Manuscript holdings include the collections of eminent professors and alumni whose developments changed the world, such as “Father of Modern Rocketry” Robert H. Goddard (WPI 1908), noted John Deere engineer and designer Theo Brown (WPI 1901), and NASA engineer Richard Whitcomb (WPI 1943).  Collections related to the WPI curriculum include collections relating to Fire Protection Engineering (WPI offers one of the country’s few Fire Protection Engineering degrees) including the Duane Pearsall papers (developer of the home smoke detector), and Howard W. Emmons papers (Harvard professor and “Father of Modern Fire Safety”). 

The Worcester Industrial History Collection comprises the archives of important Worcester-based and family-owned companies (such as The Morgan Construction Company, Woodbury and Company, and the Crompton Knowles Loom Works) established in the mid-nineteenth century, contributing to Worcester’s development as a leading industrial city. The men who founded these companies were prominent leaders in Worcester County and Massachusetts and were instrumental in the development of WPI or products of WPI education.

  • Albert Anderson Collection on Rockwell Kent, 1919-1982

    This collection is comprised of drawings and articles by Rockwell Kent, illustrations for various publications, articles about him, reviews of his work, exhibit and booksellers' catalogs, lists of his work by his biographer, and two photographs.

  • Frederick Anderson Papers, 1938-1982

    The Frederick Anderson Papers include course materials from courses he taught as a professor in Mechanical Engineering, as well as undergraduate coursework, thesis paper, speeches, and personal correspondence.

  • Harold S. Black Papers, 1940-1963 (bulk)

    The paper consists of notes, articles and research relating to the Negative Feedback Theory; a series of presentation, speeches, and lectures; research notes and photographs and slides relating Bell Laboratories; patent information; biographical information and personal correspondence; miscellaneous reports, publications, and research notes. 

    View the papers here.

  • Josh Brandt Video Game Collection, 1983-2002

    This collection contains over 100 PC games ranging from 1983 to 2002. The games have been kept in good condition and most are contained in the original box or case. The PC games span all genres and are playable on Macintosh, Windows, or both. There are also guides for some of the games, and game-related T-shirts.

  • Bernard Brenner Sculpture Collection

    This collection is comprised of 73 sculptures created by Bernard Brenner, plus Mr. Brenner's paper archives. These include photographs of many of Mr. Brenner's sculptures besides those given to WPI, sketchbooks, drawings and paintings, computer-generated art, and news articles and publications about Mr. Brenner's work.

  • Theo Brown Diaries, 1893-1971

    Theo Brown was a noted John Deere engineer and a member of the WPI Class of 1901. From 1893 to 1971, Brown kept an extensive series of diaries -- 65 volumes, approximately 24,000 pages -- detailing his career at Deere, his day-to-day family life, and the events of his time.

  • Thomas Card Camera Collection

    This camera collection was donated by the late Colonel Thomas B. Card in 1978, who attended WPI from 1916-1917. The camera collection items range in production dates, from the 1840s through the 1970s. The collection includes cameras, a photograph enlarger, lenses, shutters, colored lens filters, lens adapters, flash light bulbs, camera accessories, and camera parts.

  • E. Waldemar Carlson Papers, 1929-1959

    The documents in this collection are primarily records involving the work done at the Bryton Chemical Plant, run by E Waldemar Carlson.

  • Edward N. Clarke Papers, 1951-2012

    Papers of Dr. Edward N. Clarke, co-founder of National Semiconductor Corporation and Director of Research, Associate Dean of Faculty and Director of the Center for Solar Energy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The largest amount of material relates to Dr. Clarke's work in the semiconductor field, including inventions, papers and presentations and work at National Semiconductor Corporation; and his work on solar projects at WPI.

  • Arthur C. Comins Papers (Gompei Kuwada Correspondence), 1893-1941, 1945-1949

    Almost all of the letters in this collection were written by Gompei Kuwada, but there are a few notes from his wife, Katsuko, and there are a few letters by Arthur Comins (generally copies of letters Comins sent to Kuwada), and a few to or by other people throughout the collection. At the end are letters sent to Arthur Comins by other people, almost all Japanese men. Quite a few times, Kuwada sent friends and associates to the Comins with letters of introduction, and the Comins entertained them. The collection also contains photographs, many postcards, and other items, including brochures, newspaper articles and pages with four-leaf clovers. Some pages contain sketches done by Kuwada.

  • Zelotes Coombs Papers, 1915-1928

    The Zelotes Coombs Papers contain drafts and finished writing for his unpublished book "The History of Worcester Polytechnic Institute." The history he describes ends by the late 1920s.

  • Jeffrey Cote Worcester History Collection, 1778-1998

    This collection is comprised of many Worcester documents from the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries, including company records and an 1803 Almanac printed by Isaiah Thomas. It includes hundreds of Worcester postcards, some Worcester maps, and various historical objects.

  • Crompton and Knowles Loom Works, 1829-1951

    A collection from the mid 1800s to 1951 that pertains to the following loom companies and their owners: Crompton Loom Works, Knowles Loom Works, Crompton and Knowles Loom Works, George Crompton, L.J. Knowles.

  • A. Wilmer Duff Collection, 1864-1951

    This collection includes correspondence to and from A. Wilmer Duff, WPI professor of physics from 1893 to 1936.

  • Mark Eldredge Papers

    Mark Eldredge's papers cover his career from 1907 to the 1950s. They also include letters and articles from his time in California, after his retirement.

  • Howard W. Emmons Papers, 1931-1998

    Howard Emmons, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Harvard University for forty years, was a leader in fire research and fire safety science in the second half of the 20th Century. This collection includes his papers and reports, including reports of the Home Fire Project, and papers and reports by others in the fire safety science field.

  • Robert D. Fellman Collection on Dickens

    Collection includes books, original books in parts, original letters, illustrations and memorabilia by and related to Charles Dickens, as well as materials by and about Robert Fellman.

  • Alfred W. Francis Papers, 1924-1970

    The Alfred W. Francis Papers contain scientific papers, patents, thesis, and books, as well as some news articles about the author, who was a chemical engineer.

  • David and Maria Gitin Collection, 1968-1973

    The collection includes correspondence to David and Maria Gitin from various writers and editors. There is a mix of both personal and professional correspondence. There are also many drafts of poems and a few manuscripts sent to Gitin to read through.

  • Allan Glazer Collection - Lunar Leg

    The lunar "leg" was made by Honematic Machine Corporation, a Worcester company founded by Allan Glazer in 1956 to machine and shape parts as well as produce precision surfaces on metal parts. Honematic made thin-walled cylinders as part of the four primary struts, or legs, of the Lunar Module (LM). Honematic was a subcontractor to Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, which designed and assembled the LM for NASA. The cylinders were made of a lightweight aluminum alloy known as alloy 7178. This collection contains the inner landing gear cylinder prototype for the Lunar Module for Apollo 11, which landed on the moon in 1969.

  • Dwight Goddard Papers, 1896-1993

    This collection contains materials by and about Dwight Goddard, Class of 1881. It includes some of Goddard's writings, both on engineering and Buddhism (more can be found in the library's collections), an engineering notebook, photocopies of letters to family, biographical information and tributes to Goddard, and genealogical information.

  • Robert H. and Esther Goddard Collection, 1904-1943

    Robert Goddard, often called the "Father of Modern Rocketry," graduated from WPI in 1908, a general science major. About half of this collection is comprised of Robert Goddard's papers, from his undergraduate days and later. Most of the rest of the collection is made up of articles about him and recognition of various kinds for his work.

  • Rick Goodman Video Game Collection, 2002-2005

    The collection consists of .25 linear feet of game design documents, dating from 2002 to 2005. The material outlines various game themes, characters, strategies, and art design developed by Stainless Steel Studios. The collection was donated by Rick Goodman who was the founder of Stainless Steel Studios, a videogame design and development company

  • A. Frederick Griffin Collection

    A. Frederick Griffin, who graduated from WPI in 1914, was a civil engineer who was in charge of over-all planning of the United States portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway project, as well as other projects for the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Most of the materials in this small collection relate to the St. Lawrence Seaway project. Among them are 8"X10" photographs of the seaway and Mr. Griffin. Also part of the collection is the medal Mr. Griffin received for Exceptional Civilian Service from the War Department.

  • Jacob Hagopian Papers, 1935-1998

    The papers is primarily a record of Jacob J. Hagopian's professional work at IBM from 1958 to 1984; some materials range from 1935-1998.

  • Thom Hammond Papers, 1959-1987

    The Thom Hammond Papers contain correspondence regarding various committees and projects he was supervising, course materials, committee minutes, memos regarding competitions students participated in, and personal correspondence. Hammond's drafting tools are also included.

  • Robert J. Harvey Collection

    Robert J. Harvey received his Ph.D. from WPI in biomedical engineering in 1970. Records in this collection are related to two companies he founded or co-founded make up the largest part of the collection: Miralin, the "miracle fruit," and Thoratec, maker of the LVAD, left ventricular assist device, where he was CEO from 1976-1996.

  • Suzanne Richardson Harvey Papers

    Collection consists of published and unpublished poetry and writing, photographs and recordings, residence fellow files, teaching and professional file, and ephemera of Suzanne Richardson Harvey.

  • Higgins Family Papers

    Papers and photographs of three generations of the Higgins family: Millton P. Higgins, first superintendent of WPI's Washburn Shops and one of the founders of Norton Company; his son Aldus, President of Norton Company and owner of WPI's Higgins House; and Aldus's son Milton P. Higgins II, also President of Norton Company and a life member of WPI's Board of Trustees.

  • Carle W. Highberg Papers, 1940-2006

    This collection documents Carle W. Highberg's (WPI Class of 1944) work on super-abrasives. He was instrumental in the development of lineless bifocal lenses and safety glass for automobiles and gun turrets of airplanes.

  • Leslie J. Hooper Papers, 1927-1977

    The Leslie J. Hooper papers span the years 1927-1977. The primary parts of the collection include Mr. Hooper's correspondence with various institutions, his work and tests he did for various companies.

  • Betty Hoskins Papers, 1967-2012

    Betty Hoskins was the first female tenure-track professor at WPI. Major topics in this collection include the WPI Plan, the Life Sciences and Synthetic Biology, Teaching and Learning initiatives, and the introduction of women students and faculty.

  • James Forest Howe Papers

    James Howe graduated from WPI in 1899 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and later, in 1906 he received an advanced degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation in 1899, he entered the engineering department of the American Steel and Wire Company and became the superintendent of the wire Rope Department. In 1906, he became chief engineer and held this position until his retirement in 1945. He was recognized as the foremost authority of wire ropes for suspension bridges and a method of measuring bridge ropes and cables with great accuracy. This collection consists of Howe's personal papers ranging in date from his college years around the late 1890s to the mid 1940s.

  • Chester Moore Inman Scrapbook

    Scrapbook of photographs taken or collected by Chester Moore Inman, WPI 1914, Mechanical Engineering Instructor, 1921-1922, in 1913 and 1914. Scrapbook includes photographs of students, faculty, buildings, travels in New England, and campus events. It also includes photographs taken after Inman's graduation in 1914.

  • Iron Lore Entertainment Collection, 2006

    Most of the materials in this collection are from around 2006 and relate to the Titan Quest video game. There are also three cardboard stand-ups, for the Age of Empires and Age of Mythology. Mr. Sullivan also gave many gaming magazines, from 1994-2008.

  • George N. Jeppson Papers, 1879-1911 (bulk)

    Most of the papers in this collection are records of Norton Company. Mr. Jeppson was General Manager of Norton for many years, then treasurer, president, and chairman of the board.

  • Bernard Jonas Collection

    This collection contains materials of Riley Stoker Company, where Mr. Jonas worked and also catalogs from the 1930s to the early 1960s. Many of them relate to turbines, piping, boilers and building products.

  • David Lucht Papers

    These are papers of David Lucht, the first director of the Center for Fire Safety Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1978-2004). They include course notes from his undergraduate courses in fire protection engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, 1961-1965. Also included are papers by Professor Lucht and articles about him.

  • Gleason H. MacCullough Collection, 1915-1955

    The largest part of this collection comes from MacCullough’s work on his textbook Elements of Strength of Materials and course material related to the topic of Strength of Materials. Other parts of the collection contain material of Mechanical Engineering courses given by MacCullough at WPI, lecture notes and problems gathered by MacCullough while he attended the University of Michigan, reports by MacCullough largely focusing on materials and material science.

  • Herman Medwin Collection, 1953-2006

    This collection is composed primarily of awards and memorabilia of Herman Medwin, who graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1941 and was an acoustical oceanographer. Mr. Medwin was also a violinist and provided an endowment and scholarship for a string chamber ensemble at WPI and for string musicians.

  • Steve Meretzky Video Game Collection, 1983-1997

    This collection contains PC games donated by Steve Meretkzy. The games include those which he designed, and span from 1983 to 1997. Steve Meretzky is an American computer game designer and is best known for creating some of the famous Infocom games in the early 1980's. In September 1999, PC Gamer magazine named Meretzky as one of their twenty-five "Game Gods"; those who have made an indelible mark on the history of computer gaming.

  • George G. Meyer Manufacturing Company, 1908-1979

    Jim Maloney graduated from WPI in 1946 and spent 45 years with the George J. Meyer Manufacturing Company. This collection includes brochures, pamphlets, and booklets from the Geo. J. Meyer Manufacturing Co. and many other companies specializing in the manufacture of bottling machinery including cleaners, fillers, and pasteurizers.

  • Morgan Construction Company Records, 1881-2008

    Correspondence, administrative papers, media and ephemera relating to the steel mill construction firm, Morgan Construction Company.

  • Charles H. Morgan Papers, 1852-1909

    This collection consists primarily of diaries and journals which Mr. Morgan kept, from 1852-1909. Most of the information contained in the diaries relates to Mr. Morgan's businesses including Washburn & Moen wire mills and Morgan Construction Company.

  • Harold Osterberg Papers, 1949-2007

    Almost the entire collection is comprised of class notes and a manuscript of Harold Osterberg, for courses Dr. Osterberg taught at American Optical Company in the 1950s. There are also a few pages of notes made by Alan Carlan. At the end of the collection are a copy of a letter from Audrey Carlan to the 2007 reunion chair, Mike Stephens, and photocopies of articles about the Carlans.

  • Duane Pearsall Collection, 1943-2010

    This collection includes business and personal records of Duane Pearsall, developer of the home smoke detector. Records of Statitrol, the smoke detector company Mr. Pearsall founded, plus records of committees and organizations promoting Small Business, are part of the collection. Also included are prototypes and models of smoke detectors.

  • Quabbin Reservoir Collection, 1927-1989

    The Quabbin Reservoir Collection contains over 140 photographs taken during the construction of the reservoir that capture different aspects of the process. Also included in the collection are many miscellaneous literature/items regarding the Quabbin Reservoir, including maps, wildlife and recreation pamphlets, calendars, newspaper articles, original construction Contracts, and newsletters.

  • Leroy Norman Reeve Collection, 1906-1978

    Leroy Norman Reeve's collection includes professional reports, publications, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, photographs and correspondence. Leroy Norman Reeve, Class of 1906, assisted in the design and supervision of power and flood control dams at Yellowstone as well as the Hog Island Shipyard. Reeve later joined the Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation where he designed the Conowingo Dam and hydroelectric power plant on the Susquewana River. He worked in Japan during the 1920s for the Shogawa Hydroelectric Company and the Musashi Engineering Corporation.

  • Roys Family Collection

    This collection is comprised of materials of Francis Roys, WPI Class of 1909 and WPI professor, dean and acting President of WPI; and his son, Alden Roys, WPI Class of 1940 and laboratory instructor at WPI. It includes Francis Roys' unpublished history of WPI.

  • Joseph D. Sage Papers, 1957-1994 (bulk)

    This collection contains the papers of Joseph D. Sage, a Professor of Civil Engineering at WPI. Of particular note are papers written by Professor Sage and notes and reports of many Civil Engineering projects he worked on.

  • Salisbury Family Papers, 1811-1928

    The Salisbury Family Papers contain materials of three generations of Stephen Salisburys. Most materials are from Stephen Salisbury II and Stephen Salisbury III relating to their work as president of the Corporation. Other items include deeds and land transfers to WPI and to the Chaffinsville Mill section of Holden.

  • Christopher Sotak Papers, 1984-2009 (bulk)

    Papers of Professor Christopher H. Sotak, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at WPI, who was a pioneer in the medical use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, especially in treatment of stroke and cancer.

  • Donald W. Taylor Papers, 1934-1955

    All of the materials in the collection relate to Donald Taylor's professional life. Taylor worked for the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light, Edward F. Miner Building Co. in Worcester, and New England Power Co. In 1938 he became Assistant Professor of Soil Mechanics at MIT. He received his Master's Degree from MIT in 1942, and was appointed Associate Professor of Soil Mechanics in 1944.

  • Mildred M. Tymeson Papers, 1962-1994

    The primary components of this collection revolve around Mrs. Tymeson's research for her books, The Two Towers and The Norton Story.

  • Video Game Collection

    This collection includes early game systems and games as well as computer games. Many of these materials were given to the WPI Archives in 2005 and 2006, around the time Gordon Library hosted a Video Game traveling exhibit from Stanford University.

  • Icabod Washburn Papers, 1865-1978

    The Ichabod Washburn Papers contain bills, receipts, and accounting relating to the building of Washburn Shops, as well as biographical materials.

  • Richard T. Whitcomb Collection, 1954-1980

    This collection contains papers and articles by and about Richard T. Whitcomb, NASA engineer who invented the Area Rule, Supercritical Wing and Winglets, all designed for planes to use less fuel and fly faster. The collection also includes many awards given to Dr. Whitcomb, including the National Medal of Science.

  • Woodbury & Co. Collection, 1882-2001

    This collection contains company records and products made by Woodbury and Company of Worcester, Massachusetts, which produced fine letterhead stationery from the early 20th century to the early 21st Century. Woodbury focused particularly on "bird's eye views" of factories, and the collection includes many prints and 60 original detailed drawings.

  • Worcester Engineering Society Collection, 1927-1989

    A substantial part of this collection contains information on candidates for the Admiral Ralph Earle Award. Much of the rest of the collection is comprised of financial records. There are also many WES Bulletins (newsletter), as well as meeting minutes, news clippings, and other materials related to the history and operation of the WES.