[Sullivan, May 2006]
Sullivan, 2006. (Photo courtesy of Sullivan)

[Cover of Sullivan's book 2009, Cosmic Noise]
Sullivan's Cosmic Noise, Cambridge University Press, 2009


Papers of Woodruff T. Sullivan III

Finding Aid to the Papers of Woodruff T. Sullivan III.

Professor Woodruff T. Sullivan IIIís book, Cosmic Noise: A History of Early Radio Astronomy, was published in 2009 by Cambridge University Press. Sullivan's book covers the history of radio astronomy through 1953, and represents 30 years of intensive research by him. In 2010 Sullivan donated to the NRAO Archives the 188 audio tapes and related paper files for the extensive set of interviews he conducted between 1971 and 1988 with 255 radio astronomers around the world, many of whom are now deceased. The remainder of his research materials on radio astronomy history will be donated to the NRAO Archives in the future. In Appendix B to his book, Sullivan writes, "The goal of the interview project was to talk to everyone who had published at least one article in the field of radio astronomy before 1960.... I wanted to talk not just to the 'generals,' but also to the foot soldiers, the 'average' early radio astronomers.... Over the period 1971-88 (but mostly 1973-81) I interviewed a total of 255 persons." Although coverage in Sullivan's book ends in 1953, a significant portion of his interviews and his other materials illuminates post-1953 radio astronomy history.

All audio tapes have now been digitized and the working files related to the interviews have been processed. Processing of additional materials will continue as they are received from Sullivan. For more detailed information about materials and availability, contact the NRAO Archivist. The NRAO Archives acknowledges with thanks the 2011 Pollock Award from Dudley Observatory, which funded digitization of the 255 audio-taped interviews of 20th century radio astronomers and the creation of related Web pages.

Modified on Wednesday, 11-Jan-2012 10:40:20 EST by Ellen Bouton, Archivist (Questions or feedback)