Skip to main content

Egon Orowan papers

Identifier: MC-0306

  • Staff Only
  • Select item to request

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Collection contains diaries and notebooks describing personal and professional activities; correspondence with various companies, including E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and Boeing Company, for which Orowan consulted; conference papers and lecture notes on mechanical engineering and materials science; reprints of writings, mostly on geology and materials science; and correspondence and patent materials for various innovations and inventions, including a patent for the Enterostomy Appliance, 1959. Also included are 35mm slides and photographic glass plates relating to metallurgy and geology. Series 4 contains drafts and writings labelled "The Aging of Societies," and others concerning the stability of the Western industrial economies, and problems of higher education.


  • Creation: 1929 - 1989


Access note

This collection is open.

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.


Egon Orowan, 1902-1989, received a degree in engineering in 1929 and a doctorate in 1932 from the Technical University of Berlin, where he was an assistant professor until 1933. He came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1950 as visiting professor and was named George Westinghouse Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 1951. After retiring, he was senior lecturer at MIT, 1968-1973. The focus of his research was on the physics of metals including the mechanisms of crystal plasticity, strengthening mechanisms and fracture.


10.45 Cubic Feet (8 record cartons, 5 manuscript boxes, 1 folio, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials




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

Source of Acquisiton

The papers were given to Distinctive Collections (formerly the Institute Archives and Special Collections) in January 1990, March 2019, and March 2021 by Susan Katherine Martin, Orowon's daughter.

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.

Preliminary Inventory to the Papers of Egon Orowan
Ready For Review
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 April 26: Description for accession 2021-021 (boxes 11-14) added by Greta Kuriger Suiter.

Repository Details

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

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