Guide to the Draper Family Collection
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0121
Creators:
Draper, John Christopher, (chemist), 1835-1885
Draper, Henry, 1837-1882
Draper, John William, 1811-1882
Mora, José Maria, ca. 1846-1926
New York Meteorological Observatory.
University of the City of New York.
Nye, Dorothy Catherine Draper
Draper, Daniel, (meteorologist), 1841-1931
Dates:
circa 1826-1936
Languages:
English
Some materials in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Spanish
Collection text is in English.
Physical Description:
4.3 Cubic feet
13 boxes
Repository:
Miscellaneous documents and photographs related to the scientific careers of members of the Draper family. Includes publications of the University of the City of New York, with which the Drapers were associated, reprints of papers by John William Draper, F. Melloni, John C. Draper, and Henry Draper, publications of the New York Meteorological Observatory, photographs of the observatory, rare scientific photographs, including photomicrographs (paper prints) by the Drapers, correspondence addressed to Daniel Draper, certificates, diplomas, and other documents.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection contains materials that revolve around the scientific interests, research, and professional activities of John W. Draper and his three sons. The materials are as diverse in subject as were these four men, with meteorology, solar observation, astronomy, chemistry, and optical science all represented. The collection contains a large number of separate journal issues and articles on these subjects as well as publications of the University of the City of New York, with which the Drapers were associated, mainly covering the periods of 1835, 1838, 1852, and publications of the New York Meteorological Observatory (NYMO), 1876. Included among the NYMO materials are correspondence addressed to Daniel Draper, some acknowledging receipt of publications from NYMO, circa 1892-1908, and photographs of NYMO. The collection also contains reprints of John William Draper, circa 1844-1877; M. Melloni, "A Radiation of Incandescence and Elementary Colors," 1848; John C. Draper, 1856; and reprints of Henry Draper, 1873, 1882.
Also included in the collection are some of the Draper's notebooks, lecture notes, experiment literature and notebooks, and experimental photographs concerning the Draper's professional endeavors in meteorology, chemistry, and astronomy in the late 19th century. There are also a number of materials relating to biographical information on the Draper family, including a substantial number of certificates and diplomas received by the Drapers. In addition, there is personal correspondence, articles on the members of the family, and a copy of Dorothy Catherine Draper Nye's will. While most of the documents are originals, the collection also contains many photocopied or reproduced documents.
A photograph by Mora in the collection, marked "J.W. Draper," does not appear to depict the same man as in Neg. No. 52,757.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1: Draper Family, 1829-1936
Series 2: John W. Draper, 1811-1936
Series 3: Henry Draper, 1837-1882
Series 4: Daniel Draper, 1841-1931
Series 5: John Christopher Draper, 1835-1885

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Draper family made a number of important contributions to American science, particularly in the fields of meteorology, astronomy, and chemistry during the 19th and early 20th centuries. John William Draper (1811-1882), primarily a chemist, did pioneer work in photography, and on the chemical effects of radiant energy. He took the first photograph of the moon in 1839-1840 and the first photograph of the diffraction spectrum.
Draper's three sons also did notable work. John C. Draper (1835-1885) was a noted Physician and chemist. Henry Draper (1837-1882) was an early astronomical photographer and also did work on stellar spectra and spectrum analysis. Daniel Draper (1841-1931) was a meteorologist and established the New York Meteorological Observatory in Central Park in 1868. He served as its first director until 1911.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Robert S. Harding, archivist, 1984.
Author
Robert S. Harding
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Deeded to the Smithsonian Institution by John William Christopher Draper and James Christopher Draper on January 2, 1972.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Draper Family Collection, 1835-1908, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred from the Division of Physical Sciences, 1984 (now the Division of Medicine and Science).

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Spectrum analysis Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scientists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wills Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Astronomy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Certificates Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Astronomers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Astronomical photography Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Physical sciences Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photomicrographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reprints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Physicians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 1840-1850 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Meteorology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lectures Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diplomas Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chemists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chemistry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photography Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives