Guide to the Chemistry Division Selected Correspondence Files, 1935-1958

Processed by Carolyn K. Harding; machine-readable finding aid created by Brooke Dykman Dockter
California Institute of Technology
1200 East California Blvd.
Mail Code 015A-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-2704
Fax: (626) 793-8756
© 1998
California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Chemistry Division Selected Correspondence Files, 1935-1958


California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California

Contact Information:

  • Archives
  • California Institute of Technology
  • 1200 East California Blvd.
  • Mail Code 015A-74
  • Pasadena, CA 91125
  • Phone: (626) 395-2704
  • Fax: (626) 793-8756
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Carolyn K. Harding
Date Completed:
May 10, 1978
Encoded by:
Brooke Dykman Dockter
© 1998 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Chemistry Division Selected Correspondence Files,
Date (inclusive): 1935-1958
Creator: Chemistry Division, California Institute of Technology
Extent: Linear feet: 1
Repository: California Institute of Technology. Archives.
Pasadena, California 91125
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not 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 Head of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and 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, Box and file number], Chemistry Division Selected Correspondence Files, Archives, California Institute of Technology.

Scope and Content

The manuscript material described below was selected by the Institute Archivist from the files of the Division of Chemistry, and deposited in the Archives June 2, 1975. Primarily correspondence, these papers provide some documentation of the administrative and scientific career of Linus Pauling, Chairman of the Division from 1937 to 1958.
The earliest material is in the Chemistry Division Council files, which contain a few items regarding the reorganization of the Council under Arthur A. Noyes, Chairman of the Division until his death in 1936. Later files deal with administrative matters, such as personnel, students, course curricula, and laboratory equipment. One item of general interest is a ten-page memorandum by Pauling dated August 15, 1944, "The Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Its Present State and Future Prospects."
In late 1945, Pauling and the new Chairman of the Division of Biology, George W. Beadle, began a joint effort to establish a long-range research program in chemical biology at the Institute and to secure financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation. The Biology Division files, especially those covering the years 1945-1946, contain a number of interesting letters between Pauling and Beadle in which they discuss their plans. This material is complemented by the Rockefeller Foundation files, which include Pauling's correspondence with Foundation officials such as Warren Weaver and George Gray regarding research proposals and grants.
The collection also includes files of two scientific meetings held at Caltech in 1953 and 1957. The first of these, an informal five-day conference on the structure of proteins, was attended by a distinguished roster of scientists. Although much of the correspondence concerns travel arrangements, letters to the following participants discuss both scientific and personal matters: F .H. C. Crick, David Harker, Dorothy Hodgkin, H. E. Huxley, John Kendrew, Barbara Low, D. P. Riley, and James Watson. A single folder of material is available on the second meeting, a one-day celebration of the 40th anniversary of the first American papers in X-ray crystallography. The file includes Pauling's correspondence with C. Lalor Burdick and Albert W. Hull, two of the three original authors, and with Dorothy Hodgkin, who delivered the main address on the determination of the structure of vitamin B-12.
The remaining files seem to be less complete. There are two folders of material from the early 1950's on a protein program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research at Columbia University. Pauling was apparently a consultant for this project, and the files contain his correspondence with Erwin Brand of Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons. Finally, the collection includes two folders of W miscellaneous Pauling correspondence.
--Carolyn K. Harding

Assistant Archivist

May 10, 1978

Container List


Biology Division



Box 1, Folder 1.1


Folder 1.2


Folder 1.3


Folder 1.4


Folder 1.5


Folder 1.6




Folder 1.7

Robert Emerson 1945


Linus Pauling ca 1945


Chemistry Division Council

Folder 1.8


Folder 1.9


Folder 1.10

ca 1936-1937

Folder 1.11


Folder 1.12


Folder 1.13





Pasadena Conference on the Structure of Proteins Sept. 21-26, 1953



Folder 1.14

Astbury, W. T.


Bear, Richard S.


Bragg, Sir Lawrence


Crick, F. H. C.

Folder 1.15

Edsall, John T.


Elliot, Arthur


Harker, David


Hodgkin, Dorothy

Folder 1.16

Huggins, Maurice L.


Huxley, H. E.


Kendrew, J. C.


Low, Barbara

Folder 1.17

MacArthur, I.


Patterson, A. L.


Pepinsky, Ray


Perutz, Max


Randall, J. T.

Folder 1.18

Riley, D. P.


Schmitt, F. O.


Trotter, I. F.


Watson, J. C.


Wilkins, M. H. F.


Wilson, A. J. C.

Folder 1.19

Miscellaneous correspondence

Folder 1.20

Programs and publicity


40th Anniversary of the First American Papers in Crystallography Dec. 16, 1957

Folder 1.21

Correspondence and printed matter


Office of Naval Research, Protein Program, Columbia University

Folder 1.22

Dec. 1950 -March 1951

Folder 1.23

April 1951 -July 1953


Rockefeller Foundation



Box 2, Folder 2.1


Folder 2.2


Folder 2.3


Folder 2.4


Folder 2.5


Folder 2.6


Folder 2.7


Folder 2.8


Folder 2.9

Proposals and reports


W miscellaneous correspondence 1945-1947

Folder 2.10

West, C. D. 1947


Westinghouse Educational Foundation 1945-1947


Wibaut, J. P. 1946


Wiley, John and Sons, Inc. 1946-1947

Folder 2.11

Williams, J. W. 1946


Wilson, E. B. 1946-1947


Woo, Sho-Chow 1947


Wood, Reuben 1946


Wright, George G. 1946-1947


Wyckoff, Ralph W. G. 1946-1947

Folder 2.12

Buildings - Noyes Laboratories 1963, n.d.

Folder 2.13

"A System for the Ultimate Analyses of Chemical Warfare Agents" 1944