Guide to the Oliver Reynolds Wulf Papers, ca. 1917-1987

Processed by Charlotte E. Erwin; machine-readable finding aid created by Xiuzhi Zhou
California Institute of Technology
1200 East California Blvd.
Mail Code 015A-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-2704
Fax: (626) 793-8756
© 1998
California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Oliver Reynolds Wulf Papers, ca. 1917-1987


California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California

Contact Information:

  • Archives
  • California Institute of Technology
  • 1200 East California Blvd.
  • Mail Code 015A-74
  • Pasadena, CA 91125
  • Phone: (626) 395-2704
  • Fax: (626) 793-8756
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Charlotte E. Erwin
Date Completed:
November 1994
Date Revised:
July 1998
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 1998 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Oliver Reynolds Wulf Papers,
Date (inclusive): ca. 1917-1987
Creator: Wulf, Oliver Reynolds
Extent: Number of containers: 3 boxes
Repository: California Institute of Technology. Archives.
Pasadena, California 91125
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not 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 Head of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item, Box and file number], Oliver Reynolds Wulf Papers, Archives, California Institute of Technology.


Oliver Reynolds Wulf received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech in 1926 and returned to the Institute in 1945 as a research associate in chemistry. Prior to this he had worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for the Weather Bureau and for the University of Chicago's Institute of Meteorology during the war years. At Caltech Wulf conducted research in solar-terrestrial magnetism, geomagnetism, and large-scale circulation of the atmosphere. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1949, and retired from Caltech in 1967. Wulf died on January 11, 1987 at the age of 89.
In April 1989, a storage room in the Chemistry Division was being cleared of unwanted items. Among the discards were various files and notebooks, which have been compiled together by the Caltech Archives to form the contents of the first box in the collection.
In October 1994 the Caltech Archives received papers and memorabilia of Oliver R. and Beatrice Wulf. These have been added to the material given to the Archives by the Chemistry Division in 1989 under the heading "Supplement 1994."
The 1994 material was given by the Caltech Treasurer's Office, which was managing the Wulf estate. Beatrice Wulf, at this time, had gone into a nursing home. This material had been sorted and marked for the Caltech Archives, probably by Mrs. Wulf herself. An inventory had been made by the Treasurer's Office.
The recent material has been processed and is described in the following pages. The records date from 1917 (possibly earlier) to 1987 and are largely biographical in nature.

Container List

List of contents in box 1


Miscellaneous Files

Box Box 1

"On the Mechanisms of the Production of Geomagnetic Activity. The Activity of the Years 1941 and 1942," manuscript drafts by O. Wulf and Seth B. Nicholson


Thomson Effect


Joule Thermo




Computer related


Unlabelled file containing an article, various notes, and an undated group photo



Box Box 1

"Engineers' Field Book," leather bound, with added surveying notes 1919 Oct - 1920 Jan [includes misc. later additions]


2 small hand made black covered notebooks with quadrille paper


1 hand made black covered notebook containing handwritten lists of journal article citations


1 hard cover notebook, notes only on one page 1950 Jan -Feb


Course Notebooks

Box Box 1

Quantum Theory. Book 1, Dr. Epstein (includes table of contents)


Quantum Theory. Book 2, Dr. Epstein


Kinetic Theory, Dr. Millikan


Chemical Principles, paginated, contains problems and solutions

Supplement 1994


Section I: Correspondence

Box Box 2, Folder 1

Correspondence, general 1926-1962


American Physical Society 1931


California Institute of Technology 1967, 1977, 1987


Guggenheim Memorial Foundation 1925-1935


National Research Council 1926-1931


Ohio State University 1928-1929


Smithsonian Institution 1932


United States Department of Agriculture 1928-1932


University of California 1926-1927


University of Chicago 1943


Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1962

Folder 2

Correspondence, personal 1927-1946, n.d.


Eberhardt, W. H. 1946


McGlynn, John n.d. [early 1930s]


Moe, Henry Allen 1940

See also: Smithsonian Institution


Noyes, Arthur Amos 1922, 1930


Tolman, Richard Chace 1927, n.d.

Folder 3

Hillebrand Prize 1936

Folder 4

McMinn, George 1961-1972, n.d.

Folder 5

National Academy of Sciences 1949

Folder 6

Wulf, Beatrice, correspondence and documents (including Caltech and Linus Pauling)


Biographical Material


Trip Notes

Box Box 2, Folder 7

Beatrice Wulf


Coast to Coast 1928


Europe 1938


Mexico 1941

Folder 8

Oliver Wulf


Caribbean [undated]

Folder 9

Fiftieth anniversary and misc.

Folder 10

Biographical material, misc.

Folder 11

Memoir of Norwich, Connecticut, by Helene Knup (O. R. Wulf's sister)



Folder 12

Oliver Wulf


Family and youth

Folder 13


Folder 14

Wedding gift register

Folder 15

Beatrice Wulf, oral history interview for Caltech Archives 1982

Box Box 3


Awards, diplomas, memorabilia


Diploma, Norwich Free Academy 1915


Certificate (humorous), Follower of Boyle, Society of Sceptical Chemists 1917


Certificate of initiation, Sigma Alpha Epsilon 1917


Certificate of election, Tau Beta Pi, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1918


Certificate of membership, The Skull, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1919


Diploma, Naval Officer School 1919


Certificate of election, Sigma Xi, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1920


Thesis, "The Action of High Frequency Silent Discharge on Gases," Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1920


Honorable discharge, Navy 1922


Master's degree, American University 1922


Certificate of election, Fellow of National Research Council 1926


Certificate of election, Washington Academy of Sciences 1932


Certificate of award, Hillebrand Prize 1936


Certificate of election, Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences 1949


Certificate of award, Robert H. Goddard Award, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1962


Award, bronze, shape of building, Robert H. Goddard Award, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1962


Certificate of election, Fellow of the American Geophysical Union 1962


Certificate of service, U. S. Department of Commerce 1967


Certificate of esteem, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1970


Caltech degrees and memorabilia


Ph.D. degree, 1926


Fifty Year Certificate, Caltech Alumni Association 1976


Certificate of membership, Torchbearers 1985


A. A. Noyes, "A Laboratory Procedure" (cocoa recipe) 1968 [2 copies]