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   Samuel Devons papers 1959-2004.

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Samuel Devons Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

This collection comprises the papers of noted physicist and historian Samuel Devons (1914-2006). It includes Devons's detailed analysis of his scientific findings, articles, essays, personal and professional correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia. Other subject files, reflecting his interest in film, Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Alessandro Volta, and promoting interactions among current and former university faculty during his academic tenure.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1664
Bib ID:10315268 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Devons, Samuel
Title:Samuel Devons papers 1959-2004.
Physical description:63 linear ft. (42 boxes)
Language(s): Material is in English
Access: This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. Materials related to students or containing student grades are restricted for 75 years from date of creation.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in four series

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Description

Scope and Content

This collection is comprised of the papers of noted physicist and historian Samuel Devons (1914-2006). It includes Devons's detailed analysis of his scientific findings, articles, essays, personal and professional correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia. Other subject files reflect his interest in film, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Alessandro Volta, and promoting interactions among current and former university faculty during his academic tenure. The Devons Papers are arranged in four series.

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Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

Materials related to students or containing student grades are restricted for 75 years from date of creation.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Samuel Devons Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed 06/2014 Felecia Hunter, Columbia University School of the Arts 2016

Finding aid written 06/2014 Felecia Hunter, Columbia University School of the Arts 2016

The processing of this collection was made possible through the generous support of the Devons Family

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion June 7, 2014 Finding aid written in English.
    2014-06-07 File created.

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Columbia University.--Department of PhysicsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Devons, Samuel.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Nuclear Physics.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Optics.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Priestley, Joseph, 1733-1804.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rabi, I. I. (Isidor Isaac), 1898-1988.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Scientific Literacy.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Volta, Alessandro, 1745-1827.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

History

Samuel Devons was a renowned nuclear physicist, academic, and historian. Born in Bangor, Great Britain, on September 30, 1914, Devons enrolled at Trinity College, Cambridge University at the age of 16. After graduating in 1935, he continued his studies there, earning a doctorate in 1939. During World War II, Devons served as a British intelligence officer in Germany working on defense projects before accepting a series of professorial appointments at Cambridge University, Imperial College, and the Universities of London and Manchester. In 1960, he moved to the United States to teach at Columbia University where he served as chairman of the Physics department from 1963-1967. An acclaimed scholar of physics, he specialized in the works of Franklin, Rabi, Volta, Rutherford, and Newton.

During the 1980s, Devons organized and served as president of the Joseph Priestley Society at Columbia. The group was created to promote collaborative interactions between high school science teachers and university faculty. Devons retired in 1984 but remained actively involved with the university, serving as Emeritus Professor and was widely recognized as the macebearer for its annual Commencement ceremonies. In the late 1990s, he founded the Emeritus Professors in Columbia (EPIC), which was devoted to fostering open dialogue and communication among current and former faculty members as an alternative to increasing administrative centralization.

Devons died of congestive heart failure at the age of 92 on December 6, 2006 in Manhattan.

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