Guide to the Edward Wesley Hughes Papers, 1924-1979

Processed by Nicole Johnston; machine-readable finding aid created by Xiuzhi Zhou
California Institute of Technology
1200 East California Blvd.
Mail Code 015A-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-2704
Fax: (626) 793-8756
© 1999
California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Edward Wesley Hughes Papers, 1924-1979


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:
Nicole Johnston
Date Completed:
June 1988, Updated: December 1998
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 1999 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Edward Wesley Hughes Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1924-1979
Creator: Hughes, Edward Wesley
Extent: 9.5 linear feet
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], Edward Wesley Hughes Papers, Archives, California Institute of Technology.

Biographical Sketch

Edward Wesley Hughes was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on March 22, 1904, the only child of a Pennsylvania mining engineer and his wife. He attended schools in north Pennsylvania and became interested in chemistry when he took it as an "overload" subject in high school.
In 1924, he received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Cornell and remained there for the next fourteen years. While at Cornell, he gained his Ph.D. in 1935. During this period, he became interested in crystallography after hearing Professor Carlton C. Murdock lecture and went to work with Murdock as a graduate student in the physics department. In 1934, Murdock recommended him as teaching assistant to a visiting professor, Lawrence Bragg -who later became Nobel Laureate Sir Lawrence Bragg. X-ray crystallography was invented by Bragg, and Hughes felt honored to work with him and act as technical editor on his book for the Cornell Press. In 1937, Hughes was again recommended as a teaching assistant, this time to Linus Pauling, who was impressed enough to ask him to act as a technical editor on a book and to offer him a two-year post at Caltech.
In 1938, Hughes arrived at Caltech to do research in the chemistry division. During 1940-42, he was involved in teaching "war courses" for technicians from the armed services in X-ray techniques. He also worked with Melvin Calvin on a war research project that was a subcontract with Berkeley. The contract was not renewed in 1943 because Pauling felt the war would be over before its practical applications were developed.
For the next two and a half years, Hughes worked for the Shell Development Company, the research branch of Shell Oil, at Emeryville. He did not really enjoy his time there and returned to Caltech in April 1946. The remainder of his professional life was spent here, except for one year's leave of absence in 1951, as a Brotherton Research lecturer, at The University, Leeds, England. When he returned, he had married Ruth Joanna Heprer, R. N., who became known as the "fabulous" Mrs. Hughes. The Hugheses were active members of the Caltech community, acting as hosts to visiting scientists. Mrs. Hughes established a chemistry division wives' group and such institutions as the "garage," now run by the Women's Club. She worked in the division office and helped Pauling research his book, No More War. In 1974, Edward Hughes retired but remained involved in Caltech life, particularly through his work for the chemistry division's Safety Committee.
Edward Hughes was a respected chemist and continued the pioneering work in crystallography, begun at Caltech by Burdick and Ellis in 1916, when he introduced the "Least Squares Method" in 1940. This is the universally accepted method for handling the large amount of data involved in the refinement of crystal structure. He was a member of several organizations, including the International Union of Crystallography, for which he was the United States' National Academy delegate at five international meetings, between 1956 and 1963. He served on other committees within the IUC, including the USA National Committee for Crystallography. Hughes served as a national committeeman for the American Crystallographic Association, was president of Association in 1954, and also acted as their unofficial photographer. Between 1957 and 1963, he was the U.S. coeditor of the research journal Acta Crystallographica. He wrote and published many papers and contributed to several books on chemistry and crystallography.
Despite suffering from bad attacks of hay fever and some back trouble, Hughes was a member of the Wildflowers and the Trailblazers Societies. He also enjoyed photography. Hughes was respected professionally and had a worldwide network of friends and colleagues. Dr. Hughes's warmth and lively sense of humor are evident in his correspondence, as is the esteem in which he was held. Edward Hughes, Senior Research Associate in Chemistry, Emeritus, died in Pasadena on December 24, 1987, at the age of 83.


Personal Correspondence

Box Box 1, Folder 1.1

Abernathy - Atoji

Folder 1.2

Bailar - Beevers

Folder 1.3

Beineke - Bougert

Folder 1.4

Calvin - Clarkson

Folder 1.5

Cochran - Delaney

Folder 1.6

Deutsch - Ewald

Folder 1.7

Fankuchen - Freeman

Folder 1.8

Fritchie - Harker

Folder 1.9

Hawthorne - Huml

Folder 1.10

Jenson - Kwoh

Folder 1.11

Laubengayer - Long

Folder 1.12

Lonsdale - Lyman

Box Box 2, Folder 2.1

MacDougall - McBain

Folder 2.2

McCarthy - Munksgaard

Folder 2.3

Murdock - Noyes, W. A.

Folder 2.4

Okun - Patterson

Folder 2.5-2.6


Folder 2.7

Pekeris - Preston

Folder 2.8

Ramsdell - Schwartz

Folder 2.9

Sees - Sygusch

Folder 2.10

Taebel - Warren

Folder 2.11

Waser - Wyckoff

Folder 2.12

Yakel - Zoltai


General Correspondence


National Science Foundation

Box Box 3, Folder 3.1

Grant proposal P51123R 1965

Folder 3.2

Travel grant G12649, Cambridge 1960

Folder 3.3

Travel grant Pt-3636, Rome 1963

Folder 3.4

Review of travel grant applications: IUC, Moscow 1966

Folder 3.5

Reviews of proposals

Folder 3.6

Scientific Adviser for NSF Fellows

Folder 3.7

Navy (NOTS Inyokern) contract

Folder 3.8

Pauling Festschrift Volume; Linus Pauling's 65th birthday


Linus Pauling's 75th birthday celebration

Folder 3.9

Preparation and correspondence 1975-1976

Folder 3.10

Correspondence re: letters sent

Folder 3.11

Pauling/Geller issue

Folder 3.12

Miscellaneous re: Linus Pauling

Folder 3.13-3.14

Advisory Committee of the Protein Structure Project 1951-1959


American Crystallographic Association (ACA)

Box Box 4, Folder 4.1


Folder 4.2


Folder 4.3


Folder 4.4

Abstracts: Cambridge meeting 1954

Folder 4.5

Correspondence with Abrahams re: Cambridge meeting

Folder 4.6

Correspondence re: publications

Folder 4.7


Folder 4.8

Correspondence as President 1954

Folder 4.9

Programs for meetings 1954

Folder 4.10

Officers and committees reports

Folder 4.11

Pasadena meeting 1955

Folder 4.12

40th anniversary, Pasadena 1957 Dec

Folder 4.13

Misc. correspondence and printed matter

Box Box 5



Bergman - Pauling

Box Box 6

Pauling - Zwicky


Commission on Acta Crystallographica


Correspondence, reports

Box Box 7, Folder 7.1


Folder 7.2


Folder 7.3


Folder 7.4


Folder 7.5

Wilson correspondence

Folder 7.6

Ewald correspondence

Folder 7.7

Honorariums; Madrid visit

Folder 7.8

Editorship correspondence and printed matter

Folder 7.9

Amendola F1497


Correspondence re: manuscript and referee reports

Folder 7.10

1966 Jan-1979 Oct

Folder 7.11

1963 March-1965 Dec

Folder 7.12

1959 Dec-1963 Mar

Folder 7.13

1956 Jul-1959 Oct

Folder 7.14


Folder 7.15

Misc. correspondence


Manuscripts and reports

Box Box 8, Folder 8.1

F1188 De Marco and Weiss

Folder 8.2

F1321 Eular and Bruce

Folder 8.3

F1428 Culliper and Mohanty

Folder 8.4

Patterson MS: "Homometric Structures"

Folder 8.5

Franklin MS: "Ambiguities in the X Ray Analysis of Crystal Structures"

Folder 8.6

Cruickshank MS: "Refinements of Structures containing Bonds between Si, P, S, or Cl and O or N. Part III. Na 5Po 3O 10, Phase II"

Folder 8.7

American Chemical Society correspondence


Referee reports

Folder 8.8

Journal of Physical Chemistry

Folder 8.9

Journal of the American Chemical Society

Folder 8.10


Folder 8.11

Rundle obituary, Physics Today

Folder 8.12

International Tables correspondence (Lonsdale, Pauling, Murdock)

Folder 8.13

Correspondence with H. C. Freeman re: MS, "Neutron Diffraction Study of Biuret Hydrate"

Folder 8.14

Correspondence re: Hodgkin's MS, "Vitamin B 12"

Folder 8.15

Correspondence re: Takei's MS [untitled]


"Atomic Structure of Minerals," by W. L. Bragg


Correspondence and notes

Box Box 9, Folder 9.1


Folder 9.2


Folder 9.3

McLachlan book correspondence

Folder 9.4

Benchmark book (edited by J. Glusker)

Folder 9.5

Correspondence re: publications

Folder 9.6

MS: "Experimental Molecular Structure and Crystallography," Annual Review of Physical Chemistry, Vol. VI, 1954 [includes correspondence and notes]

Folder 9.7

Correspondence re: a-glyclylglycine paper

Folder 9.8

Crystal structure of b-glycylglycine

Folder 9.10

Arsenobenzene MS and correspondence

Folder 9.11

Biuret MS and correspondence

Folder 9.12

"A New Dimer of Triphenyl," MS and correspondence 1965

Folder 9.13

Fritchie Dimer MS and correspondence 1962

Folder 9.14

MS: "X-ray Study of KL with EWH"

Folder 9.15

MS: "X-ray Diffraction Behaviour of Potassuim Laurate Solutions" [unpublished]

Box Box 10

Notebooks and lecture notes


OEMsr reports

Box Box 11, Folder 11.1-11.13

1932 Aug-1944 Apr [13 reports]


National Defense Research Committee (NDRC)

Folder 11.14

General correspondence

Folder 11.15

Budget correspondence

Folder 11.16



Shell Corporation

Box Box 12, Folder 12.1


Folder 12.2-12.6

Notebooks [5]

Folder 12.7

Progress reports

Folder 12.8



International Union of Crystallography

Folder 12.9


Folder 12.10


Folder 12.11

Executive Committee Reports 1951-1960

Box Box 13, Folder 13.1

Committee reports and memoranda

Folder 13.2

Commission on crystallographic computing

Folder 13.3

Organizing committee, Stony Brook

Folder 13.4

1 st Congress, Harvard 1948

Folder 13.5

2 nd Congress, Stockholm 1951

Folder 13.6

3 rd Congress, Paris 1954

Folder 13.7

Madrid meeting 1956


4 th Congress, Montreal 1957

Folder 13.8

Program, abstracts, report

Folder 13.9

Correspondence, agenda


5 th Congress, Cambridge 1960

Box Box 14, Folder 14.1

Program, report

Folder 14.2

Correspondence, agenda


6 th Congress, Rome 1963

Folder 14.3

Program, abstracts, report

Folder 14.4


Folder 14.5

7 th Congress, USSR 1966


USA National Committee of Crystallography (USANCCr)

Folder 14.6



Nominating subcommittee



Box Box 15, Folder 15.1

1960 Oct-1967

Folder 15.2

1953-1960 Sep


Correspondence to members

Folder 15.3

1966 Mar-1969

Folder 15.4

1963-1966 Jan

Folder 15.5



Minutes of Meetings

Folder 15.6


Folder 15.7


Folder 15.8

Membership Lists

Folder 15.9


Folder 15.10

Fankuchen and Rundle obituaries

Folder 15.11

National Medal of Science correspondence

Folder 15.12

USA National Committee, International Union for Pure and Applied Physics correspondence

Box Box 16, Folder 16.1

Miscellaneous filed with USANCCr

Folder 16.2

National Academy of Sciences Cooperating Societies 1954

Folder 16.3

Science in UNESCO bulletin

Folder 16.4

International Council of Scientific Unions printed matter

Folder 16.5

ICSU Bulletins

Folder 16.6

Directory of Physical Sciences 1954-1959

Folder 16.7

Belov visit correspondence

Folder 16.8

Azide conference correspondence


Caltech related files

Box Box 17, Folder 17.1

Correspondence re: appointments



Folder 17.2


Folder 17.3


Folder 17.4

Correspondence re: awards

Folder 17.5

Faculty correspondence

Folder 17.6

Graduate students' research reports

Folder 17.7

Annual report MS 1956

Folder 17.8

Lab accidents

Folder 17.9

Honor system

Folder 17.10

Summary progress reports 1944-1946


Robert A. Welch Foundation

Folder 17.11

Lectures 1971

Folder 17.12

Annual report


Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division

Box Box 18, Folder 18.1

Chemical Dynamics Program 1970

Folder 18.2

Faculty matters 1957-1972


Minutes of divisional faculty meetings

Folder 18.3

1977 Jan-1979 Jun

Folder 18.4

1975 Oct-1976 Dec

Folder 18.5

1972 Aug-1975 Jun

Folder 18.6

1964 Feb-1972 Jul

Folder 18.7

1947 Sep-1963 Jun


Letters of recommendation

Folder 18.8


Folder 18.9





Correspondence and notes

Box Box 19, Folder 19.1

1951-1952; 1952-1953

Folder 19.2


Folder 19.3


Folder 19.4


Folder 19.5


Folder 19.6


Folder 19.7


Folder 19.8


Folder 19.9


Folder 19.10


Folder 19.11


Folder 19.12


Box Box 20, Folder 20.1


Folder 20.2


Folder 20.3


Folder 20.4


Folder 20.5


Folder 20.6


Folder 20.7


Folder 20.8


Folder 20.9

1972-1973 and general

Folder 20.10


Box Box 21, Folder 21.1

Leeds correspondence

Folder 21.2

Faraday Society

Folder 21.3

Yuen Chu Leung obituary

Folder 21.4

Carlton C. Murdock obituary

Folder 21.5

Burdick-Henson diffraction photograph

Folder 21.6

Reprints: Hughes

Folder 21.7

Reprints: Hughes et al

Folder 21.8

Reviews of X-ray subjects

Folder 21.9

Reviews of X-ray subjects: biological interest

Folder 21.10


Folder 21.11


Box Box 22, Folder 22.1-22.2

"Sulphoxidolysis," senior research report by Hughes and C. Bardin, Cornell University 1924

Folder 22.3

Report on Investigations and Research (Hecksher Research Grant) 1928 Oct-1929 Apr

Folder 22.4

Bound red day book: notes, graphed diagrams, etc

Folder 22.5

Bound black day book: notes and drawings re articles from various journals

Folder 22.6

File folder: loose notes removed from bound black day book [22.5]

Folder 22.7

Bound black spiral notebook: undated notes 1944-1945; 1953

Folder 22.8

Notebook with notes re: ammonium picrate

Folder 22.9

Summary of calculations 1943 July

Folder 22.10

Radial distribution measurements: graphs, printouts, notes

Folder 22.11

Rocket propellant work, World War II 1943 and undated

Folder 22.12

UCA: A and O calculations?

Folder 22.13

Miscellaneous notes [includes reports, research notes, seminar and symposia reports, etc.]

Folder 22.14

Miscellaneous notes [correspondence and calculations]

Folder 22.15

Record book with loose notes

Folder 22.16

Data book no. 2: "X-ray Crystal Analysis of Uranium," A. H. Cash, Physics Dept., Cornell [includes an explanatory letter written by Carleton C. Murdoch to E. Hughes, April 27, 1960]