Donald A. Glaser Papers
Donald Arthur Glaser (1926–2013) earned his PhD in Physics and Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 1950 and won the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the bubble chamber. He then changed his research focus to molecular biology and went on to co-found Cetus Corporation, the first biotechnology company. In the 1980s he again switched his focus to neurobiology and the visual system. The Donald A. Glaser papers consist of research notes and notebooks, manuscripts and printed papers, correspondence, awards, biographical material, photographs, audio-visual material, and born-digital files.
- Majority of material found within 1949-2003
- Glaser, Donald Arthur (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection has been fully digitized and can be accessed at Donald A. Glaser Digital Collection. For physical access to the papers, requests must be submitted in writing. The UC Berkeley portion is stored offsite.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Caltech Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and, unless explicitly stated otherwise,is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Biographical / Historical
Donald Arthur Glaser was born on September 21, 1926 in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the Case School of Applied Science in 1946, and a PhD in Physics and Mathematics in 1950 from the California Institute of Technology where Nobel Laureate Carl Anderson was his advisor. He joined the faculty at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1949 where his interest in elementary particles led to the invention of the bubble chamber in 1953. Glaser moved to UC Berkeley in 1959 and in 1960, at the age of 34, won the Nobel Prize in Physics. Shortly after he moved to Berkeley, his research shifted to automated experimentation in molecular and cell biology. He worked in UC Berkeley’s Virus Lab, conducting experiments with bacteria and bacterial viruses called phages and mammalian cells. He designed automated equipment that made it easier to grow these cells and to study how they grow, repair themselves, and reproduce. His work in this area led to cofounding one of the first biotechnology companies and eventually to Cetus Corporation. Glaser shifted his research interests toward neuroscience and the visual system by 1981 and continued work in this field into the 2000s. Glaser passed away on February 28, 2013.
15.97 linear feet (41 boxes (Caltech Collection); 17 cartons (UC Berkeley Collection))
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Donald A. Glaser papers were generously given to the Caltech Archives by Lynn Glaser in 2015.
The collection is fully digitized and will be made available online by the beginning of 2018.
This collection was processed by Kristen Abraham, Bianca Rios, and Mariella Soprano. Processing began in 2015 and was completed in 2017.
- Bubble Chambers Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Manuscript Collection Subject Source: Local sources
- Molecular biology Subject Source: Local sources
- Neuroscience Subject Source: Local sources
- Nobel Prize winners Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Physics Subject Source: Local sources
- Finding Aid for the Donald A. Glaser Papers, 1943-2013, bulk 1949-2003
- Bianca Rios and Mariella Soprano
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description