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Elmer Hutchisson papers, 1919-1981.

Description of Collection

Repository

American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives.

Papers created by

Hutchisson, Elmer, 1902-

Size of collection

2.5 linear feet
1 flat manuscript box,
2 records boxes,
1 tape/card box

Short description of collection

This collection includes personal and professional correspondence, instruments and a scrapbook of professional accomplishments and papers.

Language(s) of collection

English

Collection number:

AR121

Biographical Note

Elmer Hutchisson was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1902. He completed his B.S. degree at Case School of Applied Sciences in 1923, his M.S. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1924, and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics at the University of Minnesota in 1926. He studied with Edwin Schrödinger at the University of Berlin, Germany in 1929-30. He was on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh from 1926 to 1944. From 1941 to 1944, he took a leave of absence from Pittsburgh to administer research on underwater warfare for the Office of Scientific Research and Development of the U.S. National Defense Research Committee. In 1944, he became dean of the faculty at Case Institute of Technology and in 1955, dean of the graduate school and director of the research division there. He served as acting president of Case from 1950 to 1952.

Hutchisson succeeded Henry Barton as director of the American Institute of Physics in 1957. He had previously served as assistant director in 1936-37 while on a leave from the University of Pittsburgh. At that time, he also founded and became editor of the Journal of Applied Physics.

Hutchisson's publications include original research in physics, works on physics education, numerous reports, and editorials in the Journal of Applied Physics. Reprints of a number of these publications are located in his scrapbook.

Hutchisson retired as director of the AIP in October 1964, but continued to take an active interest in its activities. He corresponded frequently with AIP personnel and wrote The Story of the AIP, 1956-1966 after his retirement. He was asked in 1972 to chair the Council of the Friends of the Niels Bohr Library, an ad-hoc fundraising committee.

Scope and Contents of Collection

The collection includes Hutchisson’s correspondence and records from 1919-1974, which he had bound in chronological order. The files for 1964 were particularly large since that was the year of his retirement. The collection also contains Hutchisson’s files from his involvement with the Council of the Friends of the Niels Bohr Library, an ad hoc committee responsible for a fundraising campaign in the early 1970s. Certain physicists were selected to be on the Council and all other physicists were asked to donate money and become a “Friend” of the Center for History of Physics. Series II documents Hutchisson’s efforts from phase I and phase II of this fundraising drive. Phase I was a general mail solicitation to all American physicists. Phase II was a targeted campaign of at least 100 individuals who were able to make annual contributions in the $500 to $5000 range. The scrapbook contains reprints of Elmer Hutchisson’s papers and newspaper and magazine clippings of his professional accomplishments.

Restrictions on Use and Access

Researchers must have an approved access application on file in order to access archival materials. https://www.aip.org/history-programs/niels-bohr-library/access-application.

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.

Persons

Alvarez, Luis W., 1911-
Bromley, D. Allan (David Allan), 1926-
Compton, Walter Dale.
Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974.
Darrow, Karl K. (Karl Kelchner), 1891-
Fowler, William A.
Hutchisson, Elmer, 1902-
Miller, Dayton Clarence, 1866-1941.
Schrödinger, Erwin, 1887-1961
Williams, Van Zandt, 1916-1966.

Institutions

American Institute of Physics.
Case Institute of Technology.
Center for History of Physics (American Institute of Physics)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
University of Minnesota.
University of Pittsburgh.

Subject terms

Physics. Study and teaching.

Organization and Arrangement of Collection

Organized into the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence and records
  • Series II: Council of Friends Committee
  • Series III: Instruments
  • Series IV: Scrapbook

This collection is arranged chronologically within each series.

Provenance and Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the Niels Bohr Library and Archives by Rose V. Hutchisson in 1985 and Esther Hudson in 1993.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Lara D'Agaro in Novemner 2007.

Preferred Citation of Collection

Box [number], Folder [number], Elmer Hutchisson papers, 1919-1981. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library & Archives, College Park, MD 20740, USA.

Administrative Information

Title

Finding Aid to the Elmer Hutchisson papers, 1919-1981

Publisher

American Institute of Physics Niels Bohr Library & Archives

One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740
USA
nbl@aip.org

2008

Encoding Information

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Melanie J. Brown in Novemner 2007. Any revisions made to this finding aid occurred as part of the editing and encoding process.

Series I: Correspondence and records

Box 1 Folder 1 Correspondence and records, 1919-1935
Folder 2 Correspondence and records, 1919-1935
Folder 3 Correspondence and records, 1936-1944
Folder 4 Correspondence and records, 1936-1944
Folder 5 Correspondence and records, 1945-1957
Folder 6 Correspondence and records, 1945-1957
Folder 7 Correspondence and records, 1958-1963
Folder 8 Correspondence and records, 1958-1963
Folder 9 Correspondence and records, 1964
Folder 10 Correspondence and records, 1964
Folder 11 Correspondence and records, 1965-1967
Folder 12 Correspondence and records, 1965-1967
Folder 13 Correspondence and records, 1965-1967
Folder 14 Correspondence and records, 1965-1967
Folder 15 Correspondence and records, 1965-1971
Folder 16 Correspondence and records, 1965-1971
Folder 17 Correspondence and records, 1972-1973
Folder 18 Correspondence and records, 1974-1979
Box 2 Folder 1 American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library miscellaneous physicists collection file, 1923-1929, 1941, 1964 and 1981
Folder 2 Hutchisson, Elmer, "The Energy of the Crossed-Orbit Model of the Hydrogen Molecule and the Theory of the Temperature Variation of the Specific Heat of Hydrogen," thesis, June 1926
Folder 3 Science knowledge and education subject file, reprints, 1933-1968 and undated
Folder 4 Members of the physics staff at the University of Pittsburgh, "An Outline of Atomic Physics", 1933
Folder 5 Lackwood, Oswald and Elmer Hutchisson, "A Manual for Experimental Physics", 1934
Folder 6 Tribute to Dr. Elmer Hutchisson from Case Institute of Technology, 1957
Folder 7 Photographs of Prince Phillip’s visit to the American Institute of Physics, photocopies, circa 1957
Folder 8 Saturday Review, February 1958
Folder 9 Honorary membership to Sigma Pi Sigma, plaque, October 1962
Folder 10 Friends of the Niels Bohr Library of the History of Physics fundraising kit, 1963
Folder 11 “The Impending Crisis in Scientific Information,” lecture, 1968
Folder 12 Notes on the life of Elmer Hutchisson, an interview conducted by Charles Weiner, transcript, 1970
Folder 13 The need for the history of physics subject file, 1971-1972
Folder 14 American Institute of Physics headquarters at Friar’s Club, New York City, photocopies, undated
Folder 15 Hutchisson, Elmer, The Story of the AIP 1956-1966, with pen corrections, undated

Series II: Council of Friends Committee

Box 2 Folder 16 Council of Friends formation, 1972
Folder 17 Council of Friends responses, 1972
Folder 18 Council of Friends questionnaire, 1972
Folder 19 Phase I fundraising correspondence and records, February-March 1972 and undated
Folder 20 Phase I fundraising correspondence and records, April-May 1972
Folder 21 Phase I fundraising correspondence and records, June-July 1972
Folder 22 Phase I fundraising correspondence and records, August-September 1972
Folder 23 Phase I fundraising correspondence and records, October-November 1972
Folder 24 Phase II fundraising correspondence and records, December 1972
Folder 25 Phase II fundraising correspondence and records, 1973

Series III: Instruments

Box 3 Folder 1 Proportional divider, undated
Folder 2 Drafting tool set, undated
Folder 3 Compensating planimeter, undated

Series IV: Scrapbook

Box 4 Folder 1 Scrapbook, 1924-1972