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Walter S. Adams Papers

Identifier: AdamsWS


This collection chiefly consists of the administrative, scientific, and personal correspondence of astronomer and Mount Wilson Observatory Director Walter S. Adams (1876–1956), spanning the years 1921 to 1956, and including his work during World War II. There is also material from Adams’ retirement years and his astronomical work. The World War II materials reflect the secret work of Adams and the Observatory staff for the United States government to help create prisms and optics for various types of binoculars and gun sights; the staff also assisted with aerial and naval defense and attack strategy.


  • Creation: 1921 - 1956


Conditions Governing Access

This collection has not been digitized. The original paper copies of this collection are located at the Huntington Library, where they are available to qualified researchers by application through their Reader Services Department. Access to Caltech’s microfilm copy is available to anyone conducting research for which it is necessary; please contact the Caltech Archives to make an appointment.


109 boxes

5 microfilm reels

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The Walter S. Adams Papers were processed at Caltech, but subsequently transferred to the Huntington Library. Caltech retains a microfilm copy.

Existence and Location of Originals

The original paper copies of the Walter S. Adams Papers are located at the Huntington Library.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the California Institute of Technology Archives and Special Collections Repository

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