Columbia University Archives
 

C.S. (Chien-Shiung) Wu Papers, 1945-1994, bulk 1960-1979

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0017
Bib ID 4369972 View CLIO record
Creator(s)
Title C.S. (Chien-Shiung) Wu Papers, 1945-1994, bulk 1960-1979
Physical Description 9.42 linear feet (9.42 linear feet 9 record cartons 1 manuscript box)
Language(s) English, Chinese, and Serbocroatian.
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.

Portions of the collection are restricted. Please see the finding aid for further information.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection has been arranged into seven series: Series I. Correspondence, 1958-1992 Subseries I.1: Chronological, 1964-1992; Subseries I.2: Alphabetical, 1958-1992; Subseries I.3: General, 1958-1992; Series II: American Physical Society, 1962-1982 Subseries II.1: Correspondence, 1962-1978; Subseries II.2: Meetings, 1966-1982; Subseries II.3: Administrative Matters, 1968-1976; Subseries II.4: Publications and Reports, 1964-1972; Subseries II.5: Awards and Events, 1974-1975; Subseries II.6: Research and Studies, 1973-1975; Series III. Conferences, 1975-1980; Series IV. Columbia University, 1945-1994 Subseries IV.1: Affirmative Action, 1968-1977; Subseries IV.2: Physics Department, 1958-1994; Subseries IV.3: Assorted Materials, 1945-1979; Series V. Research, 1948-1985; Series VI. Speeches and Lectures, 1958-1984; Series VII. Publications, 1957-1994

Description

Summary

The collection consists of speeches, reports, publications, research notes, and correspondence. The bulk of the collection relates to Wu's involvement in the American Physical Society as well as her research activities. The correspondence is chiefly professional, relating to C. S. Wu's physics research, professional commitments, appointments, meetings, conferences, and publications. Correspondence also includes letters from individuals around the world praising Wu for her accomplishments, asking advice, arranging speaking engagements, discussing administrative matters, and trading research notes, as well as information on publications and other topics. In addition, the collection contains information on Wu's involvement in the development of an affirmative action program at Columbia University in the 1970's.

  • Series I: Correspondence

    This series contains correspondence between C. S. Wu and her colleagues and friends. It includes English language and Chinese language correspondence from all over the world. The letters relate to Wu's research and professional obligations, such as her positions at Columbia University and the American Physical Society. Correspondence with the American Physical Society and Columbia University also appear in Series II and Series IV, respectively. The correspondence was originally separated into a chronological series and an alphabetical series. Those series have been maintained as sub-series and a third sub-series of general correspondence has been added.

  • Series II: American Physical Society (APS)

    This series holds material relating to Wu's participation in the American Physical Society (APS), of which she was president during the mid-1970s. The series is divided into six sub-series: Sub-series II.1. Correspondence; Subseries II.2. Meetings; Subseries II.3. Administrative Matters; Subseries II.4. Publications and Reports; Subseries II.5. Awards and Events; and Subseries II.6. Research and Studies.

  • Series III: Conferences

    This series consists of papers, notes, and pamphlets from various conferences and symposia in which Wu participated. Wu appeared to have played a major role in the Michael Idvorsky Pupin Symposium in Novi Sad (Serbia) in October, 1979. Included are research materials concerning Pupin and the symposium, Wu's paper on Pupin, "Michael Idvorsky Pupin at Columbia College and His Role in the Rise of Idealism in American Science," and the published papers of the symposium in both Serbo-Croatian and English.

  • Series IV: Columbia University

    This series contains correspondence, papers, data, articles, teaching materials, and general administrative materials related to Wu's time at Columbia University. Correspondence with Columbia University faculty and administrators is also housed in Series I. Correspondence under both the alphabetical sub-series and the chronological sub-series. The series is divided into three subseries: Subseries IV.1. Affirmative Action; Subseries IV.2. Physics Department; and Subseries IV3. Assorted Materials.

  • Series V. Research

    This series contains reports, papers, research notes, laboratory notebooks, and transparencies of figures relating to physics research Wu was involved in. Also included are articles, papers, and research notes used as reference material by Wu. There is some correspondence with other physicists regarding their research in relation to Wu's. The laboratory notebooks all seem to relate to the work done by Wu and her assistants for the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1940's and 1950's.

  • Series VI. Speeches and Lectures

    This series includes speeches and lectures by Wu with a few by others. A folder of speeches in Chinese was unlabeled. Of particular note is Dr. Moche's interview with Wu on women in physics.

  • Series VII. Publications

    This subseries contains articles written by or about Wu, as well as articles, papers, and books written by others. The folder of "Clippings and Press Releases about Wu" contains material spanning much of Wu's career in physics. Also included are articles regarding women, in particular women in science, as well as articles on various aspects of physics. The folder "Publication Lists" contains listings of Wu's various publications throughout the years up to the 1970s. The folder "Reviews of Wu and Moszkowski Book" contains book reviews of Beta Decay.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on 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.

Portions of the collection are restricted. Please see the finding aid for further information.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

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); C.S. (Chien-Shiung) Wu Papers; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Related Material

Central Files, 1890-2006, , University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

Department of Physics Records, 1870-1983, University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

Historical Photograph Collection, circa 1858-2007 (David G. Hitlin, Wolfgang Pauli, C.S. Wu), University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

Historical Biographical Files, 1750s-2000s (C.S. Wu), University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

Historical Subject Files Collection, 1750s-2000s, University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

Office of the Provost Records, 1939-2006, University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Revision Description

2016-07-15 xml document instance created by Carolyn Smith

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

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.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Drafts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Laboratory notebooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Progress Reports Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Speeches Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Affirmative action programs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Physical Society Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chinese American women Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- : Faculty Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Department of Physics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women physicists -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Chien-Shiung Wu was born in 1912 in a small town near Shanghai, China to Wu Zhongyi, a 1911 revolution participant, and Fan Fu-Hua. Wu attended a private girls' school in China and eventually went to Soochow Girls School, where the curriculum was chiefly Western. She graduated in 1930 and went on to attend Nanjing University, where she studied physics and graduated in 1934. Wu immigrated to the United States in 1936 to seek post-doctoral programs in physics. She attended the University of California at Berkeley and received her Ph.D. in 1940. In 1942, she married Luke Yuan and they moved to the east coast. In 1947, they had a son, Vincent Yuan, who became a research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Wu took a position teaching at Smith College, but left soon after for Princeton. The Division of War Research at Columbia University recruited Wu in 1944 for work at a secret facility in New York for the development of sensitive radiation detectors for the atomic bomb project. Her research included, among other topics, groundbreaking work on beta decay, the irregularity of K-meson decay in particle accelerators, and K-meson's violation of parity. She became a full professor in 1948, and in 1972 Columbia University named Wu the Michael I. Pupin Professor of Physics.

Throughout her career Wu was awarded numerous prizes and honors for her work. She was the first female president of the American Physical Society as well as the first woman to receive the Comstock Award, the Research Corporation Award, and an honorary doctorate in science from Princeton University. She also received the National Medal of Science, the Wolf Prize in Physics and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Wu died on February 16, 1997 in New York.