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Oregon State University
Special Collections and Archives
Research Center

Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, 1910-1994View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates: 1922-1991
Linus Pauling (1901-1994), a 1922 OSU graduate and the only recipient of two unshared Nobel Prizes, (Chemistry, 1954; Peace, 1962) undertook a wide range of studies during his seventy-year career as a scientist, humanitarian and peace activist. The collection, comprised of over five hundred thousand items, contains all of Pauling's personal and scientific papers, research materials, correspondence, photographs, awards, and memorabilia. Not only does the Pauling archive reflect Linus Pauling's long and varied scientific career, the presence of Ava Helen Pauling's (1903-1981) papers also indicates their mutual devotion to world peace and to each other.  A complete finding aid, featuring folder and item-level description of the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, is available online.
Creators
ID: MSS Pauling
Extent: 1450.0 cubic feet
More Extent Information
Scope and Content Notes
Biographical / Historical Notes
Statement on Access: The Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers are open for research. A complete finding aid, featuring folder and item-level description of the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers is available online.
Arrangement
Preferred Citation: Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers (MSS Pauling), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.
Acquisition Note: Collection arrived in installments. Two major shipments were accessioned in December 1986 and in February 1998.
Languages of Materials
Other

Container List

Series 1: Correspondence, 1919-2000 Add to Shelf

This section is comprised of letters received by Linus Pauling as well as carbon copies of letters sent by Pauling. The correspondence section as a whole has been arranged alphabetically and sub-sorted chronologically. Within this broader schema, the correspondence section is further subdivided into three additional classifications: those individuals who made a prominent impact on either the history of twentieth-century science or on Pauling's life and work, have received their own entries under the heading Individual Correspondence. Likewise, correspondence with important organizations and institutions has been filed under the heading Organizational Correspondence. Finally, bulk mailings and more secondary materials have been grouped into General Correspondence files.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 1, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 2: Publications, 1920-1998, undated Add to Shelf

This section mainly consists of original reprints of Linus Pauling's 1,100+ publications. Included in the Pauling Publications series are bibliographic citations for all of his scientific papers, books, popular articles, printed letters to the editor, forewords, introductions and support notices. The OSU Special Collections gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Zelek S. Herman and Dorothy B. Munro whose bibliography, The Publications of Professor Linus Pauling, served as the blueprint for this, the revised and expanded compilation of Dr. Pauling's complete published works.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 2, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 3: Manuscripts and Typescripts of Articles, 1923-1995, undated Add to Shelf

This section features hundreds of manuscripts and typescripts of articles -- many of which went unpublished -- that were written or co-written by Linus Pauling. Also included is correspondence relevant to the development and publication of these articles. In many instances, abstracts, galley proofs, figures, research notes and other background materials have been interfiled where appropriate.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 3, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 4: Manuscripts and Typescripts of Speeches, 1921-1994, undated Add to Shelf

As with the Manuscripts and Typescripts of Articles series, this section is largely composed of manuscripts and typescripts of speeches written and delivered by Linus Pauling. Also included is correspondence relevant to the writing, delivery and/or publication of these speeches. Further materials illustrating the logistics of Pauling's travel to the location of a speech's delivery, including correspondence, itineraries and other notes, are included as well.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 4, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 5: Manuscripts and Typescripts of Books, 1930-1992 Add to Shelf

Manuscripts, typescripts and galley proofs of books written or co-written by Linus Pauling are the chief constituents of this section. Also included is correspondence relevant to the evolution and printing of Pauling's thirteen published books. In many instances, figures, artwork, research notes, publication contracts (both domestic and foreign), internal and external reviews and other background materials provide a fuller picture of the processes that informed each of Pauling's book projects. Special Collections also retains among its holdings several editions of each of Pauling's books, including numerous overseas translations. Finally, a great bulk of material is included concerning the handful of books that Pauling initiated but did not complete or publish.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 5, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 6: Research Notebooks, 1919-1994 Add to Shelf

Linus Pauling's forty-seven original research notebooks form the heart of this section. The content of each research notebook has been cataloged in great detail, on the item level, typically spanning over one-hundred pages per container. The notebooks themselves span the years 1919 to 1994 and include many of Pauling's laboratory calculations and experimental data, as well as numerous scientific conclusions, ideas for further research and some biographical musings. In addition, item-level listings of the papers, notes and ephemera that Pauling often interfiled into his laboratory notebooks can be found at the end of each applicable container listing.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 6, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.  In addition, Pauling's notebooks have also been digitized and are available to view online.

Note: Note: Subjects covered in the research notebooks typically span many pages. The listings may be the same but the pages have different information on them and the associated images are different.
Series 7: Newspaper Clippings, Magazine and Journal Articles, 1910-2002 Add to Shelf

This section boasts of over 3,000 newspaper clippings, magazine articles, journal articles, typescripts and press releases either focusing upon or mentioning Linus Pauling. The sheer volume of material in this section, both foreign and domestic, illustrates the degree to which Pauling was very much a public figure -- along with Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer, among the most recognizable scientists of the twentieth century.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 7, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 8: Honors, Awards, Citations, Diplomas and Other Recognitions, 1914-2010, undated Add to Shelf

The multitude of medals, citations, diplomas and other recognitions awarded to Linus Pauling are cataloged in this section. Included are the nearly fifty honorary doctorates received by Pauling during his lifetime. Prominent items include Pauling's two Nobel medals, the Lenin Peace Prize medal, the M.V. Lomonosov medal and the National Medal of Science. In addition, correspondence and other background materials related to the awarding of specific honors have been interfiled in tandem with the actual physical awards.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 8, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.  Images of all of Pauling's awards are also available online.

Series 9: Photographs and Images, 1873-1995, undated Add to Shelf

This section -- the most frequently used of all the Pauling Papers -- is comprised of over 5,500 photographs, drawings and other images of Linus Pauling, his family and his colleagues. Historic images of both Linus and Ava Helen's extended family are available in this section, as are both professional and candid portraits of the Pauling family throughout the twentieth century. Special Collections holds both hard copy and high-resolution digital versions of the bulk of the photograph collection.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 9, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 10: Audio / Visual, 1946-2011, undated Add to Shelf

This section consists of a variety of audio/visual materials related to Linus and Ava Helen Pauling and their work in science and peace. Audiocassette tapes, vinyl records, videotapes, Dictaphone belts, audio tape reels and film reels are among the media types held in the audio/visual collection. The content of these various recordings include commencement lectures, public speeches, radio appearances and taped interviews. In addition, Special Collections holds the original film reels used in producing the 1977 NOVA documentary, "Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist."

A complete listing of materials held in Series 10, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 11: Science, 1923-1994 Add to Shelf

This section has been divided into fifteen thematic sub-sections, which, when taken as a whole, reflect the extraordinary breadth of Linus Pauling's scientific biography. Boxes in the Science section typically hold manuscripts, research notes, correspondence, figures, experimental data, non-Pauling reprints and other scientific research materials. Generally speaking, materials have been arranged and cataloged according to research topic. However, two sub-sections reflect the institutional architecture either supporting or directing Pauling's work during specific periods of his life. For example, the bulk of the collection's holdings concerning Pauling's relationship with the American Chemical Society have been cataloged under the rubric "Scientific, Research and Grant-Funding Institutions." A similar approach has been taken with much of Pauling's work sponsored by the Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, etc.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 11, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 12: Peace, 1945-1994 Add to Shelf

This section has been partitioned into eight thematic sub-sections that illustrate Linus Pauling's manifold interests in topics of peace and humanism. The Peace holdings include manuscripts and typescripts, correspondence, notes, meeting minutes, non-Pauling publications and other ephemera reflecting the numerous concerns addressed by the Paulings and the international peace movement from the mid-1940s to the mid-1990s. Prominent items include the three-volume bound Bomb-Test Petition to the United Nations, for which Pauling received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1963, as well as a sizeable trove of materials related to Pauling's membership in the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, formed by Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard at the conclusion of World War II.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 12, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 13: Biographical, 1910-1996 Add to Shelf

Holdings in this vast section -- arranged both according to subject and format -- document a number of themes from Linus Pauling's remarkable, complex life. An eclectic array of manuscript and typescript materials, correspondence, notebooks, newspaper clippings, government documents, legal documents, tax documents and receipts have been sorted into sub-sections labeled Academia, Political Issues, Legal, Business & Financial, and Personal Materials & Family Correspondence. In addition, over 2,700 pages of loose-leaf scrapbooks compiled by the Paulings have been cataloged on the item level and reside in the Biographical section.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 13, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 14: Travel, 1932-1994 Add to Shelf

A very substantial minority of the Paulings' time was spent traveling around the world to participate in conferences, give speeches and attend meetings. Over the course of their fifty-eight year marriage, the Paulings visited every continent, save Antarctica, and enjoyed lengthy residential stays in Europe, trips to the Soviet Union and communist China, and extended tours of Australia and New Zealand. This section documents the incredible breadth of Linus and Ava Helen's travel through its collection of itineraries, transit and hotel receipts, maps, and assorted background materials.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 14, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 15: Ava Helen Pauling, 1927-2013 Add to Shelf

Manuscript and typescript leaves, correspondence, assorted biographical materials, publications and government documents related to the life and work of Ava Helen Pauling are the foundation of this section. Items of special interest include writings by Ava Helen Pauling on issues of peace, civil liberties and women's rights. The section also contains extensive genealogical data; correspondence and meeting minutes chronicling the work of prominent peace groups including the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Women Strike for Peace and Federal Union; and other assorted personal materials documenting Ava Helen's activities both within and outside the Pauling family home.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 15, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 16: Personal Safe, 1912-1993 Add to Shelf

The four drawers of Linus Pauling's personal safe contained an astonishingly rich and diverse collection of items which have yielded a much fuller portrait of Pauling's life and activities. Drawer 1 held over seven-hundred letters between Linus and Ava Helen Pauling, most of them love letters. Drawers 2 and 3 contained a number of items that Pauling had deemed to be either sensitive or important, including communications with world-historical figures as varied as John F. Kennedy and Ho Chi Minh. Drawer 4 served as repository for the dozens of pocket notebooks that Pauling carried throughout his life, as well as scores of Dictaphone belts on which Pauling had recorded chapters of a proposed autobiography.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 16, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

Series 17: Pauling Personal Library, 1806-1998 Add to Shelf

The 4,000+ volumes that form the personal library of Linus and Ava Helen Pauling are detailed in this section. Arranged according to author's last name, the books in the Personal Library bibliography are illustrative of the Paulings' many interests -- from pure science to sociological surveys to detective stories to crossword puzzles.

A complete listing of materials held in Series 17, including folder and item-level descriptions, is available here.

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