Preliminary Guide to the Walter Gordy Papers, 1935 - 1986
Walter Gordy (1909-1985) was a James B. Duke Professor of Physics at Duke University. In his over thirty year career at Duke, he founded and directed the Duke Microwave Laboratory, and researched and published extensively. The Walter Gordy Papers include correspondence, bibliographies, vita, articles, speeches, notebooks, teaching materials, illustrations, photographs, and graphs of experimental results. Major subjects include microwave spectroscopy, microwave radar, the Duke Microwave Laboratory, Army research Office , Durham (ARO-D), and the Duke Department of Physics. English.
- Record Group
- Walter Gordy papers
- 1935 - 1986
- Gordy, Walter, 1909-1985
- 37.5 Linear Feet, 29,000 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
The collection includes correspondence, bibliographies, vita, articles, speeches, notebooks, teaching materials, illustrations, photographs, and graphs of experimental results. The materials date from approximately 1935 to 1986. Gordy's professional career, particularly his work at Duke, is well represented. Much of the material stems from his research in the Duke Microwave Laboratory. The correspondence in the collection is mainly professional. A few materials, such as trip souvenirs, represent Gordy's personal life.
Access to the Collection
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
Records, such as search committee files or others pertaining to employment where individuals are identified, are closed for 70 years.
Unprocessed materials are closed pending processing.
In off-site storage; 48 hours advance notice is required for use.
Use & Permissions
Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
More copyright and citation information
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Walter Gordy Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
The Gordy papers are only preliminarily processed. The lists of materials within each box represent major subjects, but they are not folder lists.
Memorial Service Materials
Correspondence - Professional
Correspondence - Congratulatory
Campus Club Materials (Mrs. Gordy)
Photographs - Physics Department faculty, Gordys in USSR
List of Microwave Laboratory Ph.D.s
Exchange Visit (Correspondence), 1974
Correspondence - 1970s-1980s
High School Validictory speech
Misc. Professional Correspondence
Correspondence - Professional and University
Correspondence - re: prizes won by Gordy
Correspondence - Conferences
Gordy's Ph.D. Thesis and Abstract
List of Published Papers by the Duke Microwave Laboratory
Evaluation of Physics Department
Information on Duke Microwavers, 1979
Correspondence - University of Florida and University of Texas
Notecards listing Gordy publications
Research - Charts and Graphs
Duke University Distinguished Professor Award program and photographs
UNC Distinguished Alumni photograph
Popular Lectures and Articles
Report on Exchange Visit to Yugoslavia
Notes for Acceptance Speech for N.C. Award for Science
Speeches by Gordy (including notes)
Millimeter and Submillimeter Wave Developments at Duke University
Information on Awards Received by Gordy
Nomination of Walter Gordy for the North Carolina Award in Science
Duke Microwavers Information
Notebooks from courses and research
Research notes and charts
Correspondence - re: submissions for publication
Duke Microwave Laboratory personnel information - RESTRICTED
Photographs of physicists and equipment
Information on conference held in honor of Gordy
Roster of Physics Ph.D.s from Duke
Unbound copy of Microwave Spectroscopy
Correspondence - re: submissions for publication
Student Papers - RESTRICTED
Maps and information about Harvard and MIT
Trip Souvenirs (placemats, guide books, etc.)
Photographs of research results
Negatives of research results
Papers relating to the nomination of Dr. Gordy for the North Carolina Award in Science, 1979
Microwave Spectroscopy of Biological Substances, Pts. I and II [paper written by Gordy and others]
Duke Microwave Laboratory - Published Papers, 1946-1978
Duke Microwave Laboratory - Personnel Rosters, 1946-1978
Certificates of Life Membership in the UNC General Alumni Association for the Gordys
Posters and announcements on talks by Gordy
Research charts and graphs
Correspondence I (1961-1980), A-H
Correspondence I (1961-1980), H-N
Correspondence I (1961-1980), O-S
Correspondence I (1961-1980), S-Z
Correspondence II (1953-1960), A-F
Correspondence II (1953-1960), G-P
Correspondence II (1953-1960), P-Z
Air Force contract ledgers
Files associated with the Air Force contract 1946-1953 (reports, etc, not checked for identity with published papers.)
Meeting correspondence, associated manuscripts
Correspondence associated with other manuscripts
APS, NAS, IUPAC correspondence
Correspondence associated with Army Research Office, Durham (AROD)
Correspondence with M. Katayama
Correspondence with Duke University Planning Commission
"Recent Correspondence" 1963-1966
Mixed correspondence and papers, 1954-1974
Mixed papers (note letter to Tribble)
AROD contract accounting, 1969-1972
Air Force contract, 1955-1971
Air Force contract (con't)
Office of Ordinance Research (OOR) contract
"Miscellaneous" correspondence, 1953-1960
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1952-1966
Air Force, payroll 1953-1960
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1946-1951
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1946-1951, continued
Previously classified technical reports
Binder and documents concerning Gordy's employment (1935-1941): Baylor College, Cal Tech, Linus Pauling etc.
Christmas and private correspondence with former student, post-docs, and colleagues
Notes for talks at several 'Microwave dinner(s)' at APS meetings, Washington, D.C., circa 1964-1968
Correspondence, A-M, 1951-1961
AROD grant-related correspondence, 1951; 1962-1970
Binders with grant accounting, 1962-1970
Items retained from invoice files, 1946-1961
Walter Gordy was born on April 20, 1909 in Newton County Mississippi. After receiving a B.A. from Mississippi College in 1932, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1932 and 1935, respectively. From 1935 to 1941, Gordy served as a professor of physics at Mary Hardin-Baylor College in Texas. He then worked at Cal Tech with Linus Pauling and later in the Radiation Kabiratirt at MIT.
In 1946, Gordy joined the faculty of the Duke University Department of Physics. During his tenure, he contributed to the development of microwave radar and microwave spectroscopy through his work in the Duke Microwave Laboratory, which he founded and headed. He published many articles and four books, and was a member of numerous professional organizations. In 1958, Gordy was named a James B. Duke Professor. Gordy died in Durham on October 6, 1985. He was survived by his wife of fifty years, Vida.
Department of Physics records
(Duke University Archives)
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
The Walter Gordy Papers were received by the University Archives as a gift in 1989 (A89-0062, A89-99) and a transfer in 1993 (A93-36, A93-40) and 2007 (UA2007-0023).
Processed by Valerie Gillispie
Completed July 29, 2003
This collection is partially processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.
Encoded by Valerie Gillispie, July 30, 2003
Updated by Sherrie Bowser, June 2007