Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers,
circa 1932-2004

Summary
Collection ID:
Accession 04-183
Creators:
Whipple, Fred Lawrence,
Dates:
circa 1932-2004
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
19.72 cu. ft. (19 record storage boxes) (2 5x8 boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
The papers of Fred Lawrence Whipple (FLW) document his astronomical research; his professional work in the field of astronomy; and his career as Director of the SAO. They include correspondence with professional colleagues, amateur astronomers, SAO staff scientists, Smithsonian Institution officials, scientific societies and professional groups, government agencies, and Harvard University staff and officials which concerns Whipple's research interests, scientific publications, and editorial work; SAO research projects; Whipple's work for professional organizations and government agencies and committees; SAO relations with the Smithsonian Institution; and his activities at Harvard University and the Harvard College Observatory. Also included are manuscripts of articles, lectures, reviews, and notes from his research; research notes on comets; and a set of Whipple's publications.
Researchers should also consult record unit 7431, Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers, c. 1927-1983; and record unit 9520, Fred Lawrence Whipple Interviews, 1976.

Historical Note
Historical Note
Fred Lawrence Whipple (1906-2004), an astronomer, received the B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1927, and the Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1931. In 1932, he joined the staff of Harvard University as an Instructor of Astronomy. By 1950, Whipple had received the title of Professor and Chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard. Whipple was appointed Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) when it moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1955. After his retirement in 1973, Whipple continued his research as a Senior Scientist at SAO.
During his tenure as Director, Whipple oversaw SAO research programs in stellar interiors, the upper atmosphere, meteorites, celestial mechanics, and geodesy studies. Major SAO projects under his direction included the Satellite Tracking Program, Project Celescope, the Radio Meteor Project, and the Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project, also known as the Prairie Network. In the late 1960's, Whipple selected Mount Hopkins, Arizona as the site of a new SAO astronomical facility. Renamed the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in 1981, the facility houses the Multiple-Mirror Telescope (MMT), an innovative, low cost telescope planned by Whipple and two colleagues.
Whipple is internationally recognized for his research on the moon, meteors, and comets. He has conducted pioneering research in photographically measuring the speeds and decelerations of meteors, computing the orbits of comets and asteroids, and describing the structure of comets.

Notes
Personal Papers

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 04-183, Whipple, Fred Lawrence, , Fred Lawrence Whipple Papers

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Harvard University Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Satellite Tracking Program (SAO) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Radio Meteor Project (SAO) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Meteorite Photography and Recovery Project (Prairie Network) (SAO) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Project Celescope (SAO) Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory. Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Multiple Mirror Telescope Observatory Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Astrophysics. Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Comets Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at osiaref@si.edu