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Finding Aid to the Robert Williams Wood papers, 1838-1942


American Institute of Physics Niels Bohr Library & Archives
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740


Encoding Information:

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Melanie Mueller in 2012. Any revisions made to this finding aid occurred as part of the editing and encoding process.

Finding aid is written in English.

Description of the Collection


American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives.

Title and dates of collection:

Robert Williams Wood papers, 1838-1942

Papers created by:

Wood, Robert Williams, 1868-1955.

Size of collection:

0.5 linear feet
1 manuscript box

Short description of collection:

The papers of Robert W. Wood include clippings, professional and family correspondence, and manuscripts.

Language(s) of material:

English, French, German

Selected Search Terms

These papers have been indexed in the International Catalog of Sources for History of Physics and Allied Sciences (ICOS) using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Biographical Note

Physicist (optics, metals). On physics faculty at University of Wisconsin, 1897-1900; and Johns Hopkins University from 1901.

Scope and Contents of Collection

The papers of Robert W. Wood include clippings, professional and family correspondence, and manuscripts. Topics discussed include Vernon Wood's paper on sodium vapor delivered to the Royal Society; Wood's work at Johns Hopkins; H. Kayser's book; Wood’s interests in optics; various discussion of sodium vapor; the San Francisco earthquake; dipole radiation; origin of the hypotheses of energy; family travel in the Pacific Islands, Europe, and particularly Scotland; Wood’s early education in Roxbury, Massachusetts; Wood's election as Honorary Fellow of the Microscopical Society; the Encyclopedia Britannica and Scientific American. Manuscripts are by and about Wood and focus on his work in optics. Correspondents include: Charles Vernon Boys, Pierre Curie, Heinrich Kayser, Lord William Thomson Kelvin, Heinrich Konen, Ladislaus Natanson, Wilhelm Ostwald, Max Planck, and Lord John William Strutt Rayleigh.

Organization and Arrangement of Collection

This collection is organized into five series:

  • Series I: Professional correspondence
  • Series II: Other correspondence
  • Series III: Manuscripts by Wood
  • Series IV: Manuscripts about Wood
  • Series V: Scrapbooks and clippings

Series I is arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent, and the other series are arranged chronologically.

Access to Collection


Processing Information

This collection was processed by Melanie J. Mueller in 2012.

Preferred Citation of Collection

Box [number], Folder [number], Robert Williams Wood papers. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library & Archives, College Park, MD 20740, USA.

Container List

Series I: Professional correspondence
Box 1 Folder 1 Boys, Charles, 1901
Folder 2 Curie, Pierre, 1904
Folder 3 Kayser, Heinrich, 1903-1906
Folder 4 Kelvin, Lord, 1901-1904
Folder 5 Konen, Heinrich, 1906
Folder 6 Natanson, Ladislaus, 1906
Folder 7 Ostwald, Wilhelm, 1896
Folder 8 Planck, Max, 1904-1931
Folder 9 Lord Rayleigh, 1903-1906
Folder 10 Rifast, H. J., 1926
Series II: Other correspondence
Box 1 Folder 11 Family correspondence - including Nathaniel Wilson, Jenny Wood and Charles B. Davis, 1838-1868
Folder 12 Micellaneous letters - including M. C. Collar, F. A. Christie, Richard Hebl (Royal Microscopical Society) and Rudolf Schoenfeld (Department of State), 1884-1938
Series III: Manuscripts by Wood
Box 1 Folder 13 The purple gold of Tut-ankh-amen, 1932
Folder 14 Spectra of the meteor-like luminous jets from cavity charges, undated
Folder 15 Scientific typescript on optics, undated
Series IV: Manuscripts about Wood
Box 1 Folder 16 Venice Congress on Radio Biology - account of Wood's attendance at the congress , undated
Folder 17 Statement recommending Wood to receive the 1940 Draper Medal, undated
Folder 18 Photocopies of folders 1 through 17, undated
Series V: Scrapbooks and clippings
Box 1 Folder 19 Scrapbook of clippings, 1888-1893, undated
Folder 20 Scrapbook of clippings, 1899-1936
Folder 21 Clippings about Wood, 1913-1942, undated
Folder 22 Imp in the laboratory - volume of clippings, 1939
Folder 23 Miscellaneous clippings, 1939, undated