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Richter, Charles Francis (Seismologist)



  • Existence: 1900 - 1985


Background: Caltech professor of seismology, 1937-1970; Caltech alumnus (PhD, 1928).


Description: A pioneer in seismology and active in seismological and earthquake engineering fields for over fifty years, Richter's name is known worldwide for the earthquake scale he helped to develop.


Collection Notes: Oral history, 1978. This 156-page oral history covers a wide variety of topics related to Richter's life and work.

Papers, 1913-1984. The papers include correspondence, course and lecture notes, slides, photographs and technical notes on specific earthquakes and earthquake topics. There are also manuscripts, drafts and notes for textbooks and articles. Richter, the private man, was a highly complex person. He kept diaries, notes, and memos concerning most aspects of his life and these too are preserved in the collection, as are his poetry and manuscript science fiction novels. Also included is his large collection of science fiction magazines from the 1920s through the 1960s.

Collection size (papers): 36 boxes, 15 linear ft.

Collection size (science fiction magazines): 35 boxes, 14.5 linear ft. Finding aid available at the Archives.

Photo of Charles F. Richter (PhotoNet).

Found in 18 Collections and/or Records:

6 Charles Richter journals

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 2020-00001
Dates: 1919-09-24 - 1926-06-27; 1928-08-04 - 1934-04-30

Charles F. Richter Science Fiction Collection

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1978-00021

Charles Richter Oral History Interview with Ann Scheid [sound recording], 1978-02-15 - 1978-09-01

Scope and Contents Interview in 1978 with Charles F. Richter, professor of seismology emeritus, in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences. A pioneer in seismology and active in the seismology and earthquake engineering fields for over fifty years, Richter's name is known for the earthquake magnitude scale he developed in the 1930s for local earthquakes. Richter received his PhD from Caltech in 1928. In 1937 he joined the Caltech faculty and worked alongside Harry Wood in the Seismological...
Dates: 1978-02-15 - 1978-09-01

Editorial for KFOX-Radio, Long Beach

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1998-00254

Editorial for KFOX-Radio, Long Beach

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 2000-00223

Memorial Service

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1986-00540

Para Gente Grande

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1987-00318

Charles F. Richter Papers

Identifier: RichterCF
Scope and Contents

The Charles Richter papers include personal and professional correspondence, unpublished talks, class and lecture notes, technical notes and data, Caltech Seismology laboratory material, and reprints. The supplement from 2000 includes diplomas, a diary (1960), Richter's science fiction collection, and miscellaneous documents donated by Clarence Allen, that were integrated into the collection.

Dates: 1839 - 1984

Richter With Seismometer At His Home

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1988-00818

The Earth And The Planets Conference

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1995-00250

Additional filters:

Unprocessed Material 14
Archival Object 3
Collection 1
Seismology 9
Geology 6
Radio & TV 5
Manuscript Collection 4
Photo Archive 3