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Records

Creator::
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Office of the Director  Search this
Extent:
30 cu. ft. (30 record storage boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Serials (publications)
Date:
1971-1987
Descriptive Entry:
These records document the administration and scientific programs of SAO under the leadership of Field, 1973-1983, and Shapiro, 1983-1987. A small amount of material was created during Whipple's tenure as director. The records consist of correspondence, memoranda, proposals, reports, budgets, publications, and related materials documenting the research activities of SAO divisions of Atomic and Molecular Physics, High Energy Astrophysics, Optical and Infrared Astronomy, Planetary Sciences, Radio and Geoastronomy, Solar and Stellar Physics, and Theoretical Astrophysics; the development and operation of the multiple-mirror telescope; the research program of the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (before 1981, the Mount Hopkins Observatory); the Satellite Tracking Program, including its evolution from Baker-Nunn cameras to laser-ranging systems, and its termination in 1983; SAO research programs in hydrogen masers, submillimeter wavelength interferometers, and infrared telescopes; the development of the Langley-Abbot Solar Research Program; relations with Harvard University, and SAO's role as a member of the Center for Astrophysics; the establishment of the SAO visiting scientist and post-doctoral fellowship programs; SAO involvement in site testing for an observatory on Mt. Graham, Arizona; a proposed Institute for X-Ray Astronomy at SAO; and budgets, facilities, information management, publication programs, and other administrative matters.

Also included is incoming and outgoing correspondence of Field and Shapiro with professional colleagues, staff of SAO and the Harvard College Observatory, students, and the general public concerning scientific research, professional affairs, administrative issues, and requests for information.
Historical Note:
Fred Lawrence Whipple retired as director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in 1973. He was succeeded by George B. Field, who served in the position until 1983. Irwin I. Shapiro was appointed director in January 1983.
Restrictions:
Materials in Box 1 are permanently restricted; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Topic:
Research  Search this
Baker-Nunn camera  Search this
Astrophysical observatories  Search this
Astronomical observatories  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Serials (publications)
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 437, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Office of the Director, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 437
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0437

Records

Creator::
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Office of the Deputy Director  Search this
Extent:
34 cu. ft. (34 record storage boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Black-and-white photographs
Serials (publications)
Clippings
Newsletters
Manuscripts
Date:
circa 1963-1983
Descriptive Entry:
These records were created primarily by John G. Gregory as Assistant Director, 1973-1982, and Deputy Director, 1982-1983. A small amount of material was created by his predecessors, Carlton W. Tillinghast, 1961-1969, and Robert V. Bartnik, 1970-1973. The records include correspondence, memoranda, reports, budgets, and publications documenting SAO research projects, especially the Multiple-Mirror Telescope, the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (before 1981, the Mount Hopkins Observatory), and the Infrared Telescope Program; activities of SAO scientific divisions; the Satellite Tracking Program and its phase-out in 1983; SAO involvement in the Boyden Observatory in South Africa, 1964-1977; the establishment of the Center for Astrophysics in 1973; SAO relations with Smithsonian bureaus and offices; SAO relations with the Harvard College Observatory; and general administrative matters such as personnel, budgeting, facilities, information management, planning, program reviews, and audits.
Topic:
Astrophysical observatories  Search this
Research  Search this
Genre/Form:
Black-and-white photographs
Serials (publications)
Clippings
Newsletters
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 468, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Office of the Deputy Director, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 468
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0468

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory Base Camp, Amado, Arizona

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Assistant Secretary for Research  Search this
Container:
Box 3 of 7
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 88-116, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Secretary for Research, Subject Files
See more items in:
Subject Files
Subject Files / Box 3
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa88-116-refidd1e487

Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO) (2 folders)

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Assistant Secretary for Research.  Search this
Container:
Box 10 of 35
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Box 17 contains materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 88-140, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Secretary for Research, Subject Files
See more items in:
Subject Files
Subject Files / Box 10
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa88-140-refidd1e2137

Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory Reports, 1984-1986

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Assistant Secretary for Research.  Search this
Container:
Box 23 of 35
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Box 17 contains materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 88-140, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Secretary for Research, Subject Files
See more items in:
Subject Files
Subject Files / Box 23
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa88-140-refidd1e5433

Subject Files

Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Sciences  Search this
Extent:
7 cu. ft. (7 record storage boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Date:
circa 1990-1993
Descriptive Entry:
A greater part of these records document the administrative activities of Ross B. Simons as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, but these records also include some material from when he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research (1988-1992). They consist mostly of correspondence and memoranda pertaining to science programs at the Smithsonian Institution and abroad. The records make reference to the Smithsonian-led "Debt for Nature" negotiations; United States-Asia Environmental Partnership case study; budget appropriations; Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC); Board of Regents reports; conferences and seminars; Conservation Training Council minutes of meetings; grants and fellowships; Collections Information System planning; Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory "Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility" (AXAF); research at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO); and personnel matters.
Topic:
Museums -- Collection management  Search this
Research  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 94-042, Smithsonian Institution, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Sciences, Subject Files
Identifier:
Accession 94-042
See more items in:
Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa94-042

FY 1991 Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Environmental Management and Safety  Search this
Container:
Box 10 of 11
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Box 11 contains materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 97-017, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Environmental Management and Safety, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Box 10
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa97-017-refidd1e3116

Fred L. Whipple Oral History Interviews

Creator::
Whipple, Fred L. (Fred Lawrence), 1906-2004, interviewee  Search this
Extent:
4 audiotapes (Reference copies).
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Transcripts
Audiotapes
Date:
1976
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives' record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program staff conducts interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Whipple was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his central role in the modernization of the SAO and his outstanding contributions to science. For additional information, see the following related collections in Smithsonian Archives: the records of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; the Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers; and Record Unit 9542, Multiple Mirror Telescope videohistory interviews.
Descriptive Entry:
Whipple was interviewed on June 24 and 25, 1976 by Pamela M. Henson. The interviews cover his education; radar countermeasure work during World War II; role in the development of national programs for astrophysics and space exploration; research program on comets, meteors, and interplanetary material; administration of SAO; development of Mt. Hopkins, MMT, and optical tracking programs; and reminiscences of colleagues such as Imre G. Izsak, Craig M. Merrihue, and Carlton W. Tillinghast.
Historical Note:
Fred Lawrence Whipple (1906-2004), received the B.A. in mathematics with a minor in physics and astronomy from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1927 and the Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley in 1931. His early training focused on comet orbits. After teaching for a year at Stanford University, he joined the staff of the Harvard College Observatory in 1931 and remained in Cambridge throughout his career. During the 1930s his work focused on double station meteor research. From 1943 to 1945, he developed radar countermeasures for the U. S. Army Radiation Laboratory of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. After World War II he worked on development of the Super-Schmidt cameras to photograph meteors and continued research on the influx of material from comets into the interplanetary medium. His comet research culminated in publication of the Icy Comet Model in 1950. During the forties he also conducted studies of meteor hazards to spacecraft, inventing the meteor bumper, and served on the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel. In the early fifties, with Wernher von Braun and Cornelius J. Ryan, he coauthored a series of popular articles on the conquest of the space frontier.

His teaching career at Harvard University progressed from Instructor, 1932-1938; Lecturer, 1938-1945; Associate Professor, 1945-1950; Professor, 1950-1970; Chairman of the Department of Astronomy, 1949-1956; to Phillips Professor of Astronomy, 1970-1977. Thus when Whipple was appointed Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in July 1955, he moved its headquarters to the Cambridge campus and continued as Professor and member of the Harvard College Observatory staff. He reorganized the Smithsonian's observatory and reoriented its research program. Under his directorship, the staff grew from a handful to more than five hundred, including over sixty scientists.

At the request of the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences, Whipple began development of Baker-Nunn cameras to track artificial satellites during the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958). With the help of Armand N. Spitz, he also developed the Moonwatch optical tracking program, which utilized teams of volunteers observing satellites with hand-held telescopes. When Sputnik was launched in October of 1957, the Moonwatch teams were the only U. S. mechanism available to track the Russian satellite. The SAO subsequently received large contracts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to operate the Satellite Tracking Program (STP), an optical tracking system with Baker-Nunn camera stations located all over the globe. Whipple's satellite tracking work earned him the 1963 Distinguished Civilian Service Award from President John F. Kennedy.

The Prairie Network, an optical tracking system designed to photograph meteorites and fireballs in order to calculate their orbits, created by Whipple and Richard E. McCrosky, began observations in 1964. Coordination of STP camera observations with Jodrell Bank Observatory radio data on flare stars led to the first identification of radio noise from any star besides the sun.

SAO relied on early computers such as the Mark IV, IBM 7090, and CDC 6400 for rapid processing of massive quantities of data. Baker-Nunn and Super-Schmidt camera data were directly processed by automated means, which made possible the 1966 SAO Star Catalog, coordinated by Katherine L. Haramundanis. Whipple required direct publication from computer tapes, a first for the U. S. Government Printing Office. Observations from the STP were progressively refined during the sixties through new laser tracking techniques and advances in automated data processing, to provide improved geodetic and geophysical data. In the early sixties, stellar atmosphere models were developed with the aid of an IBM 7090 and after 1966 a CDC 6400, in anticipation of far ultraviolet light data from orbiting observatories. Based on this experience in upper atmosphere research, Whipple was appointed project director for the orbiting astronomical observatories from 1958 to 1972.

The telegraph service of the International Astronomical Union came to the SAO in 1965 under the coordination of Owen J. Gingerich and later Brian G. Marsden. It utilized SAO's sophisticated communications network and led eventually to the creation of the Center for Short-Lived Phenomena by Robert A. Citron.

Development of an observatory site at Mt. Hopkins, Arizona, began in 1966. Chosen by Whipple for its altitude and seeing conditions, the site was dedicated in 1981 as the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory. On this site, in conjunction with the U. S. Air Force and University of Arizona, he developed the technically innovative Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT), which commenced observations in May of 1979.

In addition to his own research program on comets, meteors, and interplanetary materials, Whipple coordinated the SAO research programs in celestial mechanics, geodesy, meteoritics, radio astronomy, neutrino searches, stellar atmosphere models, and the atomic clock project to test the theory of relativity. He encouraged NASA's lunar program and development of the space telescope.

Whipple was distinguished both for his theoretical work in astrophysics and his technical innovations in such areas as tracking cameras, multiple mirror telescopes, and meteor bumpers. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Whipple received the Academy's J. Lawrence Smith Medal in 1949 for his meteor research. He was awarded the Kepler Medal by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1971 and the Joseph Henry Medal of the Smithsonian Institution in 1973. Through his work on numerous federal and private boards, panels, and commissions, Whipple was influential in the development of national programs for research in astrophysics and creation of a space exploration program.

Whipple retired from administration of SAO in 1973 but continued active research as a Senior Scientist from 1973 to 1977. Upon his retirement in 1977, he was appointed Emeritus Phillips Professor of Astronomy at Harvard.
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Meteorites  Search this
Astronomy  Search this
Astrophysics  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Oral history  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Audiotapes
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9520, Fred L. Whipple Oral History Interviews
Identifier:
Record Unit 9520
See more items in:
Fred L. Whipple Oral History Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9520

Multiple-Mirror Telescope Videohistory Collection

Extent:
7 videotapes (Reference copies). 25 digital .wmv files and .rm files (Reference copies).
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videotapes
Transcripts
Date:
1989
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Videohistory Program, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation from 1986 until 1992, used video in historical research. Additional collections have been added since the grant project ended. Videohistory uses the video camera as a historical research tool to record moving visual information. Video works best in historical research when recording people at work in environments, explaining artifacts, demonstrating process, or in group discussion. The experimental program recorded projects that reflected the Institution's concern with the conduct of contemporary science and technology.

Smithsonian historians participated in the program to document visual aspects of their on-going historical research. Projects covered topics in the physical and biological sciences as well as in technological design and manufacture. To capture site, process, and interaction most effectively, projects were taped in offices, factories, quarries, laboratories, observatories, and museums. Resulting footage was duplicated, transcribed, and deposited in the Smithsonian Institution Archives for scholarship, education, and exhibition. The collection is open to qualified researchers.
Descriptive Entry:
David H. DeVorkin, curator at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum (NASM), recorded six sessions with twelve participants to document this multi-institutional scientific program. He was particularly interested in design and construction of the MMT; in its operation (with basic structural and optical design elements); in how astronomers use the telescope; and in the phenomenon of "consortia." DeVorkin also visually documented the operation of the MMT, including a nighttime observing session, various artifacts and equipment, and the interaction of former colleagues during group discussions. Interviews took place on May 8, 10 and 11, 1989, at the observatory, in a studio in Tucson, Arizona, and at Flandrau Planetarium of the University of Arizona.

This collection consists of six interview sessions, totalling approximately 11:20 hours of recordings and 257 pages of transcript.

Please note that Session 6 is comprised of dual sets of tape from two cameras positioned at different angles.

Additional Information: See Record Unit 262, Records of the Mt. Hopkins Department, SAO, 1966-1967, and Record Unit 9520, Fred Lawrence Whipple Interviews, 1976, Smithsonian Institution Archives. Also, consult records of the director and assistant director, SAO, for additional documentation on the MMT.
Historical Note:
Since 1979, completely new and radical designs for astronomical telescopes have emerged. The Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) was the prototype, both technically and institutionally, for the next generation of large telescopes. The MMT was the world's first large-scale multiple mirror telescope, which used the combined light of six 72-inch reflecting telescopes in a single altitude-azimuth mount. Computers controlled all pointing and tracking of the MMT's individual telescopes. The MMT was located at the Smithsonian's Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins, Arizona. Development of this site was begun by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in the late 1960s as the Mt. Hopkins Observatory, renamed the Whipple Observatory in 1981. The MMT was jointly developed and run by SAO and the University of Arizona (UA). This arrangement was the first of several university and observatory consortia that have attempted larger multiple mirror and segmented mirror designs.

Session participants included astronomers, engineers and opticians who worked on virtually every facet of MMT design and development in the 1970s and 1980s. Nathaniel Carleton received an A.B. and Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University, the latter in 1956; he taught physics until 1962 when he was appointed a physicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. He was primarily interested in physics of the Earth's upper atmosphere but became interested in astronomy and the study of other planets. He was involved with the development of the MMT from the beginning.

Frederic H. Chaffee was educated as a physicist at Dartmouth College and received a Ph.D in astronomy from the University of Arizona in 1968. Shortly thereafter he joined the stellar atmospheres group at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and, under Smithsonian auspices, returned to Arizona to help establish the first optical telescope on Mt. Hopkins. He became the first resident astronomer at the Mt. Hopkins Observatory and then resident director of the observatory during the 1970s, when the MMT was built. He became director of the MMT Observatory in July 1984.

Craig Foltz received an A.B. in physics from Dartmouth College in 1974 and a Ph.D. in astronomy from Ohio State University in 1979. He held postdoctoral, research associate, and teaching positions until he was appointed staff astronomer and project scientist for the MMT in 1984.

Carol Heller received a B.S. in biology from the University of Arizona and shortly thereafter became a night assistant at the 9-inch telescope on Mt. Hopkins. She began work with the MMT four years later and was one of the few control room operators of large-scale telescopes in the world.

Keith Hege did not appear on screen, but was interviewed during the observing session by speakerphone. Hege, associate astronomer at the Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, obtained a Ph.D in nuclear physics at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1965. Hege taught at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Hollins College before joining Steward Observatory in 1975. In 1978 he coordinated Steward Observatory's speckle interferometry program, which was applied to the MMT for cophased interferometric imaging.

Thomas Hoffman received a B.S. degree from the University of Rochester and M.S. and Professional M.E. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954. He served over fourteen years as chief engineer and head of the Engineering Department of the SAO in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was program engineer for the MMT. He left the Smithsonian in 1979.

Aden Meinel, one of the key players in developing the MMT, received his B.S. and Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. He held numerous appointments, including director of Kitt Peak National Observatory, Steward Observatory, and the Optical Sciences Center (University of Arizona). He was also professor at the Optical Sciences Center until 1985, when he became senior scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Michael Reed was educated at Yale University and Stanford University, and received a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1969. He taught at Princeton University from 1968 through 1974, when he received an appointment at Duke University. He worked on the various aspects of the MMT, including selection of the alt-azimuth mount during the 1970s.

Robert Shannon received a B.S. in optics and M.S. in physics from the University of Rochester. He worked with the Itek Corporation as director of the Advanced Technology Labs before becoming professor and director of the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona in 1969.

Ray Weymann received a Ph.D. in astronomy from Princeton in 1959 and was a Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology from 1959 through 1961. He taught at the University of Arizona in 1961, became an astronomer at the Steward Observatory, University of Arizona in 1970, and was appointed director of Mt. Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles in 1986.

Joseph T. [J.T.] Williams designed, built, and operated astronomical instrumentation at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory sites worldwide for more than thirty years. He studied electrical engineering and served in the U.S. Navy submarine service before joining the Smithsonian at the Haleakala Observatory (Maui, Hawaii) in 1959. After holding several positions with SAO, Williams became manager for site planning and construction of the MMT from 1975 through 1979 and became assistant director for MMT operations and development, in collaboration with the University of Arizona, in 1980. In the 1990 he served on the committee to convert the MMT to a single mirror 6.5-meter telescope.

Fred L. Whipple was educated at University of California, Los Angeles, and received a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1931. He joined the staff of the Harvard College Observatory in 1931 and became a teacher there in 1932. He ultimately became the Phillips Professor of Astronomy, 1970. Whipple was also appointed director of Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in 1955 and shortly thereafter moved its headquarters to Cambridge, Massachusetts. During his tenure as director, Whipple selected and developed Mt. Hopkins as an observatory site. The observatory, initially known as the Mt. Hopkins Observatory, was dedicated the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in 1981. He worked closely with the University of Arizona and the U.S. Air Force in developing the MMT. He retired in 1977 and subsequently held the position Emeritus Phillips Professor of Astronomy at Harvard.
Topic:
Science -- History  Search this
Technology -- History  Search this
Astronomy  Search this
Astrophysics  Search this
Astrophysicists  Search this
Observatories  Search this
Oral history  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes
Transcripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9542, Multiple-Mirror Telescope Videohistory Collection
Identifier:
Record Unit 9542
See more items in:
Multiple-Mirror Telescope Videohistory Collection
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9542

Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers

Creator::
Whipple, Fred L. (Fred Lawrence), 1906-2004  Search this
Extent:
23.5 cu. ft. (23 record storage boxes) (1 document box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Place:
Moon
Date:
circa 1927-1983
Introduction:
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Descriptive Entry:
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.
Historical Note:
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.
Topic:
Asteroids  Search this
Comets  Search this
Astrophysics  Search this
Astronomy  Search this
Astronomers  Search this
Astrophysicists  Search this
Meteors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7431, Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers
Identifier:
Record Unit 7431
See more items in:
Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7431

Website Records

Creator::
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Electronic records
Place:
Amado (Ariz.)
Date:
2017
Descriptive Entry:
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.
Topic:
Web sites  Search this
Museums -- Public relations  Search this
Astrophysics  Search this
Astronomical observatories  Search this
Telescopes  Search this
Genre/Form:
Electronic records
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 18-120, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Website Records
Identifier:
Accession 18-120
See more items in:
Website Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa18-120

Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory website, crawled May 1, 2017

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory  Search this
Container:
Electronic Records
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 18-120, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Website Records
See more items in:
Website Records
Website Records / Electronic Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa18-120-refidd1e209

Website Records

Creator::
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Electronic records
Place:
Amado (Ariz.)
Hopkins, Mount (Ariz.)
Date:
2014
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO) website as it existed on August 22, 2014. 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.
Topic:
Web sites  Search this
Museums -- Public relations  Search this
Astrophysics  Search this
Astronomical observatories  Search this
Telescopes  Search this
Genre/Form:
Electronic records
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 15-023, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Website Records
Identifier:
Accession 15-023
See more items in:
Website Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa15-023

Productions

Topic:
From Clay to Kiln (Motion picture : 1968)
City of the Dead (Documentary film : 1978)
Beyond the Ocean, Beneath the Leaf (Video recording : 1982)
Welcome to Whipple (Video recording)
Inside Hawaiian Volcanoes (Documentary film)
Eruption of Kilauea (Documentary film)
Volcano Surtsey (Documentary film)
Volcano - Original Footage (Documentary film)
Starfish (Documentary film : 1970)
Magnificent Voyagers (Documentary film)
Sawyer and His Mill (Motion picture : 1969)
Shells and the Animals Inside (Motion picture : 1978)
Kaleidoscope of Cowries (Motion picture : 1978)
Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Telecommunications  Search this
Extent:
13.04 cu. ft. (11 record storage boxes) (1 document box) (2 tall document boxes) (1 film box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Documentary films
Motion pictures (visual works)
Video recordings
Date:
circa 1968-1970; 1978; 1982-1983; 1985-1987; 1994-1995
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of materials documenting 13 productions created by Smithsonian Productions. 1) "The Sawyer and His Mill" was a 1969 exhibition film shown in the National Museum of American History's Agriculture Hall. The 4:50 minute film compared ancient and modern sawmills. It won the Bronze Medal at the International Film and TV Festival of New York. 2) "Shells and the Animals Inside," 1978, was a 20-minute educational film that looked at imagination as a learning technique. 3) "Kaleidoscope of Cowries" was a 4-minute exhibition film that displayed the beauty of cowry shells. It was designed for a mirrored projection area. It won the Silver Medal at the 1981 International Film and TV Festival of New York. 4) "From Clay to Kiln," 1968, was a 4:30 minute exhibition film that demonstrated basic pottery making techniques. 5) "City of the Dead" was a 3:30 minute exhibition film shown in the Hall of Western Civilization at the National Museum of Natural History. The 1978 film documented the Smithsonian dig at Bab Edh-Dhra, a 5000-year-old burial site in Jordan. 6) "Beyond the Ocean, Beneath a Leaf" was a 28:05 minute exhibition video produced in 1982 that provided an intimate view of insect and aquatic life including close-up footage of animal behavior seldom seen by the naked eye. 7) "Welcome to Whipple" was a video orientation guide to the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory located near Amado, Arizona on Mount Hopkins. 8-9) "Inside Active Volcanoes: Kilauea and Mount St. Helens" was a 1989 exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History that also traveled with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Two titles "Inside Hawaiian Volcanoes" and "Eruption of Kilauea" were likely produced in conjunction with this exhibit. 10-11) "The Volcano Surtsey" and "Volcano - Original Footage" are two titles that are likely associated with an exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History called "Volcanoes and Volcanism," 1970. 12) "Starfish" was a 7 minute exhibition film produced in 1970 concerning crown-of-thorns starfish depredating the Great Barrier Reef. 13) "Magnificent Voyagers" was a 30-minute educational film about the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842, chronicling the voyage and the United States' entry into the world's scientific community. The film won the 1989 CINE Golden Eagle award.
Restrictions:
Restrictions pertaining to the use of these materials may apply (based on contracts/copyright). Access restrictions may also apply if viewing copies are not currently available. Viewing copies can be made for a fee. Contact reference staff for details.
Topic:
Volcanoes  Search this
Documentary films  Search this
Motion pictures -- Production and direction  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Documentary videos  Search this
Video recordings -- Production and direction  Search this
Genre/Form:
Documentary films
Motion pictures (visual works)
Video recordings
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 02-212, Smithsonian Institution. Office of Telecommunications, Productions
Identifier:
Accession 02-212
See more items in:
Productions
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa02-212

Welcome to Whipple. An orientation guide to the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory. Dub. 3/4" U matic Videotape

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Telecommunications  Search this
Container:
Box 6 of 15
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Restrictions pertaining to the use of these materials may apply (based on contracts/copyright). Access restrictions may also apply if viewing copies are not currently available. Viewing copies can be made for a fee. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 02-212, Smithsonian Institution. Office of Telecommunications, Productions
See more items in:
Productions
Productions / Box 6
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa02-212-refidd1e805

Group Photograph - Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, December 1966

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Publications and Information  Search this
Container:
Box 5 of 5
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 16-109, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Publications and Information, Publication Files
See more items in:
Publication Files
Publication Files / Box 5
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa16-109-refidd1e1563

SAO - Visitor's Guide to the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Architectural History and Historic Preservation  Search this
Container:
Box 55 of 59
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 06-225, Smithsonian Institution. Office of Architectural History and Historic Preservation, Building Files
See more items in:
Building Files
Building Files / Box 55
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa06-225-refidd1e33452

Minutes

Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Board of Regents  Search this
Extent:
8.70 cu. ft. (9 document boxes) (7 12x17 boxes) (1 16x20 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Date:
1846-1995
Descriptive Entry:
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.
Historical Note:
The Smithsonian Institution was created by authority of an Act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. The Act entrusted direction of the Smithsonian to a body called 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.
Topic:
Museums -- Administration  Search this
Museum trustees  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 1, Smithsonian Institution. Board of Regents, Minutes
Identifier:
Record Unit 1
See more items in:
Minutes
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0001
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Online Media:

Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers

Creator::
Whipple, Fred L. (Fred Lawrence), 1906-2004  Search this
Extent:
19.72 cu. ft. (19 record storage boxes) (2 5x8 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Clippings
Color photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Place:
Moon
Date:
circa 1932-2004
Descriptive Entry:
The papers of Fred Lawrence Whipple (FLW) document his astronomical research; his professional work in the field of astronomy; and his career as Director of the SAO. They include 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 which concerns Whipple's research interests, scientific publications, and editorial work; SAO research projects; Whipple's work for professional organizations and government agencies and committees; SAO relations with the Smithsonian Institution; and his activities at Harvard University and the Harvard College Observatory. Also included are manuscripts of articles, lectures, reviews, and notes from his research; research notes on comets; and a set of Whipple's publications.

Researchers should also consult Record Unit 7431, Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers, c. 1927-1983; and Record Unit 9520, Fred Lawrence Whipple Interviews, 1976.
Historical Note:
Fred Lawrence Whipple (1906-2004), an astronomer, received the B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1927, and the 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. After his retirement in 1973, Whipple 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 1960's, 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.
Topic:
Astrophysics  Search this
Comets  Search this
Meteors  Search this
Astronomers  Search this
Astrophysicists  Search this
Asteroids  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Clippings
Color photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 04-183, Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers
Identifier:
Accession 04-183
See more items in:
Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa04-183

Public Affairs Records

Creator::
Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory  Search this
Extent:
0.25 cu. ft. (1 half document box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Compact discs
Electronic records
Place:
Graham, Mount (Ariz.)
Date:
circa 1986-2016
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of records documenting a public policy dispute over a proposal to use Mount Graham in southeastern Arizona for astrophysical purposes. Astronomers believed that Mount Graham was an ideal location for an observatory, but environmentalists were concerned about its impact on the wildlife. Materials include an information packet and a database of news clippings related to the controversy. Some materials are in electronic format. The Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory is administered by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
Topic:
Astronomical observatories  Search this
Public relations  Search this
Science and state  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Compact discs
Electronic records
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 17-138, Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Public Affairs Records
Identifier:
Accession 17-138
See more items in:
Public Affairs Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa17-138

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