Frederick Eugene Wright Papers: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Go Oyagi, May 6, 2011.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© May 2011
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Frederick Eugene Wright Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1924-1961
Collection Number: mssWright papers
Creator: Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953.
Extent: 865 items in 6 boxes and 3 oversize folders.
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection contains the papers of American optician and geophysicist Frederic Eugene Wright (1877-1953), who served as the chair of the "Committee on Study of Surface Feature of Moon" of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The majority of the collection deals with the history of science and Wright's research of the physical features of the moon.
Language: English.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Frederick Eugene Wright Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Deposit, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington Collection, 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 in the Manuscripts Department of the Huntington Library.

Biographical Note

Frederic Eugene Wright (1877-1953) was an eminent optician and geophysicist. His various specialties included the physical features of the surface of the moon, and in 1925, he was appointed the chair of the "Committee on Study of Surface Feature of Moon" of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. In addition to Wright, the committee consisted of W. S. Adams and F. G. Pease (Mt. Wilson Observatory), A. L. Day (Geophysical Laboratory of the Institution), John P. Buwalda and Paul S. Epstein (California Institute of Technology), and W. W. Campbell (Lick Observatory). Wright remained at the Carnegie Institution until his retirement in 1944. At the time of his death, he was considered the foremost authority on the Moon.

Scope and Content

This collection contains material ranging from correspondence to various types of research materials to clippings and reprints of articles of newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. The majority of the collection deals with the history of science and Wright’s research of the physical features of the moon.
The collection is composed of four sections in accordance with the types of sources: correspondence, manuscripts, research materials, and ephemera. The correspondence is contained in Box 1, while the manuscripts are housed in Boxes 1 and 2. Research materials occupy Boxes 2-5, divided into five sub-sections: unbound research materials, research materials in folders, bound research materials, photographs, and negatives. The Ephemera section is contained in Boxes 5 and 6. The items in each section and sub-section are placed in chronological order.
Correspondence indicates the ways in which Wright advanced the research project of the Committee on Study of Surface Feature of Moon as well as in which he shaped his ideas and conducted his research in relation to other scholars; he asked other scholars research questions and was asked by them. Wright regularly corresponded with administrators at the Carnegie Institution, such as W. M. Gilbert and John Merriam, and the committee members in California, updating each other on the project. Also he communicated with other scholars in the field including R. A. Daly at Harvard, W. H. Pickering at an observatory in Jamaica, George Hale at the California Institute of Technology, Harlow Shapley at the Harvard College Observatory, C. P. Oliver at the University of Pennsylvania, Ernest Brown at Yale, Jesse L. Greenstein at the Harvard College Observatory, Otto Struve at the University of California, Berkeley, and Henry Norris Russell at Princeton.
Manuscripts and research materials tell us exactly what Wright thought and did in terms of his research project. Manuscripts include the reports of the committee and drafts of talks he gave to various audiences. Research materials are a nice collection of research data (graphs and tables), research notes, and visual sources such as photographs and negatives.
The ephemera section also contributes to tracing the trajectory of Wright’s ideas, composed of clippings of articles regarding the moon from newspapers and magazines and reprints of his own published papers.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in four series: correspondence, manuscripts, research materials, and ephemera.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953 -- Archives.
Carnegie Institution of Washington.
Mount Wilson Observatory. Committee on Study of the Surface Features of the Moon.
Mount Wilson Observatory -- History -- Sources.
Astronomers -- Correspondence.
Astronomical observatories -- California -- Wilson, Mount (Mountain)
Astronomy -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Astronomy -- Research.
Lunar geology.
Moon.
Moon -- Photographs.
Moon -- Surface.

Forms/Genres

Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Photographs -- 20th century.
Research (document genres) -- 20th century.

Additional Contributors

Adams, Walter S. (Walter Sydney), 1876-1956.
Brown, Ernest W. (Ernest William), 1866-1938.
Daly, Reginald Aldworth, 1871-1957.
Greenstein, Jesse L. (Jesse Leonard), 1909-2002.
Hale, George Ellery, 1868-1938.
Merriam, John C. (John Campbell), 1869-1945.
Oliver, Charles P.
Pickering, William H. (William Henry), b. 1858.
Russell, Henry Norris, 1877-1957.
Shapley, Harlow, 1885-1972.
Struve, Otto, 1897-1963.
Mount Wilson Observatory. Committee on Study of the Surface Features of the Moon.


Collection Contents

Box 1

Correspondence and Manuscripts

Folder 1

1924-1925. Correspondence. 11 items.

Folder 2

1926. Correspondence. 27 items.

Folder 3

1927, Jan.-June. Correspondence. 26 items.

Folder 4

1927, July-Dec. Correspondence. 31 items.

Folder 5

1928, Jan.-June. Correspondence. 24 items.

Folder 6

1928, Aug.-Dec. Correspondence. 20 items.

Folder 7

1929. Correspondence. 22 items.

Folder 8

1930. Correspondence. 33 items.

Folder 9

1931, Jan.-Apr. Correspondence. 23 items.

Folder 10

1931, May-Aug. Correspondence. 33 items.

Folder 11

1931, Sep.-Dec. Correspondence. 13 items.

Folder 12

1932-1933. Correspondence. 18 items.

Folder 13

1934-1937. Correspondence. 32 items.

Folder 14

1938-1940. Correspondence. 22 items.

Folder 15

1943-1953. Correspondence. 27 items.

Folder 16

Undated. Correspondence. 4 items.

Folder 17

1927. Committee on Study of Surface Feature of Moon. Schedule for Winter 1927- 1928. 1 item.

Folder 18

c. 1927. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Talk on polarization of moon light. 2 items.

Folder 19

c. 1927. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Untitled talk. 1 item.

Folder 20

1930, Nov. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Notes on Progress of Work by Committee on Study of Surface Features of Moon. 2 items.

Folder 21

1931, Oct. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Notes on Progress of Work by Committee on Study of Surface Features of Moon. 1 item.

Folder 22

1931. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Polarization of sun’s rays on reflection by the moon. 1 item.

Folder 23

c. 1933. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Polarization of Sun’s Rays Reflected by the moon. 1 item.

Folder 24

c. 1934. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. The characteristic curve of photographic plates. 1 item.

Folder 25

1961. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. The Surface of the Moon. 1 item.

Folder 26

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. A few of the problems that confront us in the study of the moon’s surface. 1 item.

Folder 27

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Identification of rocks by reflected light. 4 items.

Box 2

Manuscripts and Research Materials

Folder 1

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. The measurement of the polarization of the moon’s rays by means of the new polarization photometer eyepiece. 1 item.

Folder 2

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. The measurement of the polarization of the moon’s rays by use of the new polarization photometer eyepiece. 1 item.

Folder 3

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. The percentage polarization in moonlight. 1 item.

Folder 4

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Percentage Polarization of Moon Light at Different Phases of the Moon. 1 item.

Folder 5

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. The Polarization of light by reflection from rough, non-polished surface. 1 item.

Folder 6

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Polarization of light by reflection from rough rock surface, with special reference to the materials exposed at the Moon’s surface. 1 item.

Folder 7

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. The polarization of moonlight at different phases of the moon. 1 item.

Folder 8

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Rock determinations by reflected light. 3 items.

Folder 9

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. The Surface Feature of the Moon. 1 item.

Folder 10

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Draft of a letter to “Mr. Schooley.” With some research note. 1 item.

Folder 11

1927-1934. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Polarization Photometer Eyepiece. 19 items.

Folder 12

1928. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Notes on Lunar Crating. 3 items.

Folder 13

c. 1920s. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Lunar radiation. Including 1 copy of an article by other authors. 22 items.

Folder 14

1933-1937. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Polarization of moonbeams. 1 item.

Folder 15

1936[?]. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Polarization Measurements. 17 items.

Folder 16

c. 1930s. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Percentage of polarization. 15 items.

Folder 17

c. 1930s-1940s. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Lunar atmosphere. Including 3 copies of articles by other authors. 12 items.

Folder 18

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Classification of Physiographic Features on Face of the Moon. 1 item.

Folder 19

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Compound Polarizing Prisms. 31 items.

Folder 20

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Miscellaneous research materials. Including 23 oversized materials. 41 items.

Folder 21

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Moon-Historical Notebook. 1 item.

Folder 22

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Notes on the Polarization of Moon’s Rays. 3 items.

Folder 23

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Polarization Data Notebook, Vol. 1. 1 item.

Folder 24

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Polarization Data Notebook, Vol. 2. 1 item.

Box 3

Research Materials

Folder 1

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Polarization Data Notebook, Vol. 3, No. 1. 1 item.

Folder 2

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Polarization Data Notebook, Vol. 3, No. 2. 1 item.

Folder 3

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Projection Charts Chiefly Moon. 13 items.

Folder 4

1934. Polarization of moonbeams folder. 10 items.

Folder 5

Undated. Moon Photographs and Diagrams folder. 46 items.

Folder 6

Undated. Untitled folder. Including 5 oversized items. 40 items.

Folder 7

1933. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Moon Polarization. 1 item.

Folder 8

1934. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Moon Visual Means. 1 item.

Folder 9

1935. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Moon Visual Measurements. 1 item.

Box 4

Research Materials

Folder 1

1935. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Moon Visual Terrestrial Materials. 1 item.

Folder 2

1936. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Moon Visual. 1 item.

Folder 3

1936-1937. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Visual Measurements on Terrestrial Materials. 1 item.

Folder 4

1937. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Moon. 1 item.

Folder 5

1938. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Moon Photographs. 1 item.

Folder 6

Undated. Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Conversion Tables: Spherical Coordinates to Transverse Coordinates. 1 item.

Folder 7

Undated. Moon Model Photographs. Including 3 oversized photographs. 7 items.

Folder 8

Undated. Moon Photographs from 1888-1890. With 3 notes. 10 items

Box 5

Research Materials and Ephemera

Folder 1

1926. Map of Moon Karel Andel. 1 item.

Folder 2

1936, Feb. Lunar crater shadows projections. Hemisphere. 2 items.

Folder 3

Undated. Frequency Distribution Lunar Crates. 3 items.

Folder 4

Undated. Great circle on globe orthographic projection Pole afg=30 s=75. 1 item.

Folder 5

Undated. H12 Mt. Wilson Observatory Zo 20 cf. 1925 Central Eastern portion. 1 item.

Folder 6

Undated. Lunar craters. 7 items.

Folder 7

Undated. Lunar perspective projection azimuthal d=69.3 mm. 1 item.

Folder 8

Undated. Lunar perspective projection (polar) a=69.3 mm. 1 item.

Folder 9

Undated. Lunar Polarization. Polarization: Terrestrial Materials. 26 items.

Folder 10

Undated. Negatives of the moon. With a note and envelope. 10 items.

Folder 11

Undated. Projectiles on Moon. 5 items.

Folder 12

Undated. Projection charts. Stereographic doubles. 3 items.

Folder 13

Undated. Relative size of moon and Earth. 1 item.

Folder 14

Undated. Tangent method for ascertaining heights of Lunar mts. Hevelius selenographia. 1 item.

Folder 15

Undated. Untitled negatives. 4 items.

Folder 16

1925-1929. References to moon articles and clippings. 10 items.

Folder 17

c. 1920s-1930s. Newspaper/Magazine Clippings, No.1. 12 items.

Folder 18

c. 1930s. Newspaper/Magazine Clippings, No.2. 25 items.

Folder 19

c. 1930s. Newspaper/Magazine Clippings, No. 3. 16 items.

Folder 20

c. 1930s-1960. Newspaper/Magazine Clippings, No.4. 9 items.

Folder 21

1927-1953. Reprints of Articles by F. E. Wright. 7 items.

Box 6

Ephemera

Folder 1

c. 1927-1961. Reprints of Articles by Other Authors. 11 items.

Folder 2

Undated. Goodacre, No. 1. 1 item.

Folder 3

Undated. Goodacre, No. 2. 1 item.

Folder 4

Undated. Goodacre, No. 3. 1 item.

Folder 5

Undated. Goodacre, No. 4. 1 item.

Folder 6

Undated. Goodacre, No. 5. 1 item.

Folder 7

Undated. Goodacre, No. 6. 1 item.

Folder 8

1927-1940. Bills/Receipts. 12 items.