Guide to the Frederick Emmons Terman Papers

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Stanford University Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives.
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Call Number: SC0160
Creator: Terman, Frederick Emmons, 1900-1982
Title: Frederick Emmons Terman papers
Dates: 1920-1978
Physical Description: 110 Linear feet
Language(s): The materials are in English.
Repository: Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives.
Stanford University Libraries.
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6064
Phone: (650) 725-1022

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Copyright has been transferred to Stanford University for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Cite As

[Identification of item], Frederick Emmons Terman Papers (SC0160). Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


Alumni Almanac (Stanford), May 1970.
"Herbert Hoover medal to Frederick Terman." American Men and Women of Science. 14th edition. New York : R. R. Bowker, 1980.
Blakeslee, Sandra. "Stanford to honor Fred Terman at Engineering Center October 6," Campus Report (Stanford), 5 October 1977.
Blum, Walter, "The Grand Vizier of the age of electronics: Terman of Stanford," San Francisco Examiner, 24 March 1963.
Buzan, John, "Terman to retire from his position as V.P. and Provost," Stanford Daily, 25 May 1965.
Bylinsky, Gene. "California's great breeding ground for industry," Fortune, June 1974.
Bylinsky, Gene. The Innovation Millionaires: how they succeed. New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976.
"Hewletts, Packards main donors to Terman Engineering Center." Campus Report (Stanford), 18 April 1973.
Elder, Rob. "The man who discovered electronic gold at Stanford," San Jose Mercury-News, 2 October 1977.
Glover, Frederic O. "Dr. Terman's paper trail," Sandstone and Tile, Winter, 1979.
The International Who's Who. 43rd edition. London : Europa Publications, 1980.
Medeiros, Frank A. "The Sterling years at Stanford: a study in the dynamics of institutional change," Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1979.
Moffat, Samuel. "Bridge to the future," The Stanford Magazine, Fall/Winter 1976.
Paine, Adelaide. "Dr. Frederick Emmons Terman: Vice President, Provost, Stanford University," The Microwave Journal, March 1961.
Rivers, William L. "Terman of Stanford," Stanford Today, Autumn 1965.
Rummell, Frances V.and Paine, Adelaide."He searches for 'steeples of talent," Reader's Digest, December 1962.
"Stanford Engineering School helps draw industry to the area." Palo Alto Times. 29 February 1956.
Rummell, Frances V.and Paine, Adelaide."Stanford's talent scout extraordinary."
Salzman, Ed. "One man sparks Peninsula electronics boom," Oakland Tribune, May 1961.
Seagoe, May V. Terman and the gifted. Los Altos, Calif. : William Kaufmann, 1975.
"Frederick Emmons Terman." Stanford Engineering News, July 1965.
Terman, Sibyl W. "Personality of the month: F. E. Terman," The Link (Stanford Electronics Laboratories), December 1955.
Wascher, Jim. "New engineering center planned," Stanford Daily, 18 April 1973.
Who's Who in America. 41st edition. Chicago : Marquis Publishers, 1980.

Biographical Chronology


1900 Born in English, Indiana on June 7, son of Lewis Madison and Anna Belle Minton Terman.
1905 Moves with family from Indiana to California.
1910 Settles permanently at Stanford when Lewis Terman joins Stanford Education Department faculty.
1914 Begins experimenting with radio as a "ham" operator.
1920 A.B. in Chemistry from Stanford University.
1922 Engineer's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford.
1924 Sc.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T. Offered teaching position at M.I.T., but because of first onset of tuberculosis, declines appointment.
1925 Begins half-time teaching in Stanford E. E. Department.
1926 Begins full-time teaching at Stanford.
1927 Appointed Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering. Co-authors Transmission Line Theory with W. S. Franklin.
1928 Marries Sibyl Walcutt, graduate student in psychology, on March 22.
1929 Birth of Frederick Walcutt Terman, March 10.
1930 Appointed Associate Progessor of Electrical Engineering.
1931 Birth of Terrence Christopher Terman, September 3.
1932 Publishes book, Radio Engineering.
1935 Publishes Measurement in Radio Engineering.
1935 Birth of Lewis Madison Terman, August 26.
1937 Becomes full professor and Executive Head of Electrical Engineering Department.
1938 Publishes-Fundamentals of Radio.
1940 Publishes Radio and Vacuum Tube Theory.
1941 Elected President of the Institute of Radio Engineers.
1942 -45 Director of the Harvard Radio Research Laboratory, engaged in military research on radar countermeasures.
1943 Publishes Radio Engineers's Handbook.
1944 Appointed Dean of Stanford's School of Engineering, succeeding Samuel B. Morris.
1945 Awarded honorary Sc-D. from Harvard University.
1946 Decorated by the British government for wartime research. Elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
1948 Receives Presidential Medal of Merit.
1950 Awarded Medal of Honor by the Institute of Radio Engineers.
1952 Co-authors Electronic Measurements with Joseph M. Pettit.
1953 Elected chairman of the Engineering Section of the National Academy of Sciences.
1955-65 Provost of Stanford University.
1959-65 Vice-President of Stanford.
1964 Acting President of Stanford University, February to August.
1965 Becomes Emeritus, August 31.
1965 Engineering Building 500 named the Frederick Emmons Terman Laboratory.
1965 Receives "Distinguished Citizen's Award" from the city of Palo Alto.
1965 Tours U.S.S.R. as a member of three-man delegation sponsored by U.S. Office of Education to study scientific and engineering education in Russia.
1970 Receives Stanford Alumni Association's Herbert Hoover Medal for Distinguished Service.
1973 Elected President of the Society of the Sigma Xi.
1975 Death of Sibyl Terman on July 23. 1975 Awarded Korea's Order of Civil Merit Medal by President Chung-hee Park.
1976 Receives National Medal of Science from President Gerald Ford.
1977 Donates his campus home to the University to establish educational research fund in honor of his late wife, Sibyl Walcutt Terman.
1977 Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Center dedicated October 6.
1978 Receives Stanford Associates Uncommon Man Award.
1982 Died at his home on the Stanford Campus, December 19, 1982.

Professional and Fraternal Affiliations


  1. American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  2. American Institute of Electrical Engineering (now IEEE). Fellow.
  3. American Philosophical Society.
  4. American Society for Engineering Education.
    • Vice-President and Chairman of Administrative Council, 1949-51.
    • Lamme Medal, 1964.
    • Honorary Member, 1966.
    • "Hall of Fame," 1968.
  5. Ampex Corporation. Board of Directors, 1953-64.
  6. Army Advisory Committee on Contractual and Administrative Procedures for Research and Development, 1948.
  7. Army Electronics Proving Ground. Advisory Council, 1954-57.
  8. Audio Engineering Society. Honorary member, 1955.
  9. California Academy of Sciences. Fellow.
  10. California Co-ordinating Council for Higher Education. Consultant, 1967-68.
  11. Colorado Commission on Higher Education. Consultant, 1966-67; 1970.
  12. Committee on Higher Education in the State of New York. Consultant, 1960.
  13. Defense Science Board, 1957-58.
  14. Department of Commerce
    • Industrial Research and Development Division. Consultant, 1946-47.
    • Patent Panel, 1963.
  15. Department of Defense.
    • Special Technical Advisory Group, 1950-53.
    • T.A.P.E.C. Committee, 1953-56.
  16. Dreyfus Foundation. Chairman, Special Advisory Committee to Trustees, 1969-
  17. Eta Kappa Nu.
  18. Granger Associates. Board of Directors, 1963-
  19. Harvard University. Visiting Committee, 1970-
  20. Harvard Radio Research Laboratory. Director, 1942-45.
  21. Hewlett-Packard Company.
    • Board of Directors, 1957-73.
    • Director Emeritus, 1973-
  22. Industry Committee for a Graduate Center for Science and Technology in New Jersey. Consultant, 1955-66
  23. Institute for Defense Analysis. Trustee, 1965-73.
  24. Institute for Science and Technology (New Jersey). Executive Committee, 1966-68.
  25. Institute of Radio Engineers (now IEEE)
    • Director, 1940-43.
    • Vice-President, 1940.
    • President, 1941.
    • Medal of Honor, 1950.
    • Founder's Award, 1962.
  26. Korean Institute for Advanced Science. Trustee, 1973.
  27. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Visiting Committee, 1970-
  28. National Academy of Engineering. Founding member.
  29. National Academy of Sciences.
    • Ad Hoc Committee on Tests of Battery Additives, 1953-54.
    • Chairman, Engineering Section, 1953-56.
    • Council, 1956-59.
  30. National Bureau of Standards. Visiting Committee, 1970-
  31. National Defense Research Committee
    • Divisions 14 and 15, member, 1942-45.
    • Vacuum Tube Development Committee, 1943-45.
  32. National Research Council. Engineering Division, 1943-46.
  33. National Science Foundation. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
    • Member, 1955-59.
    • Chairman, 1958-59.
  34. Naval Research Advisory Committee.
    • Member, 1956-64.
    • Chairman, 1957-58
  35. New York State Education Department. Consultant, 1968-69.
  36. Phi Beta Kappa.
  37. Phi Lambda Upsilon.
  38. President's Science Advisory Committee. Consultant, 1959-63; 1970-73.
  39. RCA Fellowship Board. Chairman, 1947-50.
  40. Sigma Tau.
  41. Sigma Xi
    • Education Board, 1956-58; 1967-70.
    • President, 1975.
  42. Signal Corps Research and Development Advisory Committee, 1954-62.
  43. Sloan Foundation Science Book Program.
  44. Southern Methodist University Foundation for Science and Engineering.
    • President and Trustee, 1965-74.
    • Trutsee, 1974-
  45. Stanford Bank. Board of Directors, 1964-71.
  46. Stanford Research Institute. Board of Directors, 1955-65.
  47. State Department. Board of Foreign Scholarships, 1960-65.
  48. State University of Florida. Consultant, 1970-71.
  49. Tau Beta Pi.
  50. Texas Christian University Research Foundation. Advisory Committee, 1972-
  51. Theta Xi.
  52. US/AID Team to Korea. Party Leader, 1970.
  53. U.S. Office of Education. Mission to U.S.S.R., 1965.
  54. Utah System of Higher Education. Consultant, 1972-73.
  55. Varian Associates. Board of Directors, 1948-53.
  56. Watkins-Johnson Company. Board of Directors, 1957-


Frederick Emmons Terman, the first child of Lewis Madison and Anna Terman, was born in English, Indiana on June 7, 1900. Due to Lewis Terman's chronic tuberculosis, the family sought a more salubrious climate, moving to the Los Angeles area in 1905. With the elder Terman's appointment to the Stanford University Education Department in 1910, the family settled permanently in the Stanford area.
Lewis Terman, an eminent psychologist and educator, is perhaps best known for his development of the Stanford-Binet intelligence tests. His work on IQ testing was however, only one aspect of a life-long professional interest in individual giftedness and leadership. Frederick was undoubtedly influenced by some of his father's concepts, and later integrated them into his own system of identifying faculty and students of unusual promise, and encouraging the fullest realization of their potentials. Growing up in an academic environment also instilled an early and thorough understanding of university operation, later to serve well in Dr. Terman's administrative career.
Childhood at Stanford University had its less serious aspects as well. Dr. Terman recalls hiking in the Stanford foothills, fishing in Felt Lake, and swimming in Lake Lagunita. At the age of fourteen, Frederick and his neighbor, Herbert Hoover, Jr., began experimenting with "ham" radio, resulting in Dr. Terman's life-long involvement with radio.
Nine years old before he began primary school, Dr. Terman progressed rapidly and graduated from Stanford University in 1920 with a degree in Chemistry. After obtaining an additional degree in Electrical Engineering at Stanford under Professor Harris J. Ryan, Terman went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for graduate study under Professor Vannevar Bush. Bush emphasized the practical, industrial applications of engineering in addition to theoretical research.
Upon the completion of his doctorate in electrical engineering in 1924, Dr. Terman accepted a teaching appointment at M.I.T. Health was to play a decisive role in Frederick Terman's career as it had for his father. While visiting his family at Stanford in the summer of 1924, he had a serious attack of tuberculosis, keeping him bed-ridden for a year.
For his recovery, the California climate was preferable to Massachusetts, and the following year Dr. Terman accepted a part-time instructorship in electrical engineering at Stanford University. He continued his convalescence throughout the academic year of 1925-26, getting up only a few hours each day to teach. Despite serious illness, these years were very productive. With the intense concentration characterizing all his endeavors, Terman used the time to read extensively the existing radio engineering literature and to begin drafting his own first book.
In the academic year 1926-27, Terman began full-time teaching at Stanford, specializing in electronics. Although the electronics laboratory suffered from a severe shortage of funds, in the years between 1926 and 1941, Dr. Terman was able to build up a program distinctive in its output of ideas, people and publications.
Meanwhile, Dr. Terman's own career was flourishing. In 1937, he became a full professor and executive head of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Five of his seven books were published and were well received. More than 600,000 copies would be published in nine languages. According to Dr. Terman, his books "reflect his interest in the systematic organization of knowledge, and his desire to find simple quantitative ways to treat each topic."
He was also active in numerous professional societies, particularly the Institute of Radio Engineers. In 1941 he was elected President of the I.R.E., a notable honor signifying the growing national visibility of Dr. Terman and the Stanford electronics program.
Pre-WW II years were significant in his personal life as well. In 1928, he married Sibyl Walcutt, a graduate student in psychology. Their three sons, Frederick, Terrence and Lewis, were born between 1929 and 1935.
The outbreak of World War II was a turning point for Dr. Terman. He was appointed to organize and direct the Harvard Radio Research Laboratory, which was responsible for developing countermeasures against enemy radar. This research project eventually had more than 850 employees. It devised electronic radar jammers; designed tunable receivers for locating and analyzing radar signals; and manufactured billions of aluminum strips (called "chaff") which confused enemy radar reception when dropped from airplanes. The Radio Research Laboratory (operating over Europe) was credited with saving many of the allied bombers, and Dr. Terman was decorated by both the American and British governments for his wartime efforts.
At the same time that he was directing the Harvard Laboratory, Dr. Terman was educating himself in the strategies of successful university administration. He benefited by living near the treasurer of Harvard University, from whom he learned how Harvard's administrative structure and policies contributed to its pre-eminence among universities. Other issues discussed were the future of government support for university research after the war, and how such funding could best be utilized. Terman felt World War II had clearly demonstrated the importance of technological superiority in military success, and as a result, the federal government would place a new priority upon sponsoring advanced engineering research.
Terman returned to Stanford in 1946 as Dean of Engineering. In his new position of responsibility, he was able to carry out the concepts he had developed for strengthening the engineering program at Stanford. There were three basic components in his plan: the use of government research contracts; enhancement of the symbiotic relationship between local industry and the university; and distribution of funds for maximum academic benefit.
The contacts Dr. Terman had made as director of the Harvard Radio Research Laboratory were useful in obtaining the federal government contracts for Stanford. The newly established Office of Naval Research sought Dr. Terman's assistance, and with the approval of Stanford president, Donald B. Tresidder, research projects were initiated in chemistry, physics, and electronics in 1945 and 1947. Terman developed administrative guidelines to assure that sponsored research would benefit, rather than compete with, the educational mission of the University. Among the important aspects of these guidelines were that all research projects should be built around the specific interests of individual faculty members, rather than being obtained by administrators and assigned to the faculty, and that research should actually be carried out by students and faculty as an integral part of their academic programs rather than being undertaken by professional research staff as an adjunct to educational goals. The conditions established with these original sponsored projects have continued as the basis for the successful applied research programs at Stanford.
Dr. Terman had long been opposed to the "ivory tower" image of universities. He recognized the practical and mutual benefits that could accrue from interaction between industry and academia, and encouraged a closer relationship between them.
Palo Alto is often called the "birthplace of electronics" in honor of Lee DeForest's pioneering research with the audion tube in 1912, but when Dr. Terman began his teaching career in the 1920's, there were very few innovative engineering companies in the Bay Area. Terman was disturbed to find most of his best students moving to the east coast to find jobs. In the 1930's Professor Terman attempted to ameliorate the situation by helping talented students establish their own small companies. His greatest success was the Hewlett-Packard company; Terman arranged for a 8500 research assistantship to bring his former student, David Packard, back from a job at General Electric in New York to collaborate with William Hewlett, another of his inventive students. Terman was the "godfather" of this and several other student-initiated ventures that formed the nucleus of the San Francisco Bay Area's industrial development, today's "Silicon Valley."
As Dean of Engineering, Dr. Terman could effectively foster cooperation between Stanford's engineering program and local research-oriented companies. He encouraged faculty consulting, developed industrial affiliates programs through which companies could keep informed of the latest scientific developments in their fields, and initiated the Honors Cooperative Program, allowing employees of local firms to study part-time toward advanced degrees at Stanford. These arrangements proved to be mutually beneficial. Innovative industries benefited from the intellectual stimulus of a strong university, whose graduates also provided an exceptionally qualified work force. Programs like the Honors Cooperative became added recruitment incentives. In return, the Stanford Engineering School received financial support through the affiliates and cooperative programs. Potential students were attracted by the favorable employment environment as well as academic excellence. The opening of the Stanford Industrial Park in the 1950's strengthened the university-industry liaison, and the Stanford pattern has since been emulated throughout the United States.
More important to the Engineering School's development than sponsored research or industrial cooperation was Dr. Terman's program for obtaining maximum benefit from available resources. As Dean, Terman directed the fiscal policies of the School. He was firmly committed to the concept of investing in faculty, not in buildings. As an expression of this, he felt money should be directed towards hiring the finest research-oriented engineers possible. He considered it wasteful to construct new buildings, filled with expensive equipment, without top-quality scientists to use them. He also felt it was better economy to pay the high salaries necessary to attract a few leading engineers, than to use the same amount of money to hire a greater number of mediocre professors at lower salaries. He has compared his strategy to a track team, saying, "It's better to have one seven-foot jumper on your team than any number of six-foot jumpers.
He called this principle the "steeples of excellence." These steeples consist of very small groups of experts in significant fields, who by leadership in their professions, can attract grant money, as well as the finest students and junior faculty members. Terman's formula for the judicious combining of federal money with industrial support propelled the Stanford Engineering School from a merely regional institution into national prominence.
With his appointment as Provost of Stanford University in 1955, Dr. Terman assumed broader administrative responsibilities. Although President J. E. Wallace Sterling, historian, and Frederick Terman, engineer, had different academic backgrounds, they shared similar administrative and educational philosophies. Like Terman, Sterling believed institutional superiority was based upon the outstanding achievement of individual faculty members. Highest priority was placed upon hiring and retaining the finest scholar-teachers, and faculty search, selection, and tenure polices were made more rigorous and competitive at all levels. As can be seen in Series III of this collection, Dr. Terman and his Provost's Office staff kept meticulously detailed data on the operations of every department throughout the University, including average class sizes, number of student contacts for each faculty member, Ph.D. output per professor, faculty salaries and anticipated retirement dates. Dr. Terman often had a fuller knowledge of the workings of a department than did its chairman. These statistics were invaluable for strengthening and streamlining the academic programs in all areas of Stanford. During the Sterling-Terman administration, the University experienced unprecedented growth in national academic prominence and prestige.
Although Dr. Terman retired as Provost in 1965, he has continued to serve as a part-time consultant to the President, and has designed and carried out several studies on school and department budgets, faculty planning, benefits and retirement. Dr. Terman has continued to be active in many professional societies, holding elective offices or committee appointments in the Institute of Radio Engineers, the American Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the National Academy of Engineering, and Sigma Xi.
In keeping with his belief that the United States must maintain technological superiority in a highly competitive world, he has served as a consultant or advisor for the Institute of Defense Analysis, the Defense Science Board, the President's Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Navy, Air Force, and Signal Corps.
Since his retirement in 1965, he has devoted particular attention to the development of higher education in science and engineering, both in the United States and abroad. Among these project have been the Southern Methodist Foundation for Science and Engineering, the Korean Institute for Advanced Science, and a U.S. Office of Education mission to the U.S.S.R.
Dr. Terman once said, "I most enjoy helping to build something up, taking an unformulated enterprise and making it into what it could become." Today Stanford University, and the surrounding communities of technical scholars, bear witness to the continuing influence of that idea.

Major Correspondents


  1. The following list includes only major correspondents in the Terman collection. For a complete index to the Terman collection of personal and corporate names, see the card index of the Terman collection in the Stanford University Archives.
  2. Abramowitz, Moses
  3. Abramson, Norman
  4. Adams, Dwight B
  5. Albert, Arthur L
  6. Alford, Andres
  7. Alger, Philip
  8. Allen, Peter C
  9. Allyn, Nathaniel C
  10. Almond, Gabriel
  11. Alway, Robert H
  12. American Association for the Advancement of Science
  13. American Council on Education
  14. American Institute of Electrical
  15. Engineers
  16. American Telephone and Telegraph
  17. Angell, James B
  18. Anliker, Max
  19. Arbuckel, Ernest C
  20. Arizona, University of
  21. Armstrong, Edwin H
  22. Arrow, Kenneth
  23. Ayer, William E
  24. Axt, Richard
  25. Bacchetti, Raymond C
  26. Bacon, David C
  27. Bailey, George
  28. Bailey, Stuart L
  29. Bailey, Thomas A
  30. Baker, W R G
  31. Barus, David N
  32. Beadle, George
  33. Bechtel, Stephen D
  34. Bell Telephone Laboratories
  35. Benjamin, Curtis G
  36. Bennett, Merrill K
  37. Bennett, Rawson
  38. Berkner, Lloyd
  39. Beverage, H H
  40. Black, John D
  41. Black, Leonard J
  42. Bloch, Felix
  43. Boelter, L M K
  44. Boring, M M
  45. Bowker, Albert H
  46. Bowles, Edward
  47. Bown, Ralph
  48. Brandin, Alf E
  49. Brandt, Karl
  50. Brittain, James E
  51. Bronk, Detlev
  52. Bronwell, Arthur B
  53. Brooks, E. Howard
  54. Burden, William A
  55. Bush, Robert N
  56. Bush, Royal Robert
  57. Bush, Vannevar
  58. Buttner, Harold H
  59. Byrne, John F
  60. California Institute of Technology
  61. California, University of (all campuses)
  62. Campbell, W Glenn
  63. Carlson, Donald T
  64. Carnegie Corporation of New York
  65. Carter, E Finley
  66. Cassidy, Harold G
  67. Celanese Corporation
  68. Chaffee, E L
  69. Chambers, Dudley
  70. Chernoff, Herman
  71. Chestnut, Harold
  72. Chicago, University of
  73. Chodorow, Marvin
  74. Christeller, Norman L
  75. Clayton, John M
  76. Clement, Lewis
  77. Coates, Leonidas D
  78. Coggeshall, I S
  79. Columbia Broadcasting System
  80. Columbia University
  81. Compton, Karl T
  82. Conant, James B
  83. Cook, Lyle E
  84. Copp, William C
  85. Cornell University
  86. Cowlich, W B
  87. Crawford, Frederick
  88. Crawford, John D
  89. Creighton, Kenneth
  90. Crone, W Reed
  91. Cross, James E
  92. Croxton, Frank C
  93. Cullum, A Earl
  94. Cuthbertson, Kenneth
  95. Daniell, C M
  96. Davis, Joseph S
  97. Davis, Paul H
  98. Davis, William 0
  99. Dawson, Francis M
  100. Dazey, Kendal I
  101. Dees, Bowen C
  102. de Forest, Lee
  103. Dellinger, H
  104. Djerassi, Carl
  105. Dodds, John W
  106. Donner, Stanley T
  107. Dornbusch, Sanford M
  108. Dow, William G
  109. Doyle, Morris
  110. Dubridge, Lee A
  111. Dunn, Donald A
  112. Durand, William F
  113. Eastham, Melville
  114. Eastman, Austin V
  115. Ekstrand, Philip
  116. Eldred, W Noel
  117. Eliassen, Rolf
  118. Elliot, Harold
  119. Elwell, Cyril F
  120. Encyclopedia Britannica
  121. Engstrom, E W
  122. Erwin, E S
  123. Eurich, Alvin C
  124. Everest, F Alton
  125. Everitt, William L
  126. Farnsworth, Paul
  127. Farnsworth, Philip
  128. Farnsworth Television and Radio Company
  129. Faulkner, Ray
  130. Faville, David E
  131. Federal Telegraph Company
  132. Field, Lester M
  133. Fink, Donald G
  134. Flax, Alexander H
  135. Florida, University of
  136. Flory, Paul
  137. Flynn, James
  138. Folkers, Karl
  139. Ford, Thomas W
  140. Ford Foundation
  141. Ford Motor Company
  142. Forslund, Dolores
  143. Forsythe, George
  144. Foster, John S, Jr.
  145. Franklin, Gene
  146. Franklin, Ruth
  147. Freund, C J
  148. Fubini, Eugene
  149. Fuller, Leonard F
  150. Gannett, E K
  151. General Electric Company
  152. General Radio Company
  153. Gentry, Kenneth M
  154. Georgia Institute of Technology
  155. Gere, James M
  156. Gibbons, James F
  157. Gibson, Weldon B
  158. Gilfillan Brothers
  159. Ginzton, Edward
  160. Glover, Frederic 0
  161. Goheen, John D
  162. Golmark, Peter
  163. Goldsmith, Alfred N
  164. Goldstein, Avram
  165. Gould, D H
  166. Grad, Arthur
  167. Graham, Virgil M
  168. Granger, John V N
  169. Gregory, George T
  170. Greulich, William
  171. Grieder, Elmer
  172. Grinter, Linton E
  173. Grobstein, Clifford
  174. Guy, Raymond F
  175. Haley, Bernard
  176. Hall, Harvey
  177. Haller, George L
  178. Hann, Paul
  179. Hansen, William Webster
  180. Harman, Willis
  181. Harris, Donald B
  182. Hartig, Henry E
  183. Harvard University
  184. Haskins, Carly P
  185. Hastorf, Albert
  186. Hawkinson, John
  187. Hazeltine, Alan
  188. Hazeltine Service Corporation
  189. Heebink, David
  190. Heffner, Hubert
  191. Heintz and Kaufman
  192. Heising, Raymond A
  193. Helliwell, Robert A
  194. Helm, 0 W
  195. Henline, H H
  196. Hewlett, William R
  197. Hewlett-Packard Company
  198. Hildebrand, Roger
  199. Hilgard, Ernest R
  200. Hilton, Ronald
  201. Hoff, Nicholas
  202. Hofstadter, Robert
  203. Holloman, J Herbert
  204. Holme, Thomas T
  205. Hooper, WilliamL
  206. Hoover, Herbert
  207. Hoover, Herbert Jr.
  208. Horle, Lawrence F F
  209. Huggins, Robert
  210. Hughes Aircraft Co.
  211. Hulstede, G E
  212. Hunter, Could H
  213. Hurd, Paul
  214. Hutchinson, Eric
  215. Hygrade Sylvania Co.
  216. Illinois Institute of Technology
  217. Illinois, University of
  218. Institute for Defense Analysis
  219. Institute of Electrical and
  220. Electronics Engineers
  221. Institute of Radio Engineers
  222. International Business Machines
  223. International Standard Electrical
  224. International Telephone and Telegraph
  225. Ireson, W Grant
  226. Israel, Dorman D
  227. Jackson, J Hugh
  228. Jaconbson, David
  229. Jensen, Peter L
  230. Johns Hopkins University
  231. Johnson, William S
  232. Jones, Thomas
  233. Jones, William
  234. Kaar, I J
  235. Kaisel, Stanley F
  236. Kaplan, Henry
  237. Kays, William
  238. Kelly, Mervin J
  239. Kemnitzer, William
  240. Kennedy, Donald
  241. Kenworthy, Dudley
  242. Kern County Land Company
  243. Kerr, Clark
  244. Killian, James R
  245. Killian, Thomas J, Jr.
  246. Kindy, Ward B
  247. King, James R
  248. Kixmiller, Richard W
  249. Klipsch, Paul
  250. Knowles, Hugh S
  251. Kornberg, Arthur
  252. Kranzberg, Melvin
  253. Krauskopf, Konrad
  254. Kushner, LawrenceM
  255. Lampe, J H
  256. Langle, Robert
  257. Lapp, John
  258. Larson, Robert W
  259. Laun, Harold
  260. Lebacqz, Jean
  261. Lederberg, Joshua
  262. Lieberman, Gerald
  263. Lippincott, Donald K
  264. Linsley, Ray K
  265. Linvill, John G
  266. Linvill, William
  267. Llewellyn, Fred B
  268. Lockheed Aircraft
  269. Long, Moses C
  270. Loughren, Arthur V
  271. Lyman, Richard
  272. Lynd, John
  273. Lyon, Richard F
  274. McCord, William
  275. McCormack, James, Jr.
  276. McDaniel, Joseph
  277. McDonough, John
  278. McFadden, Duncan I
  279. McGhie, L Farrell
  280. McGraw-Hill Book Company
  281. Mackay Radio and Telegraph
  282. McKenzie, Lawson M
  283. MacKeown, Samuel S
  284. Manning, Bayless
  285. Mason, David
  286. Massachusetts Institute for Technology
  287. Menneken, Carl E
  288. Meyer, Myrl
  289. Meyrhof, Walter E
  290. Michigan, University of
  291. Miller, William
  292. Millman, Sidney
  293. Minnesota, University of
  294. Mohr, Lawrence
  295. Morris, Albert J
  296. Morris, Samuel B
  297. Moses, Lincoln
  298. Mothershead, John
  299. Motorola Incorporated
  300. Moulton, Robert
  301. National Academy of Science
  302. National Broadcasting Company
  303. National Science Foundation
  304. Nelson, Lyle
  305. Neville, Harvey A
  306. New York University
  307. Noller, Carl
  308. Norberg, Arthur
  309. Northrop Aircraft
  310. Northwestern University
  311. Norton, Garrison
  312. Oakford, Robert
  313. O'Brien, Richard
  314. Oglesby, Clarkson
  315. Ohio State University
  316. Oliphant, Charles
  317. Olson, Jane V
  318. O'Neil, Marshall
  319. Oregon State College
  320. Otis, Brooks
  321. Owen, Lillian C
  322. Pacific Telephone and Telegraph
  323. Packard, David
  324. Page, Benjamin
  325. Pake, George
  326. Panofsky, Wolfgang K H
  327. Park, Charles
  328. Parks, George
  329. Pearson, Daryl
  330. Pearson, Gerald
  331. Pederson, Carlton
  332. Pennsylvania State College
  333. Pennsylvania, University of
  334. Perkins, David
  335. Peterson, Allen
  336. Pettit, Joseph M
  337. Phinney, Edward D
  338. Pike, Thomas
  339. Pindar, Frederick V L
  340. Pior, Emmanuel
  341. Pitzer, Kenneth
  342. Polkinghorn, Frank A
  343. Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn
  344. Pond, Samuel
  345. Poniatoff, Alexander M
  346. Post, Serafim Fred
  347. Pratt, Haraden
  348. Princeton University
  349. Quillen, I J
  350. Radio Corporation of America
  351. Raffel, Sidney
  352. Rambo, William R
  353. RAND Corporation
  354. Ray, Dixy Lee
  355. Raytheon Company
  356. Rees, Mina D
  357. Reich, Herbert J
  358. Rhinelander, Philip
  359. Rich, Charles S
  360. Ritchie, Jesse M
  361. Rochester University
  362. Rockefeller Foundation
  363. Rogers, Rutherford
  364. Rosenzwieg, Robert
  365. Rothwell, C Easton
  366. Royden, Halsey
  367. Ryan, Harris J
  368. Ryan, Lawrence V
  369. Ryder, John D
  370. Saville, Thorndike
  371. Schiff, Leonard
  372. Schoenfeld, Earl
  373. Schramm, Wilbur
  374. Scientific Research Society of America
  375. Scoles, Edward A
  376. Scroggs, Joseph C
  377. Seaborg, Glenn
  378. Sears, Robert
  379. Seeger, Raymond J
  380. Seitz, Frederick
  381. Sensabaugh, George
  382. Shackelford, Benjamin E
  383. Shepard, Jack
  384. Shockley, William
  385. Shute, Ellison
  386. Siegman, Anthony E
  387. Sigma Xi Society
  388. Sinclair, Donald B
  389. Skilling, Hugh H
  390. Smith, Ralph
  391. Snyder, Rixford
  392. Solomon, Herbert
  393. Sommers, Armiger H
  394. Southern California, University of
  395. Southern Methodist University
  396. Southern Pacific Railroad
  397. Spaeth, Carl
  398. Spaght, Monroe
  399. Spangenberg, Karl
  400. Spencer, Eldridge T
  401. SDerry Gyroscope Company
  402. Stanford Research Institute
  403. Stauffer, John
  404. Stearns, H Myrl
  405. Steel, Geoffrey
  406. Steere, William
  407. Steiner, Kurt
  408. Sterling, J E Wallace
  409. Stewart, Arthur
  410. Stewart, Irvin
  411. Stow, Lyman
  412. Stratton, Julius A
  413. Strothman, F W
  414. Sturrock, Peter
  415. Susskind, Charles
  416. Suits, C Guy
  417. Supervised Investors Services
  418. Suppes, Patrick
  419. Swain, Robert E
  420. Swank, Raynard C
  421. Sylvania Electric Products
  422. Sylvester, Peter
  423. Syntex S. A.
  424. Tarr, Curtis
  425. Tarshis, Lorie
  426. Taylor, Maxwell D
  427. Television Shares Management Company
  428. Texas, University of
  429. Thompson, B J
  430. Thompson, James S
  431. Thurber, James
  432. Tresidder, Donald B
  433. Tucker, E A
  434. Turner, H M
  435. Twitty, Victor C
  436. U. S. Air Force U. S. Army
  437. U. S. Atomic Energy Commission
  438. U. S. Commerce, Department of
  439. U. S. Defense, Department of
  440. U. S .Health, Education and Welfare, Department of
  441. U. S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  442. U. S. Navy
  443. Van Dyke, Arthur
  444. Van Valkenberg, M E
  445. Varian Associates
  446. Vennard, John
  447. Villard, Oswald G, Jr.
  448. Vogel, Ralph H
  449. Wagener, Winfield G
  450. Wagner, Harvey
  451. Walker, Eric A
  452. Walker, Frank Fish
  453. Walker, Robert
  454. Washington University (St. Louis)
  455. Washington, University of
  456. Waterman, Alan
  457. Watkins, Dean A
  458. Watkins, James T, IV
  459. Webster, David Locke
  460. Weigle, Clifford
  461. Weiner, Norbert
  462. Weisner, Jerome B
  463. Wert, Robert
  464. Westinghouse Electrical Company
  465. Westman, Harold P
  466. Weyl, F Joachim
  467. Wheeler, Harold P
  468. Whitaker, Douglas
  469. Whitaker, Virgil
  470. White, William C
  471. Wiggins, Ira
  472. Wilbur, Ray Lyman
  473. Winbigler, H Donald
  474. Winters, Arthur Yvor
  475. Wired Radio Incorporated
  476. Wisconsin, University of
  477. Wise, Lauress
  478. Woodyard, John
  479. Wright, Gordon
  480. Yale University
  481. Young, Richard G
  482. Zahl, Harold A
  483. Zworykin, Vladimir K

Scope and Contents

The papers of Frederick Emmons Terman, dating from 1920 to 1978, document all phases of his long and influential career as an educator, electronics engineer, administrator, and author. The collection consists of nearly 200 boxes of correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, speeches and miscellaneous materials accumulated by Dr. Terman and his staff throughout his professional life. Because of Dr. Terman's varied career, and the corresponding breadth of this collection, these papers will be a valuable resource for researchers in many disciplines, including the history of science, military history, educational administration and even urban development.
The bulk of this collection was donated by Dr. Terman in April, 1977. Since that time, he has continued to send smaller groups of materials as he no longer needed them. The actual processing of the collection began in December, 1977, and was completed in the summer of 1980. The project costs were generously underwritten by a grant from Dr. Terman.
The files had been divided between his campus office and his home study. When the papers arrived, they had, for the most part, already been segregated into discrete groups such as "Provost's Personal Files," and "Institute of Radio Engineer's Records." In arranging these papers, I have respected Dr. Terman's own organizational scheme as much as possible.
Because the collection is so large and varied, a series structure was devised to provide more convenient access for researchers. In some cases, such as the "Harvard Radio Research Laboratory Records," the current series is equivalent to Dr. Terman's own compilation of records on that subject. But in some other cases, such as the "Professional Organizations Series," several smaller groups of papers were brought together topically as subdivisions of a larger series. Thus, a researcher with a particular interest in the history of engineering societies, for example, needs only to consult Series IV of the collection.
Within each series, I have arranged the papers according to their original organization when possible. In some series, this work was limited to merely rearranging a few misfiled papers. In other groups , the plan of organization was not apparent, so the folders have been ordered in a manner consistent with the overall structure of the collection.
There are two modes of access to this collection: through the subject-oriented box and folder register; and through the index of correspondents, both of which are divided by series. The researcher is advised to consult the series descriptions to determine which are most relevant, and then check through the inventory and index of the appropriate series. This procedure will insure maximum coverage and accessibility of the collection. The index is available for use in the Stanford University Archives.

Access Terms

California Institute of Technology..
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
Radio Research Laboratory (U.S.).
Stanford University -- General subdivision--Administration.;
Stanford University. Department of Electrical Engineering. -- General subdivision--Faculty.;
Stanford University. Office of the Provost.
Stanford University. School of Engineering.
Sterling, J. E. Wallace, (John Ewart Wallace), 1906-1985
Terman, Frederick Emmons, 1900-1982
Wilbur, Ray L., (Ray Lyman), 1875-1949
Engineering--History.--United States
Engineering--Societies, etc.
Engineering--Study and teaching.
Microelectronics industry--California--Santa Clara County.
Microelectronics industry--History.--United States


Frederick Terman ranks as one of the most successful of American administrators of science, engineering, and higher education in this century, a reputation that has eclipsed his deserved stature as a leading researcher and teacher in the field of radio engineering. Terman figured prominently in the development of electrical engineering as an academic discipline, the mobilization of American science and engineering in support of the war effort between 1942 and 1945, and the rapid growth after the war of an international center of industry based on advances in science and technology which we know today as the "Silicon Valley." It is fitting that the preservation of Terman's personal, scientific, and administrative papers should match his other accomplishments as a unique and virtually inexhaustible legacy, this time to historians.
The Terman papers will be approached from a variety of angles, a fact recognized and encouraged by the organization of this guide. Historians interested in the institutional basis of science and technology in wartime will be drawn to virtually complete records--including scarce or unpublished administrative histories and technical reports--stemming from Terman's role as director of the Harvard Radio Research Laboratory. Utilizing documents generated or collected by Terman during his tenure in a succession of offices at Stanford and within the national engineering community, the historian can trace the development of numerous organizations in science and engineering, including the Institute of Radio Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, the President's Scientific Advisory Committee, the Institute for Defense Analysis, the Stanford Electronics and Microwave Laboratories, and the School of Engineering at Stanford University. As a Stanford University administrator, most notably as Provost of the University from 1955 until 1965 and consultant to the President of the University until 1975, Terman formulated a philosophy of faculty selection and research funding based on the notion of "steeples of excellence." Example's of Terman's application of this philosophy abound in his administrative files, preserved in this collection, so that the historian will find here a laboratory in which to examine in unusual detail and intimacy how a broad range of academic disciplines were supported in a particular institutional setting.
Terman's papers are a rich resource regarding the ideas and instruments of science and engineering. His own research, inventions, teaching, and consulting activities are well documented. Yet, Terman's contemporaries and proteges best remember him as the man with his finger in every pie and on every pulse; attention to detail, his astonishing memory, and ready access to voluminous and well-managed files struck most Terman watchers as the keystones of his success as a judge of talent and recruiter. Terman's carefully organized observations and reports on the careers and work of others amount to a running reportage on the progress of research at Stanford and numerous other universities and industrial labs; the reports he prepared as scientific advisor to the Television Shares Management Company between 1948 and 1978 provide a particularly noteworthy example of Terman in his role as commentator on the technical achievements of his day.
As voluminous and complete as the Terman papers may be, additional sources are available to Terman biographers and historians wishing to investigate his life and times. Foremost among these is a series of interviews with Terman conducted by Arthur L. Norberg, Charles Susskind, and Roger Hahn, transcripts of which are housed at the Stanford University Archives and The Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley. Collections of the personal, scientific, and administrative papers of scientists and engineers associated with Terman and with Stanford University, such as those of Felix Bloch, William W. Hansen, David Locke Webster, and Leonard Schiff further illuminate many of the events and projects with which Terman was involved and are housed in the Stanford University Archives, while the papers of Cyril F. Elwell, housed in the Department of Special Collections of the Stanford University Libraries, provide additional background material concerning the early development of the electronics industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Henry Lowood
Bibliographer for History of Science and Technology Collections, Stanford University Libraries


Sincere thanks are due to all whose efforts contributed to this project, especially to Dr. Frederick E. Terman, who made the generous gift of this collection, and financial support for its processing. In addition, this project would not have been possible without the work of former University Archivist Ralph Hansen, and the current Archivist Roxanne-Louise Nilan, who were responsible for arranging the transfer of these papers, and overseeing the complicated logistics accompanying a collection of this size.