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Finding Aid to the Thomas H. Pigford papers, 1951-1998 (bulk 1960-1990)
BANC MSS 99/313 cz  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Thomas H. Pigford papers
    Date (inclusive): 1951-1998
    Date (bulk): 1960-1990
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 99/313 cz
    Creator: Pigford, Thomas H.
    Extent: 8 cartons, 1 box, 1 cardfile box, 1 oversize folder (10.80 linear feet)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The Thomas H. Pigford papers including correspondence, research files, writings, reports, presentations, notebooks and course materials.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Thomas H. Pigford papers, BANC MSS 99/313 cz, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Pigford, Thomas H.
    Nuclear engineering
    Berkeley (Calif.)

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by Thomas H. Pigford in 1999.


    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Mario H. Ramirez.

    Biographical Information

    Founding chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at U.C. Berkeley, Thomas H. Pigford’s five-decade career included the areas of nuclear reactor design, nuclear safety, nuclear fuel cycles and radioactive waste management. A pioneer in the development of nuclear engineering as a field of study, Pigford led a research program at U.C. Berkeley that developed a theoretical means for predicting the long-term behavior of radioactive and chemical waste disposed of underground. A strong proponent of nuclear power, Pigford was, equally, a vocal advocate for the application of strict safety standards for its use. As a result, he was appointed to a number of advisory commissions on nuclear reactor safety, including those charged with evaluating the accidents in Chernobyl, Ukraine and Three Mile Island in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.
    A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology (BS, Chemical Engineering, 1943) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sc.D, Chemical Engineering, 1952), Pigford was appointed Associate Professor of Nuclear and Chemical Engineering at MIT in 1955, directed its Graduate School of Engineering Practice in Oak Ridge, Tennessee for a period of two years and, upon his return to MIT, helped found their new graduate program in nuclear engineering. From 1957-1959, he was a founding member of the nuclear technology research and development firm General Atomic (now known as General Atomics) in La Jolla, California. Pigford began his teaching career at U.C. Berkeley in 1959, where he was the first permanent chair of the Nuclear Engineering Department, ultimately serving three non-consecutive terms. He also held the post of Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Pigford remained at U.C. Berkeley for the rest of his career, retiring in 1991, at which time he became Professor Emeritus.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Thomas H. Pigford papers contain correspondence, research files, writings, reports, presentations, notebooks and course materials that document the breadth of his dynamic career. Highlights of the collection include his reports and assessments of the accidents in Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, as well as his participation in such groups as the Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee, the National Research Council’s Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Resources and the Board on Nuclear Waste Management, among others. Researchers will also benefit from Pigford’s research files and writings, and their in-depth exploration of such topics as fuel cycles in nuclear reactors, the geologic disposal of nuclear waste and the design of nuclear reactors.