Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Russell W. Raitt Papers
Identifier/Call Number: SMC 0035
8.4 Linear feet
(19 archives boxes and 2 card file boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1930-1992, bulk 1941-1979
Abstract: Papers of Scripps Institution of Oceanography geophysicist Russell W. Raitt, including correspondence, research files, laboratory
notebooks, and teaching materials.
Scope and Content of Collection
Papers of Scripps Institution of Oceanography geophysicist Russell W. Raitt, including correspondence, research files, laboratory
notebooks and teaching materials. Raitt researched underwater acoustics and seismology with the University of California Division
of War Research (UCDWR), the Naval Electronics Laboratory (NEL) and the Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL). He participated
in several SIO research expeditions and cruises from the 1940s through the 1970s, and the collection contains notes and data
related to these endeavors.
Raitt collaborated with scholars internationally, often presenting at conferences and publishing research results. Highlights
of these collaborations include Raitt's 1956 notebook from a research trip to Cambridge, England and his participation on
the Discovery II expedition, as well as his 1970-1971 trip journal aboard the Soviet cruise Vityaz.
Arranged in eight series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) RESEARCH, 3) EXPEDITIONS AND CRUISES, 4) WRITINGS, 5) TEACHING AND LECTURES,
6) COMMITTEES AND ORGANIZATIONS, 7) SIO AND THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, and 8) SLIDES.
Geophysicist Russell W. Raitt was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1907. He earned his bachelor's degree in physics in 1929 and
his Ph.D. in 1935 from the California Institute of Technology.
Upon graduation, Raitt founded the Geophysical Engineering Corporation in Pasadena, CA. He then moved to La Jolla, and from
1941 to 1945 conducted research on acoustics and the sea floor for the University of California Division of War Research (UCDWR).
After the war, Raitt joined the newly developed University of California Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL) as a senior research
associate. When MPL merged into the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in 1948, Raitt became an associate professor,
studying underwater acoustics and sonar engineering. Raitt used seismic refraction techniques to study the sea floor, and
advanced signifigant theories of sea-floor structure, evolution, and spreading. Raitt retired in 1976. He died in 1995 in
Russell W. Raitt Papers. SMC 35. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Sound recordings in the collection have been digitized.
Processing records for the first major 1981 accession of Raitt's office files note that they were disorderly, incomplete,
and stored in colored binders. The original binder color, if applicable, has been noted on the folders (pink materials were
created and maintained by MPL staff). Original folder titles and contents have generally been preserved.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Marine geophysics -- Research
Ocean bottom -- Research
Raitt, Russell W. (Russell Watson), 1907-1995 -- Archives
Scripps Institution of Oceanography -- Archives