Henrietta Hill Swope Papers: Finding Aid
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by Diann Benti in June 2017.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
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Overview of the Collection
Title: Henrietta Hill Swope Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1923-1979
Collection Number: mssSwope papers
Swope, Henrietta Hill,
Approximately 2,400 items in 10 boxes and 1 oversize folder
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Abstract: This collection contains the papers of American astronomer
Henrietta Swope (1902-1980), who spent most of her career developing techniques to measure distances in space.
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[Identification of item]. Henrietta Hill Swope Papers, The Huntington Library, San
Deposit Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1988.
Approximately fifty additional separate collections form the Mount Wilson Papers of the Observatories of the Carnegie
Institution of Washington and are available for research.
Henrietta Hill Swope (1902-1980), the daughter of General Electric president Gerard Swope
and the niece of journalist Herbert Bayard Swope, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in October
1902 and raised in Ossining, New York, where she began stargazing in her backyard. After
receiving her A.B. in mathematics from Barnard College and her master's degree from
Radcliffe, she joined the staff of Dr. Harlow Shapley at the Harvard University Observatory.
Swope spent most of her career developing techniques to measure distances in space. During
WWII, Swope worked on radar experiments at MIT and at the Navy's Hydrographic Office. After
which she spent 16 years refining the cepheid measuring system at the Mount Wilson and
Palomar Observatories in California. In 1962 she announced that the distance between the
Milky Way and Andromeda, our nearest galactic neighbor, is 2.2 million light years. In 1962
she donated funds to the Carnegie Institute of Washington towards the construction of the
Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, which now contains a 40-inch telescope named in her
honor. She was awarded the Annie Jump Cannon Prize from the American Astronomy Society in
1968. She died in Pasadena, California in November 1980.
Scope and Content
This collection contains correspondence (Parts 1 and 2), which has been grouped together
alphabetically by correspondent. The correspondence includes letters from a variety of
astronomers from around the world as well as general astronomy questions from members of the
public. The correspondence also deals with women in astronomy and in the Beverly T. Lynds
folder is a list of women members of the Astronomical Association of America. The majority
of the letters written by Swope are retained copies. The arrangement of her astronomical
working papers, however, mirrors that of the collection when it was obtained by the
Huntington. The folder titles for the working papers are, for the most part, those of
Henrietta Swope herself. The majority of the working papers deal with Swope's research and
work on the Milky Way, M31 (Andromeda Galaxy), variable stars, cepheids, Magellanic Clouds,
and the Draco System (these folders include notes, photographs and charts.) There are also
four black and white photographs that may be of Swope receiving the Annie Jump Cannon Prize
in 1968 and several miscellaneous manuscripts, reprints, articles by Swope and others,
journals, bulletins, notes, pieces of ephemera and several hundred IBM cards. Notable
participants include: Helmut Abt, Gonzalo Alcaino, Joseph Ashbrook, Robert Atkinson, Walter
Baade, Horace W. Babcock, Ludwig Biermann, Bart J. Bok, Ira Sprague Bowen, Frederick Brasch,
Laszlo Detre, Armin Deutsch, David H. DeVorkin, Laurence Fredrick, Cecilia and Sergei
Gaposchkin, Helen Gilberts, Otto Heckmann, Arthur and Helen Hogg, Roberta Humphreys, Alfred
H. Joy, Zdenek Kopal, Gerald E. Kron, Arlo U. Landolt, William Liller, Beverly T. Lynds,
George C. McVittie, Donald H. Menzel, Delo Mook, Jan Hendrick Oort, L. Plaut, George
Preston, Vera Rubin, Allan Sandage, Jan Schilt, T. Schmidt-Kaler, Martin Schwarzschild,
Harlow Shapley, Elske Smith, Hyron Spinrad, Sidney Van den Bergh, Alexander Vyssotsky, Merle
F. Walker, Sir Richard Woolley, American Institute of Physics, Astronomical Journal, Popular
Astronomy, Royal Astronomical Society and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
The Swope Papers have not yet been fully organized. The correspondence has been grouped
together alphabetically by correspondent. The arrangement of her astronomical working
papers, however, mirrors that of the collection when it was obtained by the Huntington. The
folder titles for the working papers are, for the most part, those of Henrietta Swope
Swope, Henrietta Hill,
Carnegie Institution of
Mount Wilson and Palomar
Observatories -- History -- Sources.
Mount Wilson Observatory --
History -- Sources.
Astronomers -- United States --
Astronomical observatories -- California --
Wilson, Mount (Mountain)
Astronomy -- Photographs.
Astronomy -- Research.
Astronomy -- United States -- History -- 20th
century -- Sources.
RR Lyrae stars.
Women astronomers -- United States --
Letters (correspondence) -- United States --
Manuscripts -- United States -- 20th
Papers (document genres) -- United States --
Photographs -- United States -- 20th
Research (document genres) -- United States --
Abt, Helmut A.
Alcaino, Gonzalo, 1936-
Ashbrook, Joseph, 1918-1980.
Atkinson, Robert d'Escourt,
Baade, Walter, 1893-1960.
Babcock, Horace W.
Biermann, Ludwig, 1907-1986.
Bok, Bart J. (Bart Jan),
Bowen, Ira Sprague, 1898-1973.
Brasch, Frederick E. (Frederick Edward),
Deutsch, Armin J. (Armin Joseph),
DeVorkin, David H., 1944-
Fredrick, Laurence W.
Gaposchkin, Sergei, 1898-
Gilberts, Helen, 1909-
Heckmann, Otto, 1901-
Hoag, Arthur Allen, 1921-1999.
Humphreys, Roberta M.
Joy, Alfred H. (Alfred Harrison),
Kopal, Zdeněk, 1914-1993.
Kron, Gerald E.
Landolt, Arlo U. (Arlo Udell),
Liller, William, 1927-
Lynds, Beverly T.
McVittie, George C. (George
Menzel, Donald H. (Donald Howard),
Mook, Delo E., 1942-
Oort, Jan Hendrik.
Preston, George Worrall, 1930-
Rubin, Vera C., 1928-
Schilt, Jan, 1893-
Schmidt-Kaler, Th. (Theodor),
Shapley, Harlow, 1885-1972.
Smith, Elske v. P. (Elske van Panhuys),
Spinrad, Hyron, 1934-
Van den Bergh, Sidney, 1929-
Vyssotsky, A. N. (Alexander N.),
Walker, Merle F.
Woolley, Richard van der Riet,
Corp Author American Institute of
Carnegie Institution of Washington.
Royal Astronomical Society.
Correspondence, Manuscripts, Notes, and Bibliographies
American Institute of Physics
Baade, Johanna "Muschi" Bohlmann
Baade, Wilhelm Heinrich Walter
Gascoigne, Sidney Charles Bartholomew
Minkowski, Rudolph Leo Bernhard
Royal Astronomical Society
Manuscripts, Notes, and Bibliographies
Classical Cepheids within 12° of the Galactic Center, by H. H. Swope
Variable Stars Towards the Galactic Nucleus, by H. H. Swope. Unpublished,
presented at Puebla, Mexico, Feb. 26,
A Study of the Magnitudes and Colors of the Globular Cluster NGC6397, by H.
H. Swope & Irving Greenbaum. Published in
The Palomar Survey of Variables in M31 (First Results), by Walter Baade
& H. H. Swope. Presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting,
Princeton, New Jersey, Apr. 6,
The Draco System, by H. H. Swope. Presented at a colloquium, May, 1958.
Variables in the Andromeda Galaxy -- Fields I and III, by Walter Baade
& H. H. Swope. Published in
Three Weeks of Symposia, by Bart Jan Bok (1953).
Future of Milky Way Research, part of the thesis, "A Variable Star Survey
in an Intermediate Latitude Field -- M.W.F. 376," by Walter J. Miller, S.J.,
May 1, 1943.
Notes on Cepheids [including some by Otto Struve?].
Notes on the ellipsoidal distribution of light [by James Hopwood
Bibliography of the Magellanic Clouds, Jan. 20, 1948.
Bibliography of H. H. Swope.
Walter Baade's Papers -- list.
Astronomical Working Papers
Variable stars; Globular clusters; Milky Way
Variable stars -- Cepheids & notes.
Variable stars -- Galactic Cepheids.
Variable stars -- Galactic Cepheids & reddening.
Variable stars -- Magellanic Clouds' Cepheids.
Variable stars -- Rotation of the apsides.
Variable stars -- Spurious periods.
Milky Way -- Miscellaneous.
Milky Way Fields -- Charts.
Milky Way Field 187 -- C (1943).
Milky Way Field 187 -- AK Sco.
Milky Way Field 187 -- BH Sco & Var C39
Milky Way Field 187 -- Excerpts.
Milky Way Field 187 -- EZ Oph & Var. 85.
Milky Way Field 187; M31 Field I
Milky Way Field 187 -- Irregular variables.
Milky Way Field 187 -- Photographs, etc.
Milky Way Field 187 -- Sequence; Star chart of Henry Draper
Milky Way Field 187 -- Variables on SB plates.
Milky Way Field 187 -- YY Sgr.
M31 -- Cepheids, absolute and phase.
M31 -- Period-luminosity curve (Fields I-IV).
M31 -- Photometric scale in Fields I and III.
M31 -- Variable star light curves.
M31 Field I -- Amorphous field, south preceding nucleus.
M31 Field I -- Estimates and comparisons.
M31 Field I -- Light curves and graphs.
M31 Field I -- Magnitudes.
M31 Field III -- Quadrant I, south following.
M31 Field III -- Quadrant II, south preceding.
M31 Field III -- Quadrant III, north following.
M31 Field III -- Quadrant IV, north preceding.
M31 Field III -- Summary and traces of quadrants; Running graphs; Mean
light curve computations.
M31 Field IV -- B field corrections.
M31 Field IV -- B and V magnitudes.
M31 Field IV -- Color-magnitude diagram.
M31 Field IV -- Converting to intensities and back to magnitudes of mean
M31 Field IV -- Eclipsing binaries I.
M31 Field IV -- Eclipsing binaries II.
M31 Field IV -- Irregular variables.
M31 Field IV -- Irregular variables working sheets.
M31 Field IV; Draco system
M31 Field IV -- Luminosity.
M31 Field IV -- Magnitudes.
M31 Field IV -- Miscellaneous.
M31 Field IV -- Period-luminosity relation.
M31 Field IV -- Photoelectric results.
M31 Field IV -- Plate material.
M31 Field IV -- Population II variables.
M31 Field IV -- Pseudo-cepheids.
M31 Field IV -- UBV results.
M31 Field IV -- Variable plots.
M31 Field IV -- Variables with photovisual l.c.
M31 Field IV -- Working sheets.
Draco system -- Arp: Period-luminosity relation for giants and gap
Draco system -- Baade's material.
Draco system -- Color-magnitude chart.
Draco system -- Comparison to globular clusters, mostly in color-magnitude
Draco system -- Comparison to globular clusters in period frequency and
Draco system -- Composite color curves of variables.
Draco system -- Conversion of magnitudes to intensities and
Draco system -- Corresctions to plates for color-magnitude
Draco system -- Luminosity.
Draco system -- Magnitudes, 1957.
Draco system -- Magnitudes (Wallenquists's work).
Draco system -- Miscellanea.
Draco system -- Outer ring variables.
Draco system -- Paper; pertinent material.
Draco system -- Photovisual (V) and color index for variables.
Draco system -- Plate material and discovery record.
Draco system -- Revised magnitudes, 1959; Standard sequence.
Draco system -- Special variables (V134, V157).
Draco system -- Table for converting scale to magnitude.
Draco system -- Variables.
Draco system -- Variable V123.
Charts -- Information regarding IBM cards (in Box 10).
Charts -- Light curves for Type II cepheids.
Plates -- Baade's plate material.
Plates -- Baade's taken with the 48" Schmidt.
General -- Aids to find periods of cluster-type variables from running
General -- Combined light of two stars.
General -- Corrections to heliocentric time for Milky Way
General -- Corrections for 200" radial distortions.
General -- Galactic charts of Right Ascension and declination.
General -- Intensities and magnitudes.
General -- International Astronomical Union (miscellaneous
General -- Julian Day tables.
General -- Photographs [Milky Way fields and solar eclipses].
General -- Photometers and blink comparators.
General -- Sensitivity curves of filters for Ross corrector.
Articles; Miscellaneous periodicals
Articles by Henrietta H. Swope (and co-authors).
Miscellaneous journals and bulletins.
M31 Field IV. Reddening in M31 by method of Arp.