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Guide to the Frederick E. (Frederick Edward) Brasch Papers , 1745-1963
Special Collections M0275  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Frederick E. (Frederick Edward) Brasch Papers ,
    Date (inclusive): 1745-1963
    Collection number: Special Collections M0275
    Creator: Brasch, Frederick E. (Frederick Edward), 1875-1967.
    Extent: 65 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    Gift of the Brasch family, 1967 and 1987.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Frederick E. (Frederick Edward) Brasch Papers , M0275, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biographical Note

    Frederick Edward Brasch was born December 18, 1875, the son of Otto Wilhelm and Carolyn E. (Johannsen). He attended Stanford University from 1897-1899; Univ. of California, 1899-1901, Harvard, 1916. On August 5, 1903 he married Winnifred E. Orpin (who died June 11, 1938). The marriage produced two children, Carolyn Mildred and Maxwell Frederick.
    The following is a list of F. E. Brasch's occupations
    • Asst. observer, Harvard College Observatory, 1903-1904.
    • Computer, Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, CA. 1905
    • Asst. at Stanford Library, 1912-16.
    • Asst. reference librarian, John Cresar Library, Chicago. 1917-21.
    • Reference librarian, James Jerome Hill Reference Library, St. Paul, Minn. 1921-22
    • Bibliographic research, National Research Council, Wash., D.C. 1922-3.
    • Librarian, Dept. of Terrestrial Magnetism, carnegie Institution, Wash. 1923-4
    • Secretary of the history of science section, A.A.A.S. 1920-28.
    • Secretary of Isaac Newton commemoration, 192-
    • Chief of Scientific Collection, Library of congress. 1925-43.
    • Consultant in history of science, 1944-8.
    • Consultant in bibliography, Stanford Univ., 1948-67.
    The following is a list of F. E. Brasch's associations:
    • American Assn for the Advancement of Science
    • Royal Astronomical Society
    • History of Science Society
    • International Astronomical Union
    • Astronomical Society of the Pacific
    • American Astronomical Society
    • American Antiquarian Society
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Sigma Xi
    • Unitarian Church
    In 1941, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Stanford University, F. E. Brasch donated his entire Newton Collection to the University, in gratitude for the opportunity of pursuing scientific astronomical studies there (1897-9).
    Frederich Brasch died on October 26, 1967.

    Scope and Content

    Correspondence and manuscript notes of Brasch and article reprints, photographs, and memorabilia collected by Brasch on the history of science in general and the history of astronomy from Isaac Newton to the modern period.


    The boxes of manuscript material are arranged roughly according to subject:
    • Boxes 2-8. Colonial Science: general
    • Boxes 9-13. Colonial Science: John Winthrop and the colonial Newtonists
    • Boxes 14-23. Isaac Newton and his contemporaries
    • Boxes 24-25. Albert Einstein
    • Boxes 26-35. T. J. J. See (Navy astronomey; opposed to Einstein's Theory of relativity)
    • Boxes 36-38. Lick Observation
    • Boxes 39-54. FEB and his involvement in science: articles, societies, projects, scientist acquaintances
    • Boxes 55-72. Card catologues (prepared by FEB)
    • Boxes 73-76. FEB and the Library of Congress
    • Boxes 77-78. Science catalogs and bills for individual items of Newton collection
    • Boxes 79-86. FEB correspondence: specific parties
    • Boxes 87-95. FEB correspondence: misc.
    • Boxes 96-97. FEB memorabilia
    • Boxes 98-99. College catalogues
    • Boxes 100-102. Studies in English literature and philology


    Box 1 contains a miscellaneous assortment of gems extrated from the collection in August, 1975. Because there were no references as to the original location of the individual items within the collection as a whole, they remain separate, a hodge-podge of items of widely varying significance ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries.


    All other gems which I have found within the collection remain there, and are indicated by an asterisk (*) preceding the item's description.
    The catagories of manuscripts listed above are anything but representative of every item within a given subset. The original integrity within the individual boxes has been generally respected, except in cases where the contents clearly have no reasonable order. In this situation I have relocated material according to the afore mentioned subject guidelines.
    Catalogued during the academic year of 1980/81 by Kenneth B. Wolf Dept. of History