Guide to the University of Pittsburgh Van de Graaff Accelerator Records, 1947-1974, UA.90.8.29.1

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
University of Pittsburgh Van de Graaff Accelerator Records
Creator
University of Pittsburgh.
Collection Number
UA.90.8.29.1
Date
1947-1974
Extent
3.75 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract
This collection consists of letters, diagrams, catalogs, and reports documenting the University of Pittsburgh's construction of an advanced cyclotron, called the Van de Graaff Accelerator, in the early 1960s.
Sponsor Note
This collection was processed thanks to a grant from the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics

Preferred Citation

University of Pittsburgh Van de Graaff Accelerator Records, 1947-1974, UA.90.8.29.1, University Archives, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

A cyclotron is a powerful machine that has a wide array of applications for research in particle physics. It involves the use of a strong magnetic field to accelerate particles and resulting electric fields of varying strength to increase the speed at which they travel. In the early 1960s, the University of Pittsburgh was chosen to have one built on its campus that would be more powerful than others that had previously come before it. Pitt was able to secure over $1.6 million from the National Science Foundation and $1 million from the Sarah Mellon-Scaife Foundation to construct the building on campus.

Directed by Dr. James McGruer, construction began in November 1962 and was completed in March 1964. The first beams of protons were achieved in 1965 and the building itself was dedicated in 1966. Eventually, the building was renamed the Nuclear Physics Laboratory, although the building still goes by both names. Since its dedication, the accelerator has been an integral piece of equipment for both student and faculty research. Additions to the accelerator were made in the early 1970's to increase the power output of the machine.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection consists of letters, diagrams, catalogs, and reports documenting the University of Pittsburgh's construction of an advanced cyclotron in the early 1960s. These records involve correspondence written from contractors to the university, along with letters to and from different faculty involved with the project. Reports from the contractors and architects tasked with construction are present, along with the resulting blueprints and diagrams for the building itself. Records that span from the early discussions and proposals for the project to updates to the building after its completion are also found.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, November 2020

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Physics and Astronomy in June 2015.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Anish Bhagwat in June 2019 thanks to a grant from the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • University of Pittsburgh.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.

Subject(s)

  • Nuclear physics
  • University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 

Scope and Content Notes

Chicago architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (S.O.M.) was hired by the University of Pittsburgh to design and oversee construction of the Van de Graaff accelerator building beginning in 1961. This series includes correspondence from S.O.M. to the University of Pittsburgh, primarily the Physics department and the university architect, as well as contractors like the George A. Fuller Company and material suppliers.

  BoxFolder
Correspondence, August 23, 1961-May 17, 1962 11
  Folder
Weekly Construction Reports (Unfiled), November 1, 1961 2
  Folder
Recapitulation, November 10, 1961 3
  Folder
Correspondence, May 18-July 11, 1962 4
  Folder
Recapitulation, July 2, 1962 5
  Folder
Correspondence, July 16, 1962-February 12, 1963 6
  Folder
Changes to Drawings and Specifications, July 30-October 25, 1962 7
  Folder
Correspondence, August 10-September 4, 1962 8
  Folder
Electrical Energy Analysis Report, August 24, 1962 9
  Folder
Correspondence, September 7, 1962-June 6, 1963 10
  Folder
Correspondence, September 7-October 5, 1962 11
  Folder
Material Submittals, October 5, 1962 12
  Folder
Correspondence, October 15-November 30, 1962 13
  Folder
Transmittals, October 19, 1962-February 5, 1963 14
  Folder
Correspondence, October 22-December 27, 1962 15
  Folder
Correspondence, December 3, 1962-January 15, 1963 16
  Folder
Color and Material Schedule, December 27, 1962 17
  Folder
Correspondence, January 2-February 8, 1963 18
  Folder
Correspondence, January 21-March 11, 1963 19
  Folder
Transmittals, February 11-April 29, 1963 20
  Folder
Revised Hardware Schedule, February 1, 1963 21
  Folder
Correspondence, February 11-March 30, 1963 22
  Folder
Notification of Change Order, February 15-May 7, 1963 23
  Folder
Correspondence, March 9-April 30, 1963 24
  Folder
Correspondence, April 1-June 11, 1963 25
  Folder
Notification of Change Order, April 16-May 23, 1963 26
  Folder
Transmittals, April 30, 1963-April 9, 1964 27
  Folder
Correspondence, May 1-June 13, 1963 28
  Folder
Notification of Building Change, May 21, 1963 29
  Folder
Correspondence, June 13-July 31, 1963 30
  Folder
Correspondence, June 17-July 9, 1963 31
  Folder
Recapitulation and Schedule, June 19, 1963 32
  Folder
Electrical Data Sheet, July 3, 1963 33
  Folder
Correspondence, July 1-December 3, 1963 34
  Folder
Notification of Change Order, July 8-August 22, 1963 35
  Folder
Correspondence, July 15-July 31, 1963 36
  Folder
Correspondence and Monthly Construction Reports, July 19, 1963 37
  Folder
Correspondence, August 1-31, 1963 38
  Folder
Correspondence, August 1-September 18, 1963 39
  Folder
Correspondence, September 3-30, 1963 40
  Folder
Notification of Change Order, September 5, 1963-February 10, 1964 41
  Folder
Correspondence, September 23-October 31, 1963 42
  Folder
Correspondence, October 2-28, 1963 43
  Folder
Hinge Structure Calculations, October 25, 1963 44
  Folder
Correspondence, October 30-December 27, 1963 45
  Folder
Correspondence, November 1-December 30, 1963 46
  Folder
Correspondence, January 2-February 6, 1964 47
  Folder
Correspondence, January 2-February 25,1964 48
  Folder
Correspondence, January 6-June 19, 1964 49
  Folder
Correspondence, February 10-April 7, 1964 50
  BoxFolder
Notification of Change Order, February 24-August 19, 1964 21
  Folder
Correspondence, March 2-April 30, 1964 2
  Folder
Correspondence, April 15-May 28, 1964 3
  Folder
Correspondence, May 4-August 25, 1964 4
  Folder
Correspondence, June 1-July 23, 1964 5
  Folder
Correspondence, August 4, 1964-June 7, 1965  6
  Folder
Heating and Ventilation Architectural and Mechanical Drawings 7

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Series  II. Lasley K. Lacewell 

Scope and Content Notes

Lasley K. Lacewell was an inspector in the Physical Plant office of the University of Pittsburgh assigned to serve as the university's field representative for the project. In that role, Lacewell oversew progress on the construction of the Van de Graaff accelerator building and managed the overall construction site. This series includes correspondence and reports documenting the day to day activities and progress of the building's construction.

  BoxFolder
Correspondence, November 14, 1962-April 30, 1963 28
  Folder
Correspondence, May 1, 1963-January 29, 1964 9
  Folder
Correspondence, February 3-September 4, 1964 10
  Folder
Weekly Update Report Correspondence, November 23, 1962-June 26, 1964 11
  Folder
Daily Construction Reports, October 19, 1962-January 25, 1963 12
  Folder
Daily Construction Reports, February 2-April 12, 1963 13
  Folder
Daily Construction Reports, April 15-June 28, 1963 14
  Folder
Daily Construction Reports, July 5-October 4, 1963 15
  Folder
Daily Construction Reports, October 14-December 27, 1963 16
  Folder
Daily Construction Reports, January 3-March 27, 1964 17
  Folder
Daily Construction Reports, April 3-June 12, 1964 18
  Folder
Daily Construction Reports, June 19-September 4, 1964 19
  Folder
Weekly Construction Reports, October 19, 1962-October 4, 1963 20
  Folder
Weekly Construction Reports, October 18, 1963-September 25, 1964 21
  Folder
Monthly Construction Reports, November 14, 1962-August 14, 1964 22

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Series  III. University of Pittsburgh 

Scope and Content Notes

This series includes correspondence and memoranda from the University of Pittsburgh concerning the design and construction of the Van de Graaff accelerator building. Also included is the initial project proposal, as well as several subsequent proposals for equipment and upgrades. This series also contains drawings for several pieces of equipment utilized in the building and floor plans.

  BoxFolder
Cyclotron Correspondence, March 2, 1947-August 29, 1956 223
  Folder
Grants and Proposals (AEC, NSF) October 17, 1959-May 4, 1962 24
  Folder
Van de Graaff Accelerator Proposal, March 1, 1960 25
  Folder
Supplement to Van de Graaff Accelerator Proposal, November 1, 1960 26
  Folder
David Halliday Correspondence, November 1, 1960-April 24, 1961 27
  Folder
Congressional and National Science Foundation Support Correspondence, May 2, 1961-April 2, 1962 28
  Folder
Memoranda, November 16, 1961-July 18, 1962 29
  Folder
Van de Graaff Expenses and Progress Reports, 1961-1962 30
  Folder
Van de Graaff Construction Organization Charts, February 12-September 23, 1963 31
  Folder
Correspondence and Dedication, April 3, 1962-May 6, 1966 32
  Folder
Correspondence, August 15, 1962-February 5, 1963 33
  Folder
Correspondence, October 26, 1962-July 8, 1964 34
  Folder
Correspondence, City of Pittsburgh, December 3, 1962-June 21, 1963 35
  Folder
Blasting Notices, December 14, 1962-January 7, 1963 36
  Folder
Correspondence, February 8-July 31, 1963 37
  Folder
Proposal for Equipment Grant, April 8, 1963 38
  Folder
Correspondence, City of Pittsburgh, June 28, 1963-May 29, 1964 39
  Folder
Correspondence, August 7-December 30, 1963 40
  Folder
Foreign Correspondence, September 13, 1963-January 2, 1964 41
  Folder
Correspondence, January 2-December 14, 1964 42
  Folder
Neutral Source Test Notes, January 9-10, 1964 43
  Folder
Correspondence, February 5-June 29, 1964 44
  BoxFolder
Maintenance and Operating Instructions, May 15, 1964 31
  Folder
Correspondence, July 2, 1964-March 5, 1966 2
  Folder
Door Design, January 15, 1962-October 28, 1963 3
  Folder
Van de Graaff Building Costs and Layouts, March 14-16, 1962 4
  Folder
Electrical, Heating, and Cooling Calculations, June 28-August 21, 1962 5
  Folder
Beam Drawings, November 12, 1962-February 29, 1963 6
  Folder
Electrical Information, November 21, 1962-February 17, 1964 7
  Folder
Architectural Designs, December 14, 1962-December 11, 1963 8
  Folder
Architectural Drawings, December 17, 1962-January 27, 1963 9
  Folder
Electric/Power Supply, December 21, 1962-March 14, 1963 10
  Folder
Van de Graaff Building Floor Plans, December 31, 1962 11
  Folder
Architectural and Mechanical Drawings, January 1-August 2, 1963 12
  Folder
Lockset Designs, January 7, 1963 13
  Folder
Architectural Designs, January 11-February 15, 1963 14
  Folder
Architectural Diagrams, January 23-March 27, 1963 15
  Folder
Final Approved Design, January 24, 1963 16
  Folder
Sheet Metal Designs, January 29-April 9, 1963 17
  Folder
Architectural and Mechanical Drawings, February 28-April 22, 1963 18
  Folder
Schedule of Yale Hardware, April 1, 1963 19
  Folder
Lighting Fixtures, September 11-16, 1963 20
  Folder
Job Memorandums (1-7), May 2, 1961-March 5, 1962 21
  Folder
Job Memorandums (8-14), April 2-September 10, 1962 22
  Folder
Instructions to Bidders (Sections 1-14), June 22, 1962 23
  Folder
Instructions to Bidders (Sections 15-39), June 22, 1962 24
  Folder
Instructions to Bidders (Sections 41-54), June 22, 1962 25
  Folder
Instructions to Bidders (Sections 55-70), June 22, 1962 26
  Folder
Instructions to Bidders (Sections 80-85), June 22, 1962 27
  Folder
Concrete Test Papers, December 4, 1962-February 14, 1963 28
  Folder
Concrete Test Papers, February 18-July 27, 1963 29
  Folder
Concrete Test Papers, July 27-October 21, 1963 30
  Folder
Concrete Test Papers, October 22, 1963-May 8, 1964 31
  Volume
Proposal for the Conversion of the Pittsburgh 18 MeV Van de Graaff into a 24 MeV EN-SUPER-FN Facility, March 1, 1971 1
  Volume
Proposal for Transfer of Army Model FN Tandem Van de Graaff Accelerator to University of Pittsburgh Nuclear Physics Laboratory, March 1, 1974 2

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Series  IV. Contractors 

Scope and Content Notes

This series includes correspondence and progress reports from several contractors and equipment suppliers used during the construction of the Van de Graaff accelerator building. Also included are equipment catalogs from several companies considered during the bidding process.

  BoxFolder
George A. Fuller Company Correspondence, October 26, 1962-May 13, 1963 332
  Folder
George A. Fuller Company Correspondence, May 14, 1963-August 13, 1964 33
  Folder
George A. Fuller Company Progress Report, November 1, 1962-February 1, 1963 34
  Folder
George A. Fuller Company Progress Report, April 1-July 1, 1963 35
  Folder
George A. Fuller Company Monthly Progress Report, August 2-November 1, 1963 36
  Folder
George A. Fuller Company Monthly Progress Report, December 5, 1963-March 2, 1964 37
  Folder
George A. Fuller Company and Limbach Maintenance and Operating Instructions 38
  Folder
Limbach Correspondence, March 8-September 30, 1963 39
  Folder
Ackenheil & Associates Inc. Correspondence, November 2, 1962-May 15, 1963 40
  Folder
Ackenheil & Associates Inc. Architectural Diagrams, October 31, 1962-February 15, 1963 41
  Folder
Ackenheil & Associates Inc. Architectural Diagrams, March 4-April 2, 1963 42
  Folder
Tuttle & Bailey Grille and Diffuser Schedule, September 25, 1957-November 28, 1962 43
  Folder
Equipment Catalogs 44
  Folder
Equipment and Product Catalogs 45

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