Finding Aid for the The Caltech Image Archive 1862- , bulk 1910-1999

Processed by Caltech Archives Staff.
Caltech Archives
California Institute of Technology
1200 East California Blvd.
Mail Code 015A-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-2704
Fax: (626) 395-4073
California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: The Caltech Image Archive,
Date (inclusive): 1862- , bulk 1910-1999
Collection number: 10001-Image
Creator: California Institute of Technology Archives
Extent: Approximately 10,000 photographs
Repository: California Institute of Technology. Caltech Archives
Pasadena, California 91125
Abstract: The Caltech Image Archive is a digital collection of more than 10,000 images from the Caltech Archives. It includes historical and contemporary photographs of people and locations, images of historical artifacts from Caltech's laboratories, and reproductions of fine art and illustrations from rare books pertaining to the history of science and technology. The collection continues to grow.
Physical location: Archives, California Institute of Technology.
Languages represented in the collection: English


The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote must be submitted in writing to the Caltech Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and, unless explicitly stated otherwise, 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], The Caltech Image Archive, 10001-Image, Caltech Archives, California Institute of Technology.

Scope and Content

The Caltech Image Archive documents in pictorial form many aspects of life and work at the California Institute of Technology.
Over 10,000 images are currently represented in this digital collection. The main body of images is derived from Caltech's historical Photo Archive, which records the early years of Caltech's predecessor school, Throop Polytechnic, founded in 1891, and onward to the present day. Photographs of faculty, students, trustees, administrators, and eminent visitors, as well as buildings, grounds and laboratories are included. Additional photos with provenance within faculty papers and other manuscript collections have been added to the Photo Archive over time and are represented in the Image Archive.
The Archives' collection of historic apparatus has been photographed for documentation purposes, and those photos have been included in the Image Archive as well. Instruments built in Caltech's shops, among them Robert A. Millikan's cosmic ray measuring devices, may be viewed, as well as models from noted European and American makers such as Cambridge & Paul, Kelvin & James White, Adam Hilger, Otto Wolff, Zeiss, Beckman Instruments, Fred C. Henson Company, J. A. Brashear, Weston Electrical Instrument Corporation, Western Electric, Leeds & Northrup, Keuffel & Esser and many others.
Finally, reproductions of fine art and cartographic prints in the history of science assembled largely by Professor Earnest C. Watson, as well as reproductions from Caltech's valuable rare books also appear. In this latter group are more than 250 images from first editions of Nicholas Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Johann Bayer, Galileo, Johannes Hevelius, Isaac Newton and many others from the Scientific Revolution.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


California Institute of Technology
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.)


Graduate students
Nobel Prize winners
University administrators