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George Ellery Hale (1868–1938) was an influential astrophysicist and science administrator. This collection of Hale's scientific, professional, and personal papers documents his roles in inventing the spectrohelioscope; promoting international cooperation among scientists; and founding major observatories, as well as the California Institute of Technology, Huntington Library, Astrophysical Journal, and National Research Council.
George Ellery Hale was born in Chicago in 1868. After receiving his B.S. from MIT in 1890, he quickly established a scientific reputation for his invention of the spectroheliograph, then made important contributions to the study of solar phenomena, organized and coedited the Astrophysical Journal, and led the design, funding and construction of the Kenwood, Yerkes, Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories. In 1904, Hale became director of the Mount Wilson Observatory and settled in Pasadena, California, where became deeply involved in local education and culture, including the creation of Caltech and the Huntington Library. Meanwhile, he revivified the National Academy of Sciences by organizing the National Research Council, obtaining a substantial endowment, and establishing the National Research Council Fellowships. Before World War I, Hale was a founder of the International Union of Cooperation in Solar Research, Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, and frequent delegate to the International Association of Academies. After the war, he was instrumental in the establishment of the International Research Council and served as president of its successor, the International Council of Scientific Unions, from 1931 to 1934. Hale died in 1938.
73 linear feet
Unpublished works created by George Ellery Hale are in the public domain and may be reproduced freely. Copyright to works by others, and to Hale's publications, may be held by their respective creators, those creators' heirs, or their publishers. If you wish to quote or reproduce such works beyond the extent of fair use, please contact the copyright holder to request permission.
Most of this collection is available on the web, linked from individual folder records in this finding aid. If you would like to examine the original paper copies of materials in series 1 through 9, please email archives@caltech.edu to apply for an appointment. The original Director's Files of the Mount Wilson Observatory are located at the Huntington Library and available to qualified researchers by application through their Reader Services Department.