Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 387
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory
A Carbon-Dating Laboratory was established in the Division of Radiation and Organisms, Astrophysical Observatory, in September 1962. The function of the Laboratory was to analyze samples of archaeological and geological interest submitted by Smithsonian and outside researchers. The Laboratory also conducted basic research in the techniques of dating by the use of the carbon-14 method. Joel J. Sigalove, a geochemist, directed the Laboratory during its first year of operations. Austin Long was appointed Geochemist in 1963 and given charge of the carbon-dating work. Long resigned in 1968, and was replaced by Robert Stuckenrath, who directed the Laboratory with the title of Anthropologist. Stuckenrath remained in the position until carbon-dating work ceased when the Rockville laboratory of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center closed in November 1986.
These records document the operation of the Carbon-Dating Laboratory during its twenty-four year history. They include logbooks containing raw data on samples analyzed; incoming and outgoing correspondence of Sigalove, Long, and Stuckenrath with Smithsonian and outside scientists concerning the analysis of samples submitted for dating; information on dates provided by the Laboratory which were published in the journal Radiocarbon; and miscellaneous laboratory and record books.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Sigalove, Joel J.
- Long, Austin
- Stuckenrath, Robert
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Radiation and Organisms Division
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 387, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, Records