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Physics Department records

Identifier: RG0077

Collection Scope and Content

Materials in this collection include office files, memos, curriculum lists, staff files, recommendations, correspondence, course materials, budget summaries, staff papers, university committee on research, student/faculty files, progress reports, contracts, administration materials, graduate applicants, speaker invitation letters, conferences/workshops, summaries of fiscal year, course syllabi and websites. The collection covers the years 1930 to 2009. Note: Not all series are processed. Ask staff for assistance.


  • 1930-2009


Restrictions on Access

Series 1, 4, and 5 are closed for 75 years from date of record creation. Series 8 contains confidential employee and faculty informaiton and must be reviewed by an archivist prior to use by researchers.

Series 3 is closed for 100 years from date of record creation. Access to student records is governed by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student education records.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical or Biographical Note

The Physics Department is a part of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Physics, although not always called physics, was taught at Columbian College during the 1820s.

During the freshman and sophomore years, studies included English, Latin, and Greek; geography; arithmetic and algebra; history and antiquities; exercises in reading, speaking and composition; elements of chronology; rhetoric and logic; logarithms, geometry, trigonometry and mensuration; surveying, navigation, conic sections and Euclid's Elements. In his junior and senior years, the student took natural philosophy, astronomy, chemistry, fluxions, natural history, history of civil society, natural religion, Revelation, natural and political law, metaphysics, moral philosophy and analogy of religion to nature.


41.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Collection includes office files, memos, correspondence, course materials, staff papers, administration materials, conferences/workshops, course syllabi, and websites.

Collection Organization

This collection is organized into ten series. Seven are office/departmental files differentiated only by their date of transfer to the archives; one is a series of facilities plan; one is a series of faculty records; one series for websites.

Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site, and will require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Acquisition Information

Materials acquired through transfers from the Physics Department. A small addition was added in February 2018 (Accession 2018.007).

Guide to the Physics Department records, 1930-2005
Folder Inventory
University Archives, Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America