Guide to the Don Lynn Anderson Papers, 1968-1994

Processed by Charlotte E. Erwin; machine-readable finding aid created by Brooke Dykman Dockter
California Institute of Technology
1200 East California Blvd.
Mail Code 015A-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-2704
Fax: (626) 793-8756
© 1998
California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Don Lynn Anderson Papers, 1968-1994


California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California

Contact Information:

  • Archives
  • California Institute of Technology
  • 1200 East California Blvd.
  • Mail Code 015A-74
  • Pasadena, CA 91125
  • Phone: (626) 395-2704
  • Fax: (626) 793-8756
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Charlotte E. Erwin
Date Completed:
March 27, 1996
Encoded by:
Brooke Dykman Dockter
© 1998 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Don Lynn Anderson Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1968-1994
Creator: Anderson, Don Lynn
Extent: Linear feet: 1
Repository: California Institute of Technology. Archives.
Pasadena, California 91125
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not 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 Head of 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, Box and file number], Don Lynn Anderson Papers, Archives, California Institute of Technology.


Professor of Geophysics Don Lynn Anderson was Director of Caltech's Seismological Laboratory from 1967 through 1989. In that position, he succeeded two front rank geophysicists, Beno Gutenberg and Frank Press. The Seismo Lab was founded in Pasadena in 1927 by the Carnegie Institution of Washington; its administration was taken over by Caltech some years later, in 1937.
Although closely associated with the development of the magnitude scale (the "Richter scale") and other aspects of seismological measurement, the Seismo Lab has been much more than an earthquake lab. In writing about the Lab in 1989, Anderson stressed its non-earthquake aspects: "The Seismology Laboratory is not primarily an observatory; it has been, in fact, the 'Geophysics Department' at Caltech." While providing earthquake information for the local and statewide community and running the Southern California Seismic Array (the "Network" of seismic stations which record earthquake data), the Lab has produced major scientific work in geophysics throughout its history.
The papers in this collection were deposited in the Archives in 1996 by Professor Anderson. They date from the period of his directorship of the Lab and concern the Lab directly. However, they do not form a complete record, as there are notable gaps, for example, in Anderson's own series of memos (nothing for the last ten years of his tenure) and in general administrative correspondence.
Researchers interested in the history of the Seismology Laboratory should also examine the following files in the Caltech Archives: Historical Files (under Geology Division), Seismology Records (microfiche), and the papers of Beno Gutenberg, Charles Richter and Harry O. Wood.

Container List




Kamb, Barclay (Geology Division) Correspondence

Box 1, Folder 1.1


Folder 1.2


Folder 1.3


Folder 1.4

1979-1983, 1991


Memos (outgoing)

Folder 1.5


Folder 1.6


Folder 1.7

Proposal to adopt "richter" as unit of magnitude 1970





Box 1, Folder 1.8

General correspondence 1969-1978

Folder 1.9

General correspondence 1981-1994


Caltech Seismological Network

Folder 1.10

Transfer of network supervision from Charles Richter to James N. Brune 1968

Folder 1.11

General correspondence 1969-1974, undated

Folder 1.12

Network name suggestions 1978

Folder 1.13

Facilities 1970-1986

Folder 1.14

Office staff reorganization 1981

Folder 1.15

Center for Earthquake Physics and Tectonics 1987-1988




U.S.G.S. - Caltech Network Correspondence

Box 2, Folder 2.1


Folder 2.2


Folder 2.3


Folder 2.4

U.S.G.S. - National Network Correspondence 1987

Folder 2.5

U.S.G.S. - Seismo Lab relations 1988-1989



Box 2, Folder 2.6

Benioff, Hugo xeroxes of slides n.d.