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Raichlen (Fredric) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Content Description
  • Arrangement
  • General

  • Contributing Institution: California Institute of Technology Archives and Special Collections
    Title: Fredric (Fred) Raichlen Papers
    Creator: Raichlen, Fredric (Fred) , 1932-2014
    Identifier/Call Number: 10290-MS
    Physical Description: 45.77 linear feet (88 boxes, 37 reels)
    Date (inclusive): 1932-2014
    Abstract: Fredric Raichlen, Professor Emeritus of Civil and Mechanical Engineering in Caltech's Division of Engineering and Applied Science taught at Caltech for forty years. Raichlen formally retired from teaching in 2002 but remained active with Caltech colleagues, students and consultants until he passed away in 2014. The Fredric (Fred) Raichlen papers illustrate Raichlen's contributions to the field of coastal engineering research and practice, particularly in the areas of tsunamis, harbor oscillations, ship dynamics, breaking waves, and wave defense of submarine pipelines. The papers consist of reports, research, consultantancy documentation, slides, audiovisual material and photographs.
    Language of Material: English .

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research. Researchers must apply in writing for access. Some files are confidential and are currently closed. Researchers may request information about closed files from the Caltech Archives.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Caltech Archives. 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.

    Biographical / Historical

    Fredric (Fred) Raichlen was born in Baltimore, Maryland on October 12, 1932. He attended Johns Hopkins University where he earned a Bachelor of Engineering in 1953 and earned his Master's and Doctoral degrees in 1955 and 1962 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Raichlen also served in the United States Air Force as an Environmental Health Officer from 1956 to 1959. Raichlen came to the California Institute of Technology as an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in 1962, promoted to Associate Professor in 1967 and to Professor in 1972. He became one of the founding faculty members of Caltech's doctoral program in Environmental Engineering Science in 1969. He was appointed Professor Emeritus in 2001 however he remained active and worked with colleagues, students and consultants until his last few weeks. Raichlen's research provided major contributions to coastal engineering research and practice, particularly in the areas of tsunamis, harbor oscillations, ship dynamics, breaking waves, and wave defense of submarine pipelines. He was a pioneer in the studies of harbor excitation from long waves and tsunamis. The National Academy of Engineering inducted Fredric Raichlen as a member in 1993. He was a member of numerous other professional organizations including the American Society of Civil Engineers. The American Society of Civil Engineers honored Raichlen with the John G. Moffatt-Frank E. Nichol Harbor and Coastal Engineering Award in 1994 and the International Coastal Engineering Award in 2003.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    The Fredric (Fred) Raichlen papers, slides and audiovisual materials were transferred to the archives from the Keck Laboratory, and donated to the Caltech Archives by the family of Fredric Raichlen in 2014.

    Processing Information

    This collection was processed by Clarisse Alvarez under the supervision of Mariella Soprano in 2018-2019. Materials were removed from binders, file folders and manila envelopes and were replaced with acid-free folders. The original order of materials was kept when available. Some correspondence were placed in chronological or alphabetical order, depending on the record creator's order. Photographs, slides and film reels were sleeved in appropriate preservation enclosures. Various metal fasteners were removed and replaced with archival plastic clips. Duplicate copies were removed and recycled.

    Content Description

    The collection covers papers from Fred Raichlen's studies preceding his Bachelor's degree to the end of his career. It is a great source for the history of coastal engineering in Southern California. This is especially found in the papers covering his extensive consulting work.


    The Fredric (Fred) Raichlen Papers are divided into four series containing subseries:
    Series 1. Biographical Documents and Correspondence is divided into five subseries. Subseries 1: Correspondence, consists of correspondence arranged in alphabetical order and in chronological order. Subseries 2: Professional Organizations, Academies and Award Nominations, consists of papers and correspondence related to the organizations and academies that Fredric (Fred) Raichlen belonged to and award nominations that he and his colleagues received. Subseries 3: Education, consists of papers and reference materials collected while Fredric (Fred) Raichlen completed his education. Subseries 4: Biographical, includes biographical documents.
    Series 2. California Institute of Technology is divided into two subseries. Subseries 1: California Institute of Technology Campus and Administration. Subseries 2: Teaching and Student Coursework.
    Series 3. Technical Papers, Research and Consultancy Work is divided into five subseries. Subseries 1: Consultancy Work. Subseries 2: Depositions and Cases. Subseries 3: Technical Papers and Research. Subseries 4: Publications and Talks. Subseries 5: Research Proposals.
    Series 4. Photographs, Film Reels and Video, Zip Disks is divided into three subseries. Subseries 1: Photographs. Subseries 2: Film Reels and Videos. Subseries 3: Zip Disks.


    Metadata and detailed information related to audiovisual material is stored in the Raichlen collection electronic file and available upon request. Contact the California Institute of Technology Archives to request additional information.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Coastal engineering
    Environmental engineering
    Mechanical engineering
    Civil Engineering
    Manuscript Collection
    Southern California
    California Institute of Technology