University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the J. Ross Macdonald Papers, 1932-1989



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Macdonald, J. Ross
Title: Macdonald, J. Ross Papers
Dates: 1932-1989
Abstract: The papers of J. Ross Macdonald, author, researcher, and William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics, Emeritus, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, include correspondence, manuscripts of published and unpublished papers and talks, research notes and calculations, consulting and grant-related material, teaching material, and records of student work.
Accession No.: 90-211
Extent: 34 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

James Ross Macdonald, born in 1923, is an author, researcher, and William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics, Emeritus, University of North Carolina. He is a leader in the fields of physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, and electrical engineering, with over 250 articles published. He has worked in research, teaching, and education capacities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Armour Research Foundation, and Texas Instruments, as well as UNC. Macdonald was educated at Williams College, Harvard University, MIT, and Oxford University.

The author of two freely available software programs, GENLS and LEVM/LEVMW, Dr. Macdonald also served as editor and major contributor to the first book published in its field, Impedance Spectroscopy--Emphasizing Solid Materials and Systems (1987). He was also responsible for the development of the Physics Research Laboratory at Texas Instruments, where he served as director of research, 1953-1974. . Though he retired from teaching at UNC in 1989, Macdonald continues his research in physics and electrochemistry.

Source: James Ross Macdonald. "James Ross Macdonald-- William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics, Emeritus, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC." http://www.jrossmacdonald.com/ (accessed June 7, 2010).


Scope and Contents

The J. Ross Macdonald Papers, 1932-1989, consist largely of records of research, teaching, and administration, related to condensed matter physics and electrochemistry, primarily in affiliation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Armour Research Foundation, Texas Instruments, and the University of North Carolina. The papers include correspondence, manuscripts of published and unpublished papers and talks, research notes and calculations, consulting and grant-related material, teaching material, and records of student work.

Items of note in the collection include records of the negotiations on the restructuring of the National Research Council as well as records of the relationship between the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering (ca. 1970-1973). The papers also relate to Macdonald’s involvement with Project Whirlwind, ca. 1950, the development, at MIT, of the first general purpose computer that could be used to control ongoing processes, such as air traffic control or industrial operations.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

These papers are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Macdonald, J. Ross (James Ross), 1923- -- Archives.
Subjects (Organizations)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Armour Research Foundation (U.S.)
Texas Instruments Incorporated
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dept. of Physics
National Research Council (U.S.)
National Academy of Engineering
National Academy of Science
Subjects
Condensed matter--Research--United States
Physics--Industrial applications--History
Physics--Research--United States
Physics--Software
Physics--Study and teaching--United States
Electrochemistry--Research--United States
Electrochemistry--Study and teaching--United States
Places
Chapel Hill (N.C.)
Texas
Boston (Mass.)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

J. Ross Macdonald Papers, 1932-1989, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection is unprocessed. Contact repository for more information.

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

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