Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 437
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Office of the Director
Fred Lawrence Whipple retired as director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in 1973. He was succeeded by George B. Field, who served in the position until 1983. Irwin I. Shapiro was appointed director in January 1983.
These records document the administration and scientific programs of SAO under the leadership of Field, 1973-1983, and Shapiro, 1983-1987. A small amount of material was created during Whipple's tenure as director. The records consist of correspondence, memoranda, proposals, reports, budgets, publications, and related materials documenting the research activities of SAO divisions of Atomic and Molecular Physics, High Energy Astrophysics, Optical and Infrared Astronomy, Planetary Sciences, Radio and Geoastronomy, Solar and Stellar Physics, and Theoretical Astrophysics; the development and operation of the multiple-mirror telescope; the research program of the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (before 1981, the Mount Hopkins Observatory); the Satellite Tracking Program, including its evolution from Baker-Nunn cameras to laser-ranging systems, and its termination in 1983; SAO research programs in hydrogen masers, submillimeter wavelength interferometers, and infrared telescopes; the development of the Langley-Abbot Solar Research Program; relations with Harvard University, and SAO's role as a member of the Center for Astrophysics; the establishment of the SAO visiting scientist and post-doctoral fellowship programs; SAO involvement in site testing for an observatory on Mt. Graham, Arizona; a proposed Institute for X-Ray Astronomy at SAO; and budgets, facilities, information management, publication programs, and other administrative matters.
Also included is incoming and outgoing correspondence of Field and Shapiro with professional colleagues, staff of SAO and the Harvard College Observatory, students, and the general public concerning scientific research, professional affairs, administrative issues, and requests for information.
Materials in Box 1 are permanently restricted; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Field, George B., 1929-
- Shapiro, Irwin I.
- Whipple, Fred L. (Fred Lawrence), 1906-2004
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Atomic and Molecular Physics Division
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. High Energy Astrophysics Division
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Optical and Infrared Astronomy Division
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Planetary Sciences Division
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Radio and Geoastronomy Division
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Solar and Stellar Physics Division
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Theoretical Astrophysics Division
- Multiple Mirror Telescope Observatory
- Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory
- Mt. Hopkins Observatory
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Satellite Tracking Program
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Langley-Abbot Solar Research Program
- Harvard University
- Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
- Harvard College Observatory
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 437, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Office of the Director, Records