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Henry W. Kendall papers

Identifier: MC-0550

Scope and Contents

The collection documents the professional activites of Henry W. Kendall between the approximate years of 1961 to 1997.

Materials include: reports, correspondence, notes, articles, and administrative files.


  • circa 1961-1997


Access note

Materials in this collection are open unless they are marked as restricted. Restrictions are noted in the container list.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Biographical Note

Henry Way Kendall, 1926-1999, was Julius A. Stratton Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Kendall earned a BA in 1950 from Amherst College. He received a PhD in Physics from MIT in 1955. From 1956 to 1961, he worked as a researcher at Stanford University. Kendall joined the faculty at MIT in 1961 and became associate professor of physics in 1963. He became full professor in 1967 and Julius A. Stratton Professor of Physics in 1991. Kendall, Jerome Friedman of MIT, and Richard Taylor of Stanford, received the 1990 Nobel Prize in physics. They conducted experiments together at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), 1967-1973. The results they gathered by aiming electrons at protons and bound neutrons helped confirm the existence of sub-particles known as quarks. (1)

Kendall also took an interest in the environmental impact of science and policy. In 1969, Kendall helped found the Union of Concerned Scientists and served as chairman from 1973 until his death in 1999. Kendall received the Bertrand Russell Society Award in 1982. He became a member of the National Academy of Science in 1992. Kendall was also an avid diver and nature photographer. His collection of Arctic and Expeditionary Photographs were exhibited at the MIT Museum in 1992. (2)

1. James D. Bjorken et al., “Henry Way Kendall,” National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs, 2009,

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Reports to the President for the Year Ended June 30, 1992, Reports to the President,


14 Cubic Feet (14 record cartons)

Language of Materials



Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Transfer List to the Papers of Henry W. Kendall
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Revision Statements

  • July 20, 2020: Biographical note by Grace Johnson-DeBaufre added to description.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
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Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US