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The Frank J. Malina Collection at the California Institute of Technology : guide to a microfiche edition

Goodstein, Judith R. and Bugé, Carol H. (1986) The Frank J. Malina Collection at the California Institute of Technology : guide to a microfiche edition. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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Additional Information:History of the Collection and Acknowledgments: Frank J. Malina, aerospace engineer and rocketry pioneer, co-founded the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology [GALCIT] Rocket Research Project and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory [JPL], and served as Director of the Laboratory for two years, 1944-1946. When he died in 1981, Malina left more than 25,000 items in his home relating to his scientific career, including personal letters, reports, notes, manuscript material, and reprints relating to his scientific career. In addition, Malina left records that shed light on his career as an artist and founding editor of the art journal, Leonardo. The Institute's project to arrange, describe, and microfiche the Frank Malina papers traces its roots to discussions in 1981 with Bruce C. Murray, who was then director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Roger Malina, Frank's son, and Caltech Archivist Judith R. Goodstein. In fall 1982, following a preliminary appraisal of the collection in his home in Boulogne sur Seine, a suburb of Paris, France, the first installment of the Malina aeronautical papers, 153 pounds of records, arrived in Pasadena; the second installment, airfreighted from Paris in summer 1983, added an additional 275 pounds. By December 1984, the contents of 42 manuscript boxes, representing an estimated 40,000 original records, had been reproduced on 491 microfiche cards. While visiting Mrs. Marjorie Malina in Paris in summer 1984, Daniel J. Boorstin, the Librarian of Congress, unexpectedly found additional papers in a gardener's shed on the property. Primarily correspondence, much of the new material complemented the existing collection. From the twelve cartons received, the archives staff culled four boxes of extraneous and marginal materials, (primarily letters from distant relatives, many of them in Czech), and organized and filmed the balance. The supplemental records added eight manuscript boxes and 128 microfiche cards to the Malina collection. As planned, Mrs. Marjorie Duckworth Malina gave the original collection to the Library of Congress in 1984. Literary rights to the unpublished writings of Frank J. Malina in these papers in the Library of Congress and in the microfiche edition have been dedicated to the public. However, users of the collection are advised that Mrs. Malina has retained exclusive rights to such writings for her lifetime. This booklet and the microfiche edition of the Frank J. Malina Papers were made possible through a grant from the JPL Director's Discretionary Fund. To make these papers available to researchers, one copy of the microfiche edition is housed in the Caltech archives; the master set is stored at JPL. The microfiche edition of the Malina Papers is also available for purchase as a complete set. Applications to consult the archives' copy, orders for the purchase of the microfiche, and requests for copies of the Guide should be addressed to: Institute Archives, Caltech, Pasadena, California 91125. The editors thank Marjorie, Roger, and Alan Malina for their gracious hospitality, and assistance in locating, sorting, and identifying family papers in Paris and in Pasadena; Bruce Murray for his enthusiasm and encouragement in planning the work; Lorna Sprude for typing the Guide; Leela Wood and Marcia Goodstein for their help in preparing the papers for filming and checking the microfiche; and Margie Fea, Pat Fleming, J.M. Fischer, Marysha Cleary and R.T. Chandler at JPL for their technical assistance in bringing the microfiche edition of the Malina collection to a successful completion. Special thanks are due to Glenn Brudvig for his administrative support. Notes on Use of the Collection: The microfiche edition of the Frank J. Malina collection spans the years 1912 to 1981, but the core of the collection consists of notes on rocket propulsion, early technical papers, manuscripts, and reports dealing with jet propulsion and rocket projectiles, Aerojet correspondence and documents, files from his Caltech graduate student days, and correspondence with individuals and organizations. Malina played a central role in the development of rocketry in the United States from the mid-1930s through the mid-1940s, and in the development of rocket research in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] countries later on. He also played a pivotal role in the founding of the International Academy of Astronautics and worked closely with that organization, as well as the International Astronautical Federation, for many years. A history buff, Malina collected a wide range of primary source materials relating to the original GALCIT Rocket Research Project and the early history of JPL. In 1953, Malina started a new career. As an artist, his interest lay in the relationship between art, science, and technology. He began by using non-traditional media, such as electric cables, to define lines. As his style evolved, Malina joined others in exploring a new art form called kinetic art -- a form unusual in its emphasis on color, light, and movement. The titles he gave his pieces sometimes revealed Malina's scientific training, as in "Passing Planets" and "Preparation for Launching Rocket." Other times, the titles reflected more simply the world around him, for example, "Three Boats," and "Painting of Three Women." He often displayed his work, and sold pieces to friends and to various institutions. Malina's works can be found in the permanent collections of the Musee d'Art National (Paris), the National Gallery (Prague), the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.) and UNESCO (Paris).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
JPL Director's Discretionary FundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:History
Record Number:CaltechBOOK:1986.002
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Usage Policy:You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format.
ID Code:25015
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechBOOK
Deposited On:14 Jul 2008 17:08
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:01

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