Catalogue Information - J. Brookes Spencer Papers

The J. Brookes Spencer Papers contain records of Spencer's work as an instructor, researcher, and tenured professor from 1952-1979. Included in this collection are research notes, grade books, student-created documents, photographs, miscellaneous administrative documents, lecture notes, correspondence, and an extensive collection of reprints relating to the history of science in the modern era.

48 linear feet, 25 boxes, 400 books

Content Description

The contents of the J. Brookes Spencer Papers were collected between 1952-1979 and include theses, class materials, research notes, administrative documents from Oregon State University and other institutions of higher learning, miscellaneous correspondence, travel information, extensive bibliographic records and reprints relating to the history of science, documents from Spencer’s tenure as a professor of physics and history of science, and assorted photographs, brochures, and periodicals.

Biographical Note

Timeline for J. Brookes Spencer

1926 James Brookes Spencer is born in Canton, China on July 16.
1944 Enlists in the United States Air Force.
1948 Graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics from Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin.
1950 Begins graduate work in physics at Colorado State University.
1952 Continues his graduate studies in physics at Case Institute in Cleveland, Ohio.
1954 Takes a position as Research Physicist at the Bjorksten Research Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin which he holds until 1957.
1955 Nancy Spencer gives birth to her and Brookes' first child, Lisa Claire Spencer, on February 15.
1956 Spencer completes his Master's Degree in Physics at the University of Wisconsin.
1957 The Spencers' second child, James Brookes Spencer III, is born on March 4.
Spencer takes a position as Assistant Professor of Physics at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.
1959 During the summer, Spencer serves as a Research Physicist for the Bendix Aviation Corporation in Davenport, Iowa.
Returns to the University of Wisconsin as a Research Assistant in Physics.
Begins work toward a doctorate in the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin.
Thaddeus Scott Spencer, the Spencers' third child, is born on October 30.
1960 Spencer takes a part-time position at Milton College as an Assistant Professor of Physics and Math while continuing doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin.
On November 30, Natalia Christine Spencer, the fourth Spencer child, is born.
1961 While maintaining his Assistant Professorship at Milton College, Spencer takes a position as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Wisconsin.
1963 Spencer accepts a position as Research Assistant of History of Science at the University of Wisconsin.
Later in the year, Spencer transfers to Oregon State University where he is hired as Assistant Professor of History of Science.
1968 Spencer serves as Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin for the winter of 1968 and spring of 1969.
1970 Promoted to Associate Professor at Oregon State University.
Takes a year-long leave of absence from Oregon State University in order to conduct research at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.


4.2 linear feet of reprints are arranged alphabetically. All other materials are unprocessed.

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Restrictions on Access

Permission to examine The J. Brookes Spencer Papers will be granted to qualified researchers upon completion of an "Application for Use" form, and contingent upon the researcher's agreement to abide by the rules and policies governing collection use. See the Use of Collections page for more information

Restrictions on Use

Technical Access

Physical quality of materials in The J. Brookes Spencer Collection ranges from good to very good.

Preferred Citation

Courtesy of The J. Brookes Spencer Papers, Special Collections, Oregon State University Libraries

Processing Information

4.2 linear feet of reprints have been arranged alphabetically by J. Brookes Spencer. All other materials are boxed and awaiting processing by Special Collections staff.

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