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Guide to the Samuel Silver papers, 1939-1976
BANC MSS 77/114 c  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Samuel Silver Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1939-1976
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 77/114 c
    Creator: Silver, Samuel, 1915-
    Extent: Number of containers: 20 boxes and 17 cartons
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Letters written to him and copies of letters by him; manuscripts of speeches, course lectures, papers and books; reprints; notebooks; research proposals; materials relating to University committees and institutes, research notes; personalia, etc., documenting his career at the University and his research in microwave electronics and the space sciences. Also included are correspondence, minutes of meetings, summaries of papers and reports, relating to the activities of and his involvement in various professional organizations, most notably the International Union of Radio Science and the International Council of Scientific Unions.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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], Samuel Silver papers, BANC MSS 77/114 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Materials Cataloged Separately

    • Photographs have been removed to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.


    Samuel Silver was born on February 25, 1915 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Boris and Molly (Agrin) Silver. His early schooling was in Philadelphia and he attended Temple University there from 1931 to 1937, graduating with an M.A. in physics with a mathematics minor. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1940 with a dissertation on vibrational state of polyatomic molecules and worked then as a research assistant at the Mendenhall Laboratory of Physics of Ohio State University. From 1941 to January of 1943 he was, successively, instructor and assistant professor of physics at the University of Oklahoma. He returned to M.I.T. in 1943 to work with the antenna group at the Radiation Laboratory on the theory of microwave antennas and networks. In 1946 he went on to head a basic research group at the newly formed Antenna Research Branch of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
    In the Fall of 1947 he joined the staff of the University of California, Berkeley and in 1950 he was appointed professor of electrical engineering. In 1950 he also began active membership in the International Union of Radio Science. He was to remain associated with both of these organizations throughout the rest of his life.
    In 1951 he became the chairman of Commission VI of the U.S. National Committee of U.R.S.I. He served until 1953 when he became chairman of the International Commission VI of the International Union of Radio Science, a position he held until 1960.
    On the academic front, in 1956 he became the director of the Electronics Research Laboratory of the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Institute of Engineering Research. There he developed the research program on microwave antennas, applied electromagnetic theory and related areas of microwave electronics. In 1960 he was appointed the first director of the newly formed Space Sciences Laboratory. At this point his interests broadened to include upper atmosphere studies, solar phenomena in the microwave region and studies in the space sciences in general. In 1969 poor health forced him to retire from the directorship, but he continued his academic work as professor of engineering science until his death in 1976.

    Scope and Content

    The Silver collection came to The Bancroft Library in February of 1977 with additional materials received in June of 1978, as a gift of Mrs. Silver. Consisting of twenty boxes of correspondence and seventeen cartons of related materials, it includes letters addressed to Silver and others; copies of letters written by him; minutes of meetings and reports of University and professional organizations; copies of his speeches; research data; course materials; and publications. Photographs have been removed to the Library's Pictorial Collection.
    The papers cover a wide range of subject matter including his research on microwave antennas and electronics, radio astronomy and various aspects of the space sciences; his membership in professional organizations, especially Council of Scientific Unions and the International Union of Radio Science; and his career as professor of engineering science and director of the Electronics Research Laboratory and the Space Sciences Laboratory.