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Finding Aid to the Papers of Paul Rosenberg, 1916-1994

Description of Collection


American Institute of Physics. Center for History of Physics.

College Park, MD 20740

Papers created by

Rosenberg, Paul, 1910-

Size of collection

0.5 linear feet; 1 manuscript box

Short description of collection

These materials primarily reflect the career of Paul Rosenberg and his various pursuits within the sciences. After an appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Lab, Rosenberg established Paul Rosenberg Associates, a consulting firm specializing in industrial applications of science and technology.

Language(s) of collection


Unit ID

Biography of Paul Rosenberg

A native of New York City, Paul Rosenberg was born there March 31, 1910, and educated at Columbia University, from which he received his B.A, M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. While completing his graduate study, Rosenberg was a lecturer in physics at Columbia, and a physics instructor at Hunter College in New York City.

In 1941, Rosenberg was summoned to be part of the National Defense Research Committee, working in their Radiation Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology until V-J day in 1945. After this appointment ended, Rosenberg established Paul Rosenberg Associates, a consulting firm specializing in industrial applications of science and technology.

In 1943 Rosenberg married Marjorie S. Hillson, of Newton, Massachusetts, and together they had one daughter, Gale. He passed away in 1999.

During his life, Rosenberg accumulated many honors and distinctions in his field. Among them: election to the National Academy of Engineering; Honorary Member and past President of the Institute of Navigation; Vice President and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Talbert Award of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing; Fellow, Institute of Electronics Engineers; Fellow, American Institute of Chemists; Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Cogswell Award, United States Department of Defense. Rosenberg published over 75 articles, technical and government reports, and also received thirteen U.S. patents.

Throughout his life, Rosenberg had a continuing interest in several aspects of science. His research focused on such wide-ranging topics as electronics, physics, aeronautics, radar, photogrammetry, engineering, remote sensing, molecular beams, ultrasonics, and automation.

Scope and Contents of Collection

These materials primarily reflect Rosenberg's career and his various pursuits within the sciences. There is little personal material, only limited correspondence and elementary school records. Included with the professional documents is material published by Paul Rosenberg Associates, such as promotional pamphlets and a report. There are also copies of two of his patents, the Sine Wave Potentiometer (1951) and the Method, Material and Apparatus for Increasing and Decreasing the Transmission of Radiation (1973). There are reprints from articles printed in various journals and magazines; correspondence with various people via Paul Rosenberg Associates and his various affiliations; notices in several magazines and newsletters of his receipt of the U.S. Department of Defense's Cogswell Award (1987).

In addition to these professional materials, there are several folders of promotional materials, newsletters, bulletins, and correspondence from organizations with which Rosenberg was affiliated.

Restrictions on Use and Access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

Use of primary source material in the Niels Bohr Library requires prior approval through an Application for Access, which includes a statement of research purpose and the names and addresses of two scholars as references. Access applications can be obtained by contacting the Library (telephone 301-209-3177; or e-mail The application can also be printed from our website.

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.


Cogswell Award.
Paul Rosenberg Associates.

Subject terms

Physical sciences.
Societies (Academies and learned societies).

Genre terms


Arrangement of Collection

Organized into the following series: I. Personal/Biographical; II. Career Activities; III. Affiliations; IV. Correspondence.

These papers were arranged according to their content. The small quantity and circumstances of acquisition evidenced little of their original order.

Material Separated from Collection

Photographs have been removed to the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, and some books have been added to the Niels Bohr Library collection.

Provenance and Acquisition Information

This collection was a gift from Mrs. Paul Rosenberg and her daughter, Gale, to the American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library in October 1998.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Coralina Daly in February 1999.

Deteriorating or damaged materials were photocopied onto acid-free paper.

Administrative Information


Finding Aid to the Papers of Paul Rosenberg, 1916-1994


This finding aid has been encoded by the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics as part of a collaborative project supported by a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities, an independent federal agency. Collaboration members in 2002 consisted of: American Institute of Physics, California Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Rice University, University of Alaska, University of Illinois, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Texas.


American Institute of Physics.Center for History of Physics.

One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740

Published on November 19, 2002

Encoding Information

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD 2002 by Clay Redding on November 19, 2002. Any revisions made to this finding aid occurred as part of the editing and encoding process.

Series I. Personal/Biographical

5 folders

This series consists of copies of Rosenberg's curriculum vitae from various years, a clipping of the biographical entry from World Who's Who in Science, and one handwritten draft of a similar citation. This series also includes letters verifying Rosenberg's graduation from Columbia University in 1930 and elementary school report cards for the years 1916-1922.

Box 1 Folder 1 Biographies, 1968, 1990, n.d.
Folder 2 Columbia University, 1991
Folder 3 Curriculum Vitae, 1961, 1974
Folder 4 Elementary School Report Cards, 1916-1922
Folder 5 Miscellaneous, n.d.

Series II. Career Activities

4 folders

This series includes copies of two of Rosenberg's thirteen patents, several reprints from various publications, promotional materials from Paul Rosenberg Associates; the 1957 Directory of Independent Commercial Laboratories Performing Research and Development, which includes Paul Rosenberg Associates. Also among the Paul Rosenberg Associates material is a report to ABTO dated June 1971. In addition, these career materials include a collection of magazines, journals, and newsletters citing Rosenberg as the 1987 recipient of the U.S. Department of Defense's Cogswell Award.

Box 1 Folder 6 Patents, 1951, 1973
Folder 7 Reprints, 1955-1978
Folder 8 Paul Rosenberg Associates, 1954-1987, n.d.
Folder 9 Cogswell Award, 1987

Series III. Affiliations

16 folders

This series includes documentation from fourteen of Rosenberg's many affiliations, some of which include certificates and letters congratulating Rosenberg on fifty years membership or awarding him life membership. It also includes material from Rosenberg's trip to the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping's 1983 convention. Much of these materials are correspondence, membership cards/certificates, directories, meeting programs, newsletters and promotional material.

Box 1 Folder 10 American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1991, n.d.
Folder 11 American Chemical Society, 1991
Folder 12 American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, 1983
Folder 13 ACSM convention exhibitor ribbon/nametag, 1983
Folder 14 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1991
Folder 15 American Institute of Chemists, 1986-1988
Folder 16 American Physical Society, 1983
Folder 17 The Center for the Environment & Man, Inc., n.d.
Folder 18 Health Physics Society, 1986-1989
Folder 19 Institute of the Aerospace Sciences, 1961
Folder 20 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 1963-1988
Folder 21 IEEE Life member ribbons/nametag, 1983
Folder 22 Institute of Navigation, 1953, 1982, n.d.
Folder 23 National Academy of Engineering, 1985-1992
Folder 24 New York Osteopathic Society, Inc., 1954
Folder 25 Optical Society of America, 1985

Series IV. Correspondence

3 folders

This series is organized into three sections: Personal, Professional, and Hunter College.

The Professional correspondence includes letters to and from Rosenberg primarily regarding Paul Rosenberg Associates' operations, with some others related to his activities with other organizations.

The Hunter College correspondence is from Rosenberg, the head of Hunter College's physics department and the college president regarding Rosenberg's leaving there in 1941 to be a part of the National Defense Research Committee, working in their Radiation Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rosenberg requested a leave of absence for the duration of this appointment, which was denied because he was not a permanent staff member. Rosenberg left safely, however, reassured that he would be rehired when available.

The Personal correspondence includes two Christmas cards, and a few other personal notes, but the bulk are letters written to Rosenberg on official stationary from personal friends he had made through his work.

Box 1 Folder 26 Professional, 1954-1989
Folder 27 Hunter College, 1941
Folder 28 Personal, 1968-1994