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Guide to the Papers of Edward Hutchings, Jr., 1937-1987
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Sketch
  • Scope of the Collection
  • Material Cataloged Separately

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Papers of Edward Hutchings, Jr.,
    Date (inclusive): 1937-1987
    Creator: Edward Hutchings, Jr.
    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], Papers of Edward Hutchings, Jr., Archives, California Institute of Technology.

    Biographical Sketch

    Edward Hutchings Jr. was born in 1912 in Brooklyn and raised in upstate New York. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1933, he worked as an editor and writer for a number of magazines, including Literary Digest, Business Week, Look, Liberty, Collier's and Science Illustrated. In 1948 he was offered the job of editor of Caltech's alumni magazine, Engineering & Science (E&S). Later he acquired the title of Director of Publications.
    Over the course of his thirty-one-year tenure with E&S, Hutchings refashioned it into a publication that went well beyond the typical alumni magazine by reaching out to faculty, students, parents, trustees, donors, science teachers, the press, and the interested public. His philosophy was to make any science concept available to the layman. By his own admission he was careful to observe the old dictum of never underestimating the intelligence of his readers while never overestimating their knowledge. Bringing scientist and layman together was, he wrote, "like being the operator of a lonely-hearts club. I've tried to promote a match." He was scrupulous to involve students in his work and to cover student life in the magazine, as well as to present the important research that was continually taking place on campus and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He taught journalism classes and was advisor to the student newspaper, the California Tech. In 1958 he compiled and edited the book Frontiers of Science, a set of the best material from E&S to that time, which contains some of the most illustrious names in science of that era, from Linus Pauling to Richard Feynman to J. Robert Oppenheimer.
    Hutchings also participated actively in campus life. He was a member of the Caltech Stock Company, led by English professor J. Kent Clark, which presented original shows to mark major campus events from the 1950s into the 1980s. He retired from E&S in 1979 and from teaching in 1987.

    Scope of the Collection

    The papers represent a somewhat miscellaneous cross section of material touching on various aspects of life at Caltech. Of particular interest are talks about or interviews with prominent Caltech faculty. There is also interesting material on student life, as well as several sets of slides showing student pranks. Other sets of slides generated by faculty retirement dinners provide some interesting pictorial records. Researchers should also refer to the Edward Hutchings Jr. oral history.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    Framed watercolor by Hunt Lewis, view of Throop Hall through arches. Added to fine art collection.
    Books authored by Edward Hutchings Jr. Added to landmark book collection.