Telescope (MMT), an innovative, low-cost telescope planned by Whipple and two colleagues.
Whipple is internationally recognized for his research on the moon, meteors, and comets. He has conducted pioneering research in photographically measuring the speeds and
decelerations of meteors, computing the orbits of comets and asteroids, and describing the structure of comets. He is the author of more than 150 scientific books and papers,
has served as editor of several publications, and has been a member and officer in numerous professional organizations. In 1975, the minor planet no. 1940 was named "Whipple"
in recognition of his contributions to astronomy.
These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
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the Establishment, composed of the President; the Vice President; the Chief Justice of the United States; the secretaries of State, War, Navy, Interior, and Agriculture; the
Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of
Regents. The membership of the Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States; three members each of the Senate and House of Representatives;
two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents
of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded
to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice
since that time.
The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A.
Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard
Fillmore, Gerald R. Ford, John N. Garner, Hannibal Hamlin, Thomas A. Hendricks, Garret A. Hobart, Hubert H. Humphrey, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas
R. Marshall, Walter F. Mondale, Levi P. Morton, Richard M. Nixon, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, James S. Sherman, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Henry A.
Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.
Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White,
William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.
Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell,
Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin,
Nathaniel Peter Hill, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry French Hollis, Henry M. Jackson, William Lindsay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Medill McCormick, James Murray Mason, Samuel Bell Maxey,
Robert B. Morgan, Frank E. Moss, Claiborne Pell, George Wharton Pepper, David A. Reed, Leverett Saltonstall, Hugh Scott, Alexander H. Smith, Robert A. Taft, Lyman Trumbull,
Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.
Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth,
Clarence Cannon, Lucius Cartrell, Hiester Clymer, William Colcock, William P. Cole, Jr., Maurice Connolly, Silvio O. Conte, Edward E. Cox, Edward H. Crump, John Dalzell, Nathaniel
Deering, Hugh A. Dinsmore, William English, John Farnsworth, Scott Ferris, Graham Fitch, James Garfield, Charles L. Gifford, T. Alan Goldsborough, Frank L. Greene, Gerry Hazleton,
Benjamin Hill, Henry Hilliard, Ebenezer Hoar, William Hough, William M. Howard, Albert Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Joseph Johnston, Michael Kirwan, James T. Lloyd, Robert Luce,
Robert McClelland, Samuel K. McConnell, Jr., George H. Mahon, George McCrary, Edward McPherson, James R. Mann, George Perkins Marsh, Norman Y. Mineta, A. J. Monteague, R.
Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Robert Dale Owen, James Patterson, William Phelps, Luke Poland, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn, B. Carroll Reece, Ernest W. Roberts, Otho Robards
Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.
Citizen Regents have been: David C. Acheson, Louis Agassiz, James B. Angell, Anne L. Armstrong, William Backhouse Astor, J. Paul Austin, Alexander Dallas Bache, George
Edmund Badger, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, James Gabriel Berrett, John McPherson Berrien, Robert W. Bingham, Sayles Jenks Bowen, William G. Bowen, Robert S. Brookings,
John Nicholas Brown, William A. M. Burden, Vannevar Bush, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Rufus Choate, Arthur H. Compton, Henry David Cooke, Henry Coppee, Samuel Sullivan Cox, Edward
H. Crump, James Dwight Dana, Harvey N. Davis, William Lewis Dayton, Everette Lee Degolyer, Richard Delafield, Frederic A. Delano, Charles Devens, Matthew Gault Emery, Cornelius
Conway Felton, Robert V. Fleming, Murray Gell-Mann, Robert F. Goheen, Asa Gray, George Gray, Crawford Hallock Greenwalt, Nancy Hanks, Caryl Parker Haskins, Gideon Hawley,
John B. Henderson, John B. Henderson, Jr., A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Gardner Greene Hubbard, Charles Evans Hughes, Carlisle H. Humelsine, Jerome C. Hunsaker, William Preston
Johnston, Irwin B. Laughlin, Walter Lenox, Augustus P. Loring, John Maclean, William Beans Magruder, John Walker Maury, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, John C. Merriam, R. Walton
Moore, Roland S. Morris, Dwight W. Morrow, Richard Olney, Peter Parker, Noah Porter, William Campbell Preston, Owen Josephus Roberts, Richard Rush, William Winston Seaton,
Alexander Roby Shepherd, William Tecumseh Sherman, Otho Robards Singleton, Joseph Gilbert Totten, John Thomas Towers, Frederic C. Walcott, Richard Wallach, Thomas J. Watson,
Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.
This accession consists of the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO) website as it existed on May 1, 2017. FLWO is operated by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics which is jointly administered by the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. It is located on Mount Hopkins near Amado, Arizona.
The website includes information about its telescopes and other facilities as well as viewing conditions. It also includes a history of FLWO. Materials are in electronic format.