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Charles H. Townes Papers, 1931-2013; bulk 1991-2011


This collection is sorted into eight series. Material in each series is sorted chronologically if possible.

Series 1, Diplomas, certificates, commendations

Series 2, Journal and Theses

Series 3, Computation books, photocopies

Series 4, Speeches, 1997-2013

Series 5, Writings, notes, correspondence

Series 6, Subject files

Series 7, Domestic and international meetings & conferences, 1991-2011

Series 8, Glass Slides

Scope and Contents

The materials include bound volumes of his publications, speeches, awards, over 500 books, and glass slides used in class.

Included in Series 2 is a journal from his trip to China in 1977, his personal account of visits to Chinese Astronomical Centers and "other delights"; his Master’s Thesis Duke University 1936, and his PhD Thesis from CalTech in 1939.

The Speech and Engagement File covers Townes's career from 1948 to 2008 with some gaps in the latter years. The miscellaneous speeches filed at the end of each year contain Townes's handwritten drafts while many of the printed versions are among the numbered works in Writings. Events attended by Townes are also found in the Alphabetical File usually listed under the name of an organization.

Originals of his speeches and notebooks are at the Library of Congress.