Title: Dixy Lee Ray Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1937-1982
Collection number: 82106
Ray, Dixy Lee
Collection Size: 170 manuscript boxes, 14 oversize boxes, 3 card file boxes, 3 cubic feet boxes, 135 envelopes, 1 album box, 7 slide boxes,
16 motion picture film reels, 1 videotape cassette, 2 phonorecords, 3 linear feet of memorabilia (119 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Correspondence, speeches, reports, studies, printed matter, audiovisual material, and memorabilia, relating primarily to nuclear
energy in the United States, and to Washington state politics.
Collection open for research.
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to
copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives
at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see
or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.
For copyright status, please contact
the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], Dixy Lee Ray Papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1982.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
Nuclear energy--United States.
Washington (State)--Politics and government.
United States--Politics and government.
|19l4, September 3
||Born, Tacoma, WA.
||B.A., Mills College, Oakland, CA.
||M.A., Mills College (LL.D., 1967)
||Teacher, Oakland Public Schools and Pacific Grove
Public Schools, CA.
||John Switzer fellow, Stanford, CA.
||Ph.D. (Marine Biology), Stanford University
||Associate professor of zoology, University of
Washington, Seattle, WA.
Marine Boring and Fouling Organisms
||Special consultant in biological oceanography, U.S.
National Science Foundation
||Director, Pacific Science Center, Seattle
||Visiting professor, Stanford;
||Chief scientist, Research Vessel TE VEGA Expedition,
International Indian Ocean
||Member, Presidential Task Force on Oceanography
||Member, Atomic Energy Commission
||Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and
International Environmental and Scientific
||Governor, State of Washington
|1980, September l8
||Lost her bid for reelection in state open primary
||Writer and lecturer
The Dixy Lee Ray collection in the Hoover Institution Archives
consists of her personal papers accumulated during the years 1937 to 1981. The
materials, amounting to some hundred and eighty boxes, document principally her
activities as director of the Pacific Science Center in Seattle; as member and
chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission; as assistant secretary of state, and
as governor of the State of Washington. Official papers stemming from her
tenure as governor are kept in Olympia, as part of the Washington State
The arrangement of the collection closely follows her career
path, with materials from her various offices or occupations treated
chronologically in separate series.
The biographical series documents Dixy Lee Ray's personal
life, including her early years as a graduate student in biology (boxes 6-7).
Of special interest is her complete genealogical record (box 5).
The correspondence series is small, as it represents only
those letters exchanged when Dixy Lee Ray did not hold an official position.
Correspondence of 1973, for instance, is to be found in the Atomic Energy
Commission series. Also filed in this correspondence series are private letters
exchanged over a number of years and therefore kept together instead of being
placed into different series. Of particular interest is the large folder of
correspondence with Marion Reed, Dixy Lee Ray's sister, and her husband Gordon
The speeches and writings series consists mostly of articles
on the subject of nuclear energy and biological research, as well as some
speeches given after she left office.
The subject file reflects Dixy Lee Ray's academic formation
and professional involvement, and is generally orientated towards scientific
topics. It contains a very large section on energy, particularly nuclear
energy, with many reports and studies on the safety of nuclear power plants and
the disposal of radioactive waste (boxes l6-25). Other folders of interest are
those on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (box 39).
The Pacific Science Center series provides a good picture of
Dixy Lee Ray's efforts to promote interest in science, particularly among young
people, as evidenced by the files on the sea use program (box 54), the summer
oceanography classes (box 57) and the television continuity public relations
program (box 58). The minutes of the Oceanographic Commission of Washington's
meetings constitute a sizeable part of this series (boxes 50-52) and readers
interested in this subject should also consult the many files on oceanography
in the subject file (boxes 33-34).
The Atomic Energy Commission series is probably the most
valuable part of the collection, with its direct link to issues of great
national and international significance. As for all the other major series, a
big correspondence section is present, with important letters to heads of state
and of American and foreign agencies (boxes 60-68), as well as a record of most
of the speeches delivered by Dixy Lee Ray during that time (boxes 8l-87). The
files on her travels abroad (boxes 88-89) to attend international conferences
and meet with foreign officials in charge of nuclear policy provide valuable
information, as does the file on the visit to the United States of French
atomic officials (box 89). On the working relationship between the Atomic
Energy Commission and the executive branch, files on the Office of Management
and Budget (box 78) and the White House (box 89) are to be consulted. This
series also contains a very important file on the implementation of the Energy
and Research Development Administration, one of the two agencies (the other
being the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) created at the Atomic Energy
Commission's dissolution, on ll October 1974 (box 69).
The State Department series' most specific contribution is the
file on the establishment and the role of the Bureau for Oceans and
International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (box 98), a newly created
office which Dixy Lee Ray took over with enthusiasm but one with which she
became rapidly frustrated, as indicated in particular by her correspondence
The small interim years series consists for the most part of
correspondence dealing with her numerous speaking engagements, which were
scheduled by her agent, the Leigh Lecture Bureau. But Dixy Lee Ray was already
thinking of running for governor: her victorious bid of 1976 for that position
is recorded in the gubernatorial campaigns series, which also includes, for the
sake of coherence, her unsuccessfull campaign of 1980 for re-election. Both
campaign series have original files documenting general strategies, staff work,
popular support; fund-raising records and statements for the Public Disclosure
Commission are particularly well kept and extensive for the 1976 campaign
(boxes l05-ll0 and ll2-ll4).
The governorship series is the largest of the collection, with
substantial files on budget conference notes (boxes l2l-l24), higher education
(boxes l37-l38), the eruption of Mount St. Helens in May of 1980 (boxes
l40-l42), the penitentiary system (boxes l44-l45), town hall meetings (boxes
l62-l63), various Washington State agencies (boxes l64-l69).
A considerable amount of audio-visual material complements the
collection. Most noteworthy are an extensive series of photographs depicting
Dixy Lee Ray in official functions, especially as director of the Atomic Energy
Commission and as governor of the state of Washington, and the recordings on
cassettes of virtually all of the speeches she gave while governor.