Scope and Contents of Collection
Title: Nello Pace Himalayan Documents
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 674
Mandeville Special Collections Library
La Jolla, California 92093-0175
Language of Material:
0.2 Linear feet
1 archives box
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1954-1960
Date (inclusive): 1954-1995
The Nello Pace Himalayan Documents contain writings relating primarily to the 1954 California Himalaya Expedition to Makalu,
the world’s fifth highest peak, located in Nepal. Dr. Nello Pace served as the assistant leader and chief scientist for the
expedition, studying the affects of hypoxia (low oxygen levels) on human performance.
Pace, Nello, 1916-1995
Scope and Contents of Collection
The Nello Pace Himalayan Documents are arranged into six folders.
The most notable item in this collection is the handwritten journal Pace kept during the expedition from May 5 to July 15,
1954. Also included are two photocopied articles about the California Himalayan Expedition written by William Dunmire and
William Unsoeld, and Bruce Meyer and Fritz Lippman. In addition there is a manuscript copy of Pace’s "An English-Sherpa-Tibetan
Vocabulary" and an interview transcript of Pace conducted by the United States Department of Energy, Office of Human Radiation
Experiments titled "Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years."
Dr. Nello Pace (1916-1995) was born in Richmond, California, on June 20, 1916, and grew up in San Francisco. In 1936 he received
his B.S. in chemistry and in 1940 his Ph.D. in physiology, both from the University of California at Berkeley (UCB). Pace
began his career as a research associate at the Medical College of Virginia, but was interrupted when he was called by the
Naval Reserve to active duty in 1941. During World War II he served as the head of the physiological facility at the Naval
Medical Research Institute in Maryland where he studied diving and aviation medicine, particularly the effects of extreme
conditions on the body. At the end of World War II the Navy made him Officer in Charge of a group studying the residual radiation
at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. After the war, Pace continued his career at UCB, first as an assistant professor and then as an
associate professor of physiology. During this time, he established and served as the first the director of the White Mountain
Research Station near Bishop, California, where he studied the physiology of hypoxia and ventilation, among other subjects.
In 1954 Pace served as the assistant leader and chief scientist for the California Himalayan Expedition to Makalu, Nepal,
led by Will Siri of the Donner Laboratory. In this position he was able to make physiological measurements on climbers before
their departures and upon their returns. During this time Pace also collected Tibetan and Sherpa terms and their English translations
which he later compiled in 1960 as "An English-Sherpa-Tibetan Vocabulary."
After the expedition, Pace continued to study the effects of extreme conditions on the body as leader of the 1957-1958 International
Physiological Expedition to Antarctica for Operation Deepfreeze III. Though he retired from UCB in 1977, Pace continued working
on other projects. Through the 1960s, 1970s and into the 1980s he was a prominent scientist in the field of gravitational
physiology, serving on numerous committees including the Gravitational Physiology Commission of the International Union of
Physiological Sciences, and chairing the panel on gravitational biology of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) from 1971-1980.
Dr. Pace died on June 17, 1995.
Nello Pace Himalayan Documents, MSS 674. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
California Himalayan Expedition to Makalu (1954).
Pace, Nello, 1916-1995 -- Archives
Altitude, Influence of