Finding Aid for the Helen Wright Collection on George Ellery Hale 1887-1972

Processed by Kevin C. Knox, Caltech Archives Staff.
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Descriptive Summary

Title: Helen Wright Collection on George Ellery Hale,
Date (inclusive): 1887-1972
Collection number: 10175-MS
Creator: Wright, Helen, 1914- ; Hale, George E., 1868-1938
Extent: 6 linear feet
Repository: California Institute of Technology, Caltech Archives
Pasadena, California 91125
Abstract: The working papers, correspondence, publications, photos and biographical materials of George E. Hale (1868-1938) form the collection known as the Helen Wright Collection on George Ellery Hale in the Archives of the California Institute of Technology. Not only was Hale the foremost solar astronomer of his day, but he was also exceedingly energetic in the organization and promotion of the enterprise of science, both at home and abroad. The materials in the collection reflect both aspects of his career, as well as his other interests and personal life.
Physical location: California Institute of Technology, Institute Archives
Language of Material:
Languages represented in the collection:
English French German

Access

The collection is open for research. Researchers must apply in writing for access.

Publication Rights

Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Helen Wright Collection on George Ellery Hale, 10175-MS, Caltech Archives, California Institute of Technology.

Acquisition Information

Papers were compiled by Helen Wright, largely through transcription and the collection of published sources. The were acquired from Christine Shirley, June 4, 1998.

Processing History

Processed by Kevin C. Knox, Caltech Archives Staff, August 17, 2006
Some material transferred to the Caltech Archives rare book collection. No attempt has been made to correlate the remaining materials with their original location.

Biography

The daughter of George Ellery Hale's colleague, Frederick Wright, Helen Wright was born in 1914. Following the death of George Ellery Hale in 1938, the National Academy of Sciences urged that a comprehensive biography be written. However, it was not until 1951 that Helen Wright was commisioned to pen the work. Although she worked industriously on the project, the biography was not completed until 1966. Six years later, she co-authored The Legacy of George Ellery Hale.
Born in Chicago in 1868, George Ellery Hale received his B.S. from M. I. T. in 1890. Active in the development of astrophysics, he quickly established a distinguished scientific reputation for his invention of the spectroheliograph. He made important contributions to the study of solar phenomena, organized and co-edited the Astrophysical Journal, and was the leading figure in the design, funding and construction of the Kenwood, Yerkes, Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories.
Hale was also exceedingly energetic in the organization and promotion of the enterprise of science, both at home and abroad. In the United States he played a highly influential role in the National Academy of Sciences. He revivified the Academy almost single-handedly by organizing the National Research Council, obtaining substantial endowment for the NAS, and establishing the critically important National Research Council Fellowships. A founder of the International Union of Cooperation in Solar Research, Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, and a frequent delegate to the International Association of Academies, he became deeply involved in the international relations of science before the First World War. Instrumental in the establishment of the International Research Council after the war, he was president of its successor, the International Council of Scientific Unions from 1931 to 1934.
Hale settled in Pasadena, California in 1904 to assume the duties of Director of the newly established Mount Wilson Observatory and became deeply involved in the educational and cultural affairs of the area. Among his most important efforts were the creation and development of the California Institute of Technology and the Huntington Library.

Chronology

1868 Birth
1889 enters MIT
1890 appointed director of Kenwood Astrophysical Observatory
1891 appointed professor at Beloit College
1893-1894 Berlin
1904 Mount Wilson Observatory established
1904 Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
1908 60 in. Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson
1917 100 in. Hooker telescope
1920 California Institute of Technology established
1923 retires from Mount Wilson Observatory
1932 Copley Medal
1938 Death

Scope and Content

The material from the Helen Wright collection was gathered by Wright over two decades from locations worldwide. Although most of material can be found either on the microfilm version of the Hale collection or in the Hale Papers that are housed in the Caltech Archives and Huntington Library, the collection is unique pricipally because the materials are arranged differently. Wright organized the papers according to topic in accordance with the structure of her biography while she also transcribed most of the hand-written correspondence. For these reasons, scholars researching the work of Hale may find the collection very helpful.
The collection is organized into the following series:
  • Series 1. Original Correspondence and Documents
  • Series 2. Correspondence and Documents assembled by Helen Wright
  • Series 3. Organizations
  • Series 4. Publications
  • Series 5. Biographical

Related Material

The Papers of George Ellery Hale
The Papers of Robert A. Millikan
Records of the Palomar Observatory
Records of the Astronomy Department

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Brashear, John Alfred, 1840-1920
Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919
Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955
Larmour, Joseph, Sir, 1857-1942
Millikan, Robert Andrews, 1868-1953
Noyes, Arthur A. (Arthur Amos), 1866-1936
Rutherford, Ernest, 1871-1937
Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924


Container List

 

Series 1.  Original Correspondence and Documents

 

Subseries 1.  Helen Wright

Box 1, Folder 1

Book reviews: Explorer of the Universe & Legacy of George Ellery Hale 1966, 1972

Box 1, Folder 2

Correspondence re: Legacy of George Ellery Hale 1972

Box 1, Folder 3

Helen Wright correspondence 1950-1968

 

Subseries 2.  George Ellery Hale

Box 1, Folder 4

Correspondence and documents

  • Breasted, J.H. 1919
  • Campbell, W.W. 1933
  • Connor, E. undated
  • Dunn, G. 1924
  • J[?], J. 1924
  • Fleming, A. 1919
  • Kellogg, A. 1928
  • Morgan, T.H. 1928
  • National Research Council 1917
  • Pearson, H.G. 1936
  • Scherer, J.A.B. 1919
  • Struve, O. 1947
  • Wright, F. 1928

 

Series 2.  Correspondence and Documents assembled by Helen Wright

 

Subseries 1.  Chronological Correspondence

Box 1, Folder 5

Chronological correspondence 1887-1889

Box 1, Folder 6

Chronological correspondence 1890-1891

Box 1, Folder 7

Chronological correspondence 1892-1896

Box 1, Folder 8

Chronological correspondence 1897-1899

Box 1, Folder 9

Chronological correspondence 1900-1903

 

Subseries 2.  Correspondence and Documents by Individuals

Box 1, Folder 10

Breasted, James 1913-1925

Box 1, Folder 11

Breasted, James 1926-1933

Box 1, Folder 12

Bridge, N. – Butler, H.

Box 1, Folder 13

Campbell, W.W. 1900-1917

Box 1, Folder 14

Carnegie, Andrew see also: Series 2.3, Carnegie Institution 1904-1935

Box 1, Folder 15

Carty, John J. 1918-1933

Box 2, Folder 1

Caulfield, M. – Cross, C.

Box 2, Folder 2

Darboux, G – Dunham

Box 2, Folder 3

Dunn, Gano 1917-1934

Box 2, Folder 4

Durand – Dyson

Box 2, Folder 5

Einstein, Albert 1913-1933

Box 2, Folder 6

Ellerman, F. – Evershed, E.

Box 2, Folder 7

Farrand, Max 1927-1935

Box 2, Folder 8

Fleming, Arthur 1915-1935

Box 2, Folder 9

Flexner, Simon 1917-1926

Box 2, Folder 10

Fox, Philip 1916-1934

Box 2, Folder 11

Frost, Edwin 1898-1924

Box 2, Folder 12

Gianetti – Goodhue, B.

Box 2, Folder 13

Goodwin, H.M. 1887-1900

Box 2, Folder 14

Goodwin, H.M. 1901-1911

Box 2, Folder 15

Goodwin, H.M. 1912-1916

Box 2, Folder 16

Goodwin, H.M. 1917-1936, 1952

Box 2, Folder 17

Hale family 1859-1898

Box 2, Folder 18

Hale family 1902-1918

Box 2, Folder 19

Hale family 1919-1939

Box 3, Folder 1

Hale, William 1896-1921

Box 3, Folder 2

Hale, William 1923-1936

Box 3, Folder 3

Halsted, S. – Harper, W.

Box 3, Folder 4

Hartman, J. – House, E.

Box 3, Folder 5

Huggins, William 1892-1900

Box 3, Folder 6

Huggins, William 1901-1931

Box 3, Folder 7

Hunt, Myron 1918

Box 3, Folder 8

Huntington, Henry 1914-1934

Box 3, Folder 9

Hussey, W. – Janssen

Box 3, Folder 10

Jeans, J.H. 1918-1934

Box 3, Folder 11

Jewell, L. – Juson, H.

Box 3, Folder 12

Macpherson, H. – Mason, M.

Box 3, Folder 13

Mathews, S. – Merriam, J.

Box 3, Folder 14

Merrill, S. – Moore, E.

 

Millikan, Robert A. see: Series 2.3, Caltech

Box 3, Folder 15

Morgan, T.H. 1927-1932

Box 3, Folder 16

Wilson, Woodrow 1916-1919

 

Subseries 3.  Correspondence and Documents by Topic

Box 4, Folder 1

American Astronomical Society 1897-1899

Box 4, Folder 2

Astrophysical Journal 1891-1898

Box 4, Folder 3

Awards and honors 1907-1933

Box 4, Folder 4

Beloit College 1891-1895, 1951

Box 4, Folder 5

Book collecting 1925-1934

Box 4, Folder 6

Caltech see also: Throop polytechnic 1920-1922

Box 4, Folder 7

Caltech 1923-1927

Box 4, Folder 8

Caltech 1928-1930

Box 4, Folder 9

Caltech 1931-1934

Box 4, Folder 10

Caltech 1935-1949

Box 4, Folder 11

Carnegie Institution 1901-1936

Box 4, Folder 12

Children's stories and poetry ca 1926-1933

Box 4, Folder 13

Egyptology 1913-1925

Box 4, Folder 14

Egyptology 1926-1929

Box 4, Folder 15

Egyptology 1930-1935

Box 4, Folder 16

History and philosophy of science 1925-1933

Box 4, Folder 17

Illnesses 1910-1937

Box 4, Folder 18

International Astronomical Union 1907-1919

Box 4, Folder 19

International cooperation 1904-1910

Box 4, Folder 20

International cooperation 1911-1915

Box 4, Folder 21

International cooperation 1916-1918

Box 4, Folder 22

International science 1918-1919

Box 4, Folder 23

International science 1922-1931

Box 4, Folder 24

International science 1932-1935

Box 4, Folder 25

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ca 1880s

Box 5, Folder 1

Mount Wilson Observatory 1902 (1)

Box 5, Folder 2

Mount Wilson Observatory 1902 (2)

Box 5, Folder 3

Mount Wilson Observatory 1902 (3)

Box 5, Folder 4

Mount Wilson Observatory 1903 (1)

Box 5, Folder 5

Mount Wilson Observatory 1903 (2)

Box 5, Folder 6

Mount Wilson Observatory 1903 (3)

Box 5, Folder 7

Mount Wilson Observatory 1903 (4)

Box 5, Folder 8

Mount Wilson Observatory 1904 (1)

Box 5, Folder 9

Mount Wilson Observatory 1904 (2)

Box 5, Folder 10

Mount Wilson Observatory 1905

Box 5, Folder 11

Mount Wilson Observatory 1906

Box 5, Folder 12

Mount Wilson Observatory 1907

Box 6, Folder 1

Mount Wilson Observatory 1908

Box 6, Folder 2

Mount Wilson Observatory 1909

Box 6, Folder 3

Mount Wilson Observatory 1910

Box 6, Folder 4

Mount Wilson Observatory 1911

Box 6, Folder 5

Mount Wilson Observatory 1912-1914

Box 6, Folder 6

Mount Wilson Observatory 1915-1917

Box 6, Folder 7

Mount Wilson Observatory 1918-1919

Box 6, Folder 8

Mount Wilson Observatory 1920-1922

Box 6, Folder 9

Mount Wilson Observatory 1923-1924

Box 6, Folder 10

Mount Wilson Observatory 1925-1949

Box 6, Folder 11

Mount Wilson Observatory: Library list undated

Box 7, Folder 1

Palomar Telescope: Design and finance 1921-1927

Box 7, Folder 2

Palomar Telescope: Design and finance Jan-May 1928

Box 7, Folder 3

Palomar Telescope: Design and finance Jun-Dec 1928

Box 7, Folder 4

Palomar Telescope: Design and finance 1929

Box 7, Folder 5

Palomar Telescope: Design and finance 1930-1933

Box 7, Folder 6

Palomar Telescope: Design and finance 1934-1935

Box 7, Folder 7

Palomar Telescope: Design and finance 1936; 1946-1948

Box 7, Folder 8

Palomar Telescope: Mirror 1905; 1923-1928

Box 7, Folder 9

Palomar Telescope: Mirror 1929

Box 7, Folder 10

Palomar Telescope: Mirror 1930

Box 7, Folder 11

Palomar Telescope: Mirror 1931

Box 7, Folder 12

Palomar Telescope: Mirror 1932

Box 8, Folder 1

Palomar Telescope: Mirror 1933

Box 8, Folder 2

Palomar Telescope: Mirror 1934

Box 8, Folder 3

Palomar Telescope: Mirror 1935-1936

Box 8, Folder 4

Palomar Telescope: Site 1928-1935

Box 8, Folder 5

Palomar Telescope: Mounting 1928-1936

Box 8, Folder 6

Palomar Telescope: Auxiliary instruments 1929-1942

Box 8, Folder 7

Palomar Telescope: Shopwork 1929-1932

Box 8, Folder 8

Palomar Telescope: Dedication 1948

Box 8, Folder 9

Poetry (by GEH) ca 1911-1922

Box 8, Folder 10

Rockefeller Foundation 1919

Box 8, Folder 11

Solar Work 1889-1897

Box 8, Folder 12

Solar Work 1898-1903

Box 8, Folder 13

Solar Work 1904-1906

Box 8, Folder 14

Solar Work 1908

Box 8, Folder 15

Solar Work 1909-1914

Box 8, Folder 16

Solar Work 1915-1934

Box 9, Folder 1

Smithsonian Institution 1906-1914

Box 9, Folder 2

Throop Polytechnic see also: Caltech 1907-1908

Box 9, Folder 3

Throop Polytechnic 1909-1919

Box 9, Folder 4

Travels 1909-1910

Box 9, Folder 5

Travels 1911-1915

Box 9, Folder 6

Travels 1922-1929

Box 9, Folder 7

Yerkes Observatory 1892-1895

Box 9, Folder 8

Yerkes Observatory 1895-1896

Box 9, Folder 9

Yerkes Observatory 1899-1903

 

Series 3.  Organizations

Box 10, Folder 1

National Academy of Sciences 1903-1913

Box 10, Folder 2

National Academy of Sciences 1914-1915

Box 10, Folder 3

National Academy of Sciences 1915-1916

Box 10, Folder 4

National Academy of Sciences 1918-1922

Box 10, Folder 5

National Academy of Sciences 1923-1935; 1950-1951

Box 10, Folder 6

National Research Council 1915-1916

Box 10, Folder 7

National Research Council 1917

Box 10, Folder 8

National Research Council 1918

Box 10, Folder 9

National Research Council 1919

Box 10, Folder 10

National Research Council 1920

Box 10, Folder 11

National Research Council 1921

Box 10, Folder 12

National Research Council 1922

Box 11, Folder 1

National Research Council 1923

Box 11, Folder 2

National Research Council 1924-1926

Box 11, Folder 3

National Research Council 1927-1929

Box 11, Folder 4

National Research Council 1931-1934

Box 11, Folder 5

National Research Council 1935-1938

Box 11, Folder 6

National Research Fund/Fellowships 1917-1919

Box 11, Folder 7

National Research Fund/Fellowships 1924-1925

Box 11, Folder 8

National Research Fund/Fellowships 1926-1928

Box 11, Folder 9

National Research Fund/Fellowships 1929-1932

 

Series 4. Publications

Box 12, Folder 1

Hale reprints 1890-1892

Box 12, Folder 2

Hale reprints 1893-1897

Box 12, Folder 3

Hale reprints 1904-1905

Box 12, Folder 4

Hale reprints 1906-1907

Box 12, Folder 5

Hale reprints 1920-1919

Box 12, Folder 6

Hale reprints 1920-1925

Box 12, Folder 7

Hale reprints 1926-1929

Box 12, Folder 8

Hale reprints 1930-1936

Box 13, Folder 1

Others' reprints undated

Box 13, Folder 2

Others' reprints undated

Box 13, Folder 3

Others' reprints undated

 

Series 5. Biographical

Box 13, Folder 4

Autobiographical notes ca 1933

Box 13, Folder 5

Works about Hale: Abetti, Giorgio 1910; 1938

Box 13, Folder 6

Works about Hale: Adams, Walter 1938; 1947

Box 13, Folder 7

Works about Hale: Aitken, Robert 1916

Box 13, Folder 8

Works about Hale: Babcock, Harold 1938; 1939

Box 13, Folder 9

Works about Hale: Carew, H.D. 1928

Box 13, Folder 10

Works about Hale: Connor, Elizabeth 1962

Box 13, Folder 11

Works about Hale: Dunham, Theodore 1938

Box 13, Folder 12

Works about Hale: Fox, Philip 1938

Box 13, Folder 13

Works about Hale: Goodwin, H.M. 1920

Box 13, Folder 14

Works about Hale: Hale, William 1939

Box 13, Folder 15

Works about Hale: Mosgroveer, Ellie 1950

Box 13, Folder 16

Works about Hale: Newell, H.F. 1933

Box 13, Folder 17

Works about Hale: Seares, F.H. 1938

Box 13, Folder 18

Works about Hale: Stratton, F.J.M. 1938

Box 13, Folder 19

Works about Hale: The Telescope 1936

Box 13, Folder 20

Works about Hale: Turner, H.H. 1904

Box 13, Folder 21

Bibliography 1935

Box 13, Folder 22

Miscellaneous biographical ca 1900-1940