Fritz Zwicky Papers: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Brooke M. Black, February 7, 2013.
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
© 2013
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Fritz Zwicky Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1940-1967
Collection Number: mssZwicky papers
Creator: Zwicky, F. (Fritz), 1898-1974
Extent: 38 items in 2 boxes
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 small collection contains correspondence, some photographs, 5 audio tapes, and 14 film reels of Fritz Zwicky (1898-1974), a Swiss astronomer who worked most of his life at the California Institute of Technology. The collection chiefly deals with Zwicky and his family, although there is a little material related to astronomy. Some of the material is in German.
Language: English and German

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]. Fritz Zwicky Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Gift of Barbarina Zwicky, June 24, 2011.

Biographical Note

Fritz Zwicky (1898-1974) was a Swiss astronomer. He worked most of his life at the California Institute of Technology, where he made many important contributions in theoretical and observational astronomy. Zwicky was born in Bulgaria in 1898. In 1904, at the age of six, Fritz was sent to his grandparents in Glarus, Switzerland for school. His interests were math and physics and he received an advanced education in mathematics and experimental physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, located in Zürich, Switzerland. In 1925, he immigrated to the United States to work with Robert Millikan at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) after receiving the "international fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation."
In 1932, Zwicky married Dorothy Vernon Gates; they divorced in 1941. In 1947 he married Anna Zurcher; they had three daughters: Margrit, Franziska, and Barbarina. Zwicky died in Pasadena, California in 1974 and was buried in Mollis, Switzerland. The Zwicky Museum at the Landesbibliothek, Glarus, houses many of his papers and scientific works, and the Fritz Zwicky Stiftung (Foundation) in Switzerland carries on his ideas relating to "Morphological analysis."

Scope and Content

The collection chiefly deals with Zwicky and his family although there is a little material related to astronomy. Some of the material is in German. The small collection includes:
One volume that contains letters between Zwicky and his daughters while they were in Switzerland (for school). Entitled “Briefe von und an die kinder.” In his letters, Zwicky sometimes mentions his research and astronomical work.
There are three telephone books that belonged to Zwicky and 15 photographs. Includes one portrait of Zwicky and 14 views of the star cluster Hyades (includes notes on the front and verso of the photographs).
Also included in the collection are 5 audio tapes, reel to reel, that are not labeled and undated. There are also 14 16mm film reels that contain scenes of home life in Pasadena; Zwicky family trips; school shows with Zwicky’s daughters; and scenes at Palomar Observatory.
Note: The cataloger did not review the audio-video material.

Arrangement

Arranged in 2 boxes:
  • Box 1: Volume, Telephone Books, Photographs
  • Box 2: Audio tapes, 16mm

Indexing Terms

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

Subjects

Zwicky, F. (Fritz), 1898-1974.
California Institute of Technology.
Palomar Observatory.
Astronomers -- United States -- Archives.
Astronomy -- Photographs.
Astronomy -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Stars -- Clusters.
California, Southern -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Fetan (Switzerland)
Pasadena (Calif.)

Forms/Genres

Audiotapes -- 20th century.
16mm -- 20th century.
Letters (correspondence) -- California -- 20th century.
Letters (correspondence)-- Switzerland -- 20th century.
Photographs -- 20th century.


Collection Contents

 

Volume, Telephone Books, Photographs

Folder 1

Volume: “Briefe von und an die kinder” (1960-1967). 1 item.

Folder 2

Telephone books [undated]. 3 items.

Folder 3

Photographs (1940-[approximately 1950]). 15 items.

 

Audio tapes, 16mm

Folder 1

Audio tapes [undated]. 5 items (a-e).

Folder 2

Fourteen reels 16mm Kodachrome (1952-1956). 14 items.

a

Family Zwicky, Pasadena, July 1952

b

Palomar, Pasadena, 1952

c

School show, Margriti, Franziska, [June 1953]

d

Children in plastic swimming pool, August 1953

e

Family, Mr. Rudo’s swimming pool, August 1953

f

Trip to Palomar, La Salana, Beach, etc., August 1953

g

Trip to Flagstaff, Grand Canon, September 1953

h

Grand Canon, Zion Park, [September 1953]

i

Zoo, Bicycles, [May] 1954

j

[June] 1954

k

Spring, Summer 1955

l

Fall of 1955, Halloween, Pismo Beach, 1955

m

Fall 1955, Halloween Part at Hamilton School, 1955

n

Knotts Berry Farm, January 1956