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Arthur Williams Wright papers

Call Number: MS 1860

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of materials written and/or collected by Arthur Williams Wright, primarily his writings and notes on scientific topics, such as meteorite analysis.


  • 1755-1876


Conditions Governing Access

Due to the physical nature of the letterbook in box 2, staff supervision is required.

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Barbara Hoblitzelle Newell, 2005.


The papers are arranged by type of material.

Associated Materials

Natural Sciences Manuscript Collection (MS 583), Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.


0.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of materials written and/or collected by Arthur Williams Wright, primarily his writings and notes on scientific topics, such as meteorite analysis.

Biographical / Historical

Arthur Williams Wright was born on September 8, 1836, in Lebanon, Connecticut. He received his Yale College B.A in 1859 and his Ph.D. in 1861, the year Yale became the first American university to award this degree. He served as a Yale College tutor in Latin from 1863 to 1866 and in natural philosophy from 1866 to 1868. Wright was an instructor in physics from 1867 to 1868. He furthered his studies with a year at Heidelberg and Berlin. In 1871, he was appointed professor of molecular physics and chemistry at Yale, and in 1878, professor of experimental physics, a position he held until his retirement in 1906. In addition to his academic appointments, Wright was a consultant to the U. S. Signal Service, 1881-1886; the Annual Assay Commission in 1887; and a member of the party sent out by the United States Naval Observatory in the summer of 1878 to observe the total eclipse of the sun. In 1876, he observed for the first time the occurrence of gases in stony meteorites, analyzed them as those of iron meteorites, and investigated their spectra and the relation of these to the spectra of comets. Following the discovery of X-rays in 1895, he was the first American to obtain results from using X-rays. Wright was married to Susan Forbes Silliman. He died in New Haven on December 19, 1915. The Arthur W. Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory on the Yale campus is named for him.
Guide to the Arthur Williams Wright Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Christopher Geissler and William Massa
August 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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