Henry W. Kendall Papers

The archive of the papers of Henry Way Kendall, (1926–1999), distinguished nuclear physicist and public interest advocate, contains a variety of materials: published scientific papers, writings on public issues, recordings of speeches, documentation of his scientific research and teaching, transcripts of public testimony, professional correspondence, press coverage, photographs, awards and honors (other than the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics, documented in the Nobel Prize archive), and items related to some of his extracurricular pursuits.

he contents of the general archive of Henry W. Kendall papers fall roughly into three categories: scientific papers and other materials related to his academic and research career as a physicist; articles, speeches and other materials related to environmental causes and other public advocacy, including his leadership of the Union of Concerned Scientists; and a variety of materials reflecting his diverse avocations and pursuits beyond his professional career.


  • Articles in scientific journals authored or co-authored by Henry W. Kendall
  • Ph.D. thesis and related research
  • Records of research at the Stanford Linear Accelerator and other facilities
  • Teaching materials used in his physics courses and other MIT faculty materials
  • Awards, honors and press coverage related to his work in physics, including the W.K.H Panofsky Prize and Nicholson Medal of the American Physical Society

Scientific Advocacy:

  • Articles and reports written by Dr. Kendall or by panels including him, on subjects such as nuclear power plant safety, alternative energy, nuclear arms and disarmament, environmental degradation, climate change, population growth, agriculture and resource management. These include Population, Environment and Resource Problems–A Warning from World Scientists, for the 1994 UN International Conference on Population and Development, and World Scientists’ Call for Action at the Kyoto Climate Summit, 1997. Some drafts, notes and related correspondence.
  • Publications of the Union of Concerned Scientists in which he played a major role, including some background materials for, notes toward and drafts of the articles. These include “The Threat of Nuclear War” (1981) and “Anti-Satellite Weapons: Arms Control or Arms Race?” (1983).
  • Books and book chapters written by Dr. Kendall. These include his posthumously published book A Distant Light: Scientists and Public Policy (2000).
  • Background materials, notes and drafts for speeches, testimony in hearings, and panel presentations. These include a briefing to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Assessment of Clean-Up at Three Mile Island (1980) and the White House Roundtable on Global Climate Change (1997).
  • Files of resources on various issues kept by Dr. Kendall, and some correspondence related to publications on them
  • Press coverage of Dr. Kendall’s role as a scientific expert and advocate, including reports or photographs of speeches, panels and related events
  • Audio and video recordings and transcripts of Kendall presentations
  • Awards and honors for public service and environmental advocacy

Other Activities:

  • Planning materials, records and journals of mountaineering expeditions
  • Logs of diving expeditions
  • Airplane information and pilot logs
  • Files on navigation, photography, amateur radio, travel, skiing, climbing, astronomy, diving and other pursuits
  • Files on inventions, including patent application for High Resolution Phased Array Echo Imager
  • Samples of climbing, diving, ski and photographic equipment
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