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Libby, (Lester L.) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Lester L. Libby papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M1406
    Physical Description: 11 Linear Feet (24 manuscript boxes; 1 map folder; 1 flat box)
    Date (inclusive): circa 1934-1984
    Abstract: The Lester L. Libby papers consist of files created and maintained by Lester Louis Libby (1916-2002) pertaining to his work in the technical field of sound engineering and the application of microwave frequency technologies in various industries including radio, television, and early electronics from the 1930s to the 1970s. Materials include Libby's resarch notebooks, work papers, diagrams and schematics, articles he authored, and patents received.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research, with the exception of born-digital materials, which are closed until processed. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use. Audiovisual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    This collection was given by Grace F. Libby to Stanford University Special Collections in 2003.

    Biographical / Historical

    Lester Louis Libby was born at Hartford, Connecticut in 1914. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1935 and 1936, respectively. In 1934, Libby began his career in the radio engineering field when he became radio transmitter operator at radio station WTAG in Worcester, Massachusetts. Throughout the 1930s, Libby held positions at companies involved with pioneering research and technological developments in radio communications, including as a radio-tube design engineer for RCA Radiotron, and at the radio receiving-tube division of Tung-Sol Lamp Works. In 1941, Libby began working in research development and eventually became Chief Engineer for the Federal Telegraph Company, a company founded in Palo Alto, California that specialized in developing high-powered transmitters used for long distance radiotelegraph communication.
    In 1942, Libby completed a course in Ultra High Frequency at the Newark College of Engineering for the United States Office of Education. This accomplishment eventually lead him to conduct research in early television receiver and antennae design. Libby several articles on the topic and communication technologies while he served as Chief Engineer of the Ohmega Laboratories in Pine Brook, New Jersey. By the 1950s, Libby began working for various industries in the electronic communications field and with advanced technologies using sound wave frequency, including at the Eimac Division of Varian Associates in the Bay Area, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab Research Institute in Pasadena. Libby also had an active consulting career, working on projects for companies such as Pacific Avionics for airplane radar safety, Sierra Electronics for public safety communication systems, and the Nebula guitar synthesizer for BCD Technologies. Libby passed away in Los Altos, California in 2002.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item] Lester L. Libby Papers (M1406). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Processing Information

    Original order of the materials was kept, and file folder titles written by Libby were mostly maintained with additional information added when available.

    Scope and Contents

    The Lester L. Libby papers consist of research files created and maintained by Lester Louis Libby (1916-2002), and pertain to his work in the technical field of sound engineering and the application of microwave frequency technologies in various industries including radio, television, and early electronics from the 1930s to the 1970s.
    Types of materials include professional correspondence and Libby's research papers and notebooks from his academic and professional careers. Materials related to Libby's consulting work at firms include correspondence, manuals, schematics, management notes, Carad (Carpentier Radio) board minutes (1957-1971), and patents, including one from Hewlett-Packard. Published articles authored by Libby on radio and television technologies are complimented by a small collection of newsletters and publications that he kept related to these particular fields.
    In addition to Libby's academic and professional materials, there is a limited amount of biographical items including the meeting minutes and related documents pertaining to Libby's employment with the United States governement, and his involvement with the San Jose, California district's Office of Civil Defense during the early 1950s. Also included in the collection is a selection of papers and reports written by Libby's research partner and colleague at Polytechnic, Sydney Frankel.

    Conditions Governing Use

    While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Science -- History.
    Electronics -- Research -- United States.
    Microwave communication systems
    Wireless communications
    Radio engineers
    Sound engineers
    Radio frequency modulation--Receivers and reception
    Frequency synthesizers
    Eitel-McCullough, Inc.
    Libby, Grace F.