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Collection Overview

Smyth, Charles Phelps, 1895-1990
Charles Phelps Smyth Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
16 boxes and 9.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-16


Consists of the papers of Princeton chemistry professor Charles Phelps Smyth.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of works of Smyth, his professional correspondence, copies of doctoral dissertations by his graduate students, miscellaneous material, and printed matter. His works include autograph and typed manuscripts, with graphs, diagrams, and galley proofs, of two books, Dielectric Constant and Molecular Structure (1931) and Dielectric Behavior and Structure (1955), a manuscript on the life and accomplishments of Peter J. W. Debye for the Dictionary of Scientific Biography, and miscellaneous material about these works. In addition, there are many offprints of his articles that appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the American Journal of Science, and the Journal of Chemical Physics.



Collection Creator Biography:

Smyth, Charles Phelps, 1895-1990

Charles Phelps Smyth, a graduate of Princeton in 1916, joined the University faculty in 1920. He became associate professor of chemistry in 1927 and professor in 1938. During World War II, Smyth worked on the atomic bomb for the Manhattan District Project, and served during the last months of the war with a scientific intelligence unit, Alsos Mission, near the front lines in Europe. He received the Medal of Freedom from the U.S. Army for his mission achievements. Smyth's chemical research was directed toward increased knowledge of the structure of matter. He was associate editor of the Journal of Chemical Physics (1933-1936, 1952-1954), published over 300 articles in scientific books and journals, and authored two books: Dielectric Constant and Molecular Structure (1931) and Dielectric Behavior and Structure (1955). He died in 1990.

Collection History


Gift of the author. Additions are a gift of Mrs. Emily Camp.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

The contents list was compiled by Jerome Jackson in July 2010.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Charles Phelps Smyth Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-16

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