AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 1 Preservation of Historical Archives
HAD Special Session, Sunday, 10:00am-1:00pm, January 8, 2006, Maryland C

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[1.03] From the Beginning: Archiving the History of NRAO and US Radio Astronomy

E. N. Bouton (NRAO)

In 2006 the National Radio Astronomy Observatory will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Before 2003, there were neither archives nor a formal archiving program at NRAO; institutional records were located at any of the four NRAO sites in four different states, and there was no record of the materials that we had. In mid-2003, the long-time NRAO librarian retired and began part time work as NRAO's first archivist. With the completion of an addition to the headquarters building in Charlottesville in spring 2005, the fledgling NRAO Archives moved into a new 1400 sq ft space.

In addition to NRAO materials, the Archives also collects papers of individuals. Grote Reber, who built the first radio telescope in his backyard in Wheaton IL in 1937, had in 1995, donated many of his personal papers to NRAO, and these papers have been indexed and are available to researchers. We continue to receive additional materials from his estate in Tasmania. The complete papers of John Kraus, author, researcher, and professor in radio astronomy and engineering at Ohio State University for many years, were donated to the NRAO Archives by his son and estate executor in spring 2005. The NRAO Archives has also mounted Web resources with texts written by Nan Dieter Conklin and by Doc Ewen describing their work in the developing years of US radio astronomy.

This talk will present the highlights of how, on a limited budget but with broad support of NRAO staff, the NRAO Archives has begun a program to gather and organize materials on institutional history as well as the personal papers and recollections of contributors to US radio astronomy history.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.nrao.edu/archives/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ebouton@nrao.edu

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