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Richard Shelton Kirby papers

Call Number: MS 1104

Scope and Contents

The papers of Richard Shelton Kirby reflect his interest in the history of engineering. A small amount of correspondence with other authors and engineers is included which deals with research questions and comments on engineering issues in their books. The only extended correspondence is with the Egyptologist Ludlow S. Bull (folder 2) concerning engineering in ancient Egypt, and with Kirby's co-authors of Engineering in History, Arthur B. Darling, Frederick G. Kilgour, and Sidney Withington (folder 4). Other letters from friends and colleagues are bound with photographs and newspaper clippings in a retirement volume dedicated to Kirby. An address delivered at his retirement dinner is also included. A number of certificates and diplomas can be found in the folio. There are also four letters addressed to Kirby's father, James Andrew Kirby, concerning a right-of-way and a contract for grading Westchester Avenue in Rye, New York (folder 1).

The remainder of the papers, amounting to two-thirds of the collection, consists of six short writings by Kirby on the history of engineering and research materials used for the most part in preparing Engineering in History, which was published in 1956. Included are notes, photostats, newspaper clippings and other printed matter, and an index card file

Portions of these papers were given to Yale University by Richard Shelton Kirby in the 1940s and 1950s and by Dorothy Hooker in 1970.


  • 1873-1956


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for 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

In part, gift from Richard S. Kirby, 1940s and 1950s, and Dorothy Hooker, 1970.


1.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes, 1 folio)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Correspondence, writings, and research files reflecting Kirby's interest in the history of engineering. Much of the material was gathered in connection with his book, Engineering in History, published in 1956. Important correspondents are Ludlow S. Bull, an Egyptologist, and his co-autors, Arthur B. Darling, Frederick G. Kilgour, and Sidney Withington.

Biographical / Historical

Richard S. Kirby (1874-1964): educator; Ph.B., Yale, 1896; C.E., Yale, 1898; instructor in Sanitary Engineering, 1906-1909, Yale; assistant professor of Mechanical Drawing and Descriptive Geometry, 1915-1922; associate professor of Engineering Drawing, 1922-; chairman of the Department of Engineering Drawing, 1933-.

Guide to the Richard Shelton Kirby Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
February 1983
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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