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Syracuse University Physics Department Records

An inventory of its records at the Syracuse University Archives

Finding aid created by: Anna Smallwood
Date: 2016

Historical Note

Photograph of Professor Ginsburg working with toys

The Physics Department started in the 1870s when a single professor taught classes in both physics and chemistry. Early classes were held in the Hall of Languages until Steele Hall was built in 1898. In the 1920s a master’s degree was offered in physics. The Ph.D. program began in 1947 and the first doctoral degree in physics was awarded in 1951. In 1965, Syracuse University broke ground on the Physics Building. Completed in 1967 and designed by King and King Architects, this new building gave the additional space needed for the growing Physics Department. Chairman Nathan Ginsburg worked with architects and the administration to oversee a smooth transfer into the new building.

Scope and Content Note

The Syracuse University Physics Department Records span from 1889 to 2015, with the majority of materials dating from the 1960s. A large portion of this collection comes from the research by professors at Syracuse University that was funded by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Additionally, there are several files from Nathan Ginsburg relating to the construction of the Physics Building.


Access Restrictions:

Please note that the collection is housed off-site, and advance notice is required to allow time to have the materials brought to the Reading Room on campus.

School, college and department records are restricted to the office of origin for 30 years. Requests to use restricted records must be obtained in writing from the office of origin.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from the Syracuse University Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Also in the Archives are materials related to the Physics Department in the Clippings File and Photograph Collection.

The Archives holds the papers of various physics faculty members including the papers of E.C. George Sudarshan.

Materials related to the Physics and Chemistry Summer Institute are located in the Science Teaching Collection.

Selected Search Terms


Syracuse University -- History.
Syracuse University.
Syracuse University. -- Department of Physics.


Higher education.

Types of Material

Publications (documents)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Syracuse University Physics Department Records,
University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

The Physics Department transferred their records to the Archives in 1972, 1992, and 1994. Department Chair Nathan Ginsburg transferred files related to the Physics Building to the Archives in 1968.

Processing Information

Materials were placed in archival folders and boxes.


Materials are arranged in alphabetical order with the exception of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Publications, which are in order by publication number.

Table of Contents