James Chipman Fletcher papers, 1933-1992

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Fletcher, James Chipman, 1919-1991
Title
James Chipman Fletcher papers
Dates
1933-1992 (inclusive)
Quantity
182.25 Linear Feet
Collection Number
MS 0202
Summary
The James C. Fletcher papers (1933-1992), cover Fletcher's time as NASA Administrator from 1971-1977, and aspects of this professional life following his departure from NASA in the Carter Administration, and his return to NASA following the Challenger disaster in 1986. He also served as President of the University of Utah.
Repository
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
84112-0860
Telephone: 8015818863
special@library.utah.edu
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Languages
English

Historical NoteReturn to Top

James Chipman Fletcher, born 5 June 1919, in Millburn, New Jersey, attended high school in New York City and received a B.A. in physics from Columbia University in 1940. He served as a research physicist with the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance, and in 1941 became a special research associate at the Cruf Laboratory of Harvard University. He went to Princeton University in 1942 as a teaching fellow and later was an instructor and research physicist.

Under an Eastman Kodak fellowship, Dr. Fletcher received his Ph.D. degree in physics in 1948 from the California Institute of Technology. He joined Hughes Aircraft Company as director of the Theory and Analysis Laboratory in the Electronics Division.

In 1954, Dr. Fletcher joined the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation as an Associate Director and soon became Director of Electronics in the Guided Missile Research Division, later to become Space Technology Laboratories, with responsibility for all United States ICBM's. In July 1958 Dr. Fletcher organized the Space Electronics Corporation with his associate Frank W. Lehan. Space Electronics Corporation merged with the spacecraft division of Aerojet in 1961 to form the Space General Corporation of which Dr. Fletcher was the first president. He later became Chairman of the Boardof Space General and Systems Vice President of the Aerojet General Corporation, where he served until becoming the eighth president of the University of Utah in 1964. Leaving the University after seven years, Dr. Fletcher returned to work with the aerospace industry through the government when he was appointed administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1971. He served in this capacity until 1977. Following the Challenger disaster in 1986, Fletcher assumed once again took up the reigns at NASA and served as administrator from 1986-1989.

Dr. Fletcher served on more than fifty national committees, and as chairman of ten. In March 1967, he was appointed by President Johnson to the President's Science Advisory Committee for a four year term. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, was a Fellow of the IEE and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, Chairman of the Naval Warfare Panel, a Regent of the National Library of Medicine, and on the Visiting Committee of the National Bureau of Standards. He was a member of Sigmi Xi and the recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Service Award of the California Institute of Technology in 1966.

Dr. Fletcher died 22 December 1991.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The James Chipman Fletcher papers consist of records, correspondence, and other documents primarily relating to his tenure as the Administator of NASA, the top position in that organization. Among the items included in Fletcher's papers are his appointment books. These are quite detailed accounts of Dr. Fletcher's meetings, as the books indicate with whom he met, at what time, and for how long. In some cases there is also a brief note on the subject of the discussion.

The bulk of the papers consist of speech and travel information. As NASA Administrator, Dr. Fletcher was called upon frequently to speak at affairs related to the aerospace industry, as well as address the requisite number of graduating classes and service organizations. He also traveled on tours of inspection and was present at various space launches.

For some years, following the speech and travel files, are notes and information from meetings and briefings. Some of these contain formal briefing charts and extensive printed materials on proposed NASA-related programs. In 1975-1977 there appear a number of files dealing with the fiscal year budgets.

Dr. Fletcher's handwritten notes on meetings or general office business are followed by the correspondence files. The general correspondence is filed by date. There are, however, some special subject files, such as those on Soviet Union and United States cooperation, which are filed chronologically within subject. Personal correspondence included with the collection consists of letters or recommendation as well as correspondence with friends.

There are a number of miscellaneous files at the end of each year. These include reports, telephone messages, newspaper clippings, and other similar items. Finally, the requests for autographs from the years 1971-1978 are filed together at the end of the collection.

The memorabilia includes clippings about Dr. Fletcher's appointment, biographies of NASA Austronauts, various certificates, plaques, models, and other items.

Dr. Fletcher's papers from his tenure as president of the University of Utah are housed in the University Archives.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Donated by James C. Fletcher and family (boxes 1-121) in 1992.

Donated by Fletcher family (boxes 122-200) in 2006.

Donated by Stephen and Kelly Fletcher (boxes 201-248) in 2010.

Processing Note

Processed in 1992 by Fletcher's office staff.

Addenda processed by Elizabeth Rogers in 2006.

Addenda processed by Betsey Welland in 2010.

Separated Materials

The photographs and recordings were transferred to the Multimedia Division of Special Collections.

Related Materials

See also the James C. Fletcher Presidential records (ACC 199) located in the University Archives and the William John Todd NASA patch collection located in the Manuscripts Division of Special Collections.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

General FilesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
General Files: April-August
1971
2
General Files: September-November
1971
3
General Files: November-December
1971
4
Correspondence: July-December
1971
5
Miscellaneous Reports
1971
6
Speech and Travel Files
1972
7
Speech and Travel Files
1972
8
Travel Files
1972
9
Correspondence
1972
10
Space Shuttle Correspondence
1972
11
Budgets, Personal Correspondence, Miscellaneous Files
1972
12
Speeches, Introductions, Travels
1973
13
Speeches, Travel
1973
14
Travel
1973
15
Briefings, Meetings
1973
16
Correspondence, Hearings, Notes
1973
17
Correspondence, Space Shuttle, NASA research
1973
18
NASA Files: Research, Personnel, Clippings
1973
19
Appointments, Speeches, Travel
1974
20
Travel
1974
21
Travel
1974
22
NASA Briefings
1974
23
Research Files
1974
24
Correspondence
1974 February-March
25
Correspondence
1974 September-December
26
Clipppings, Notes, Speeches
1974
27
Speeches, Travel
1975
28
Speeches, Travel
1975
29
Travel Files
1975
30
Meetings, Briefings
1975
31
Presentations, Research
1975
32
Reports, Technical Bulletins
1975
33
NASA Fiscal Year Budget
1977
34
Correspondence
1975
35
Correspondence
1975
36
Clippings, Notes, Travel
1976
37
Speeches, Travel
1976
38
Speeches
1976
39
Travel
1976
40
Speeches, NASA Meetings
1976
41
Meetings, Briefings
1976
42
Breifings, Space Shuttle, Research
1976
43
Space Shuttle, Research
1976
44
Subject Files
1976
45
Speeches, Budget
1976-1978
46
Meetings, Budget Planning
1976-1978
47
Notes, Space Policy, Correspondence
1976
48
Correspondence
1976
49
Correspondence
1976
50
Messages, Articles, Remarks
1977
51
Speeches, Travel
1977
52
Speeches, Travel, Meetings
1977
53
Meetings, Briefings, Space Shuttle
1977
54
Appropriations, Correspondnece
1977
55
Personal Correspondence, Resignation from NASA
1977
56
Requests for Autographs
1975-1978
57
Appointment as NASA Administrator
This box includes clippings, certificates, memorbilia, and transparencies from Dr. Fletcher's appointment and confirmation as NASA Administrator.
1971
58
Personal Esatate Information
1987-1988
59
NASA Publications, Aerospace Daily
1986-1987
60
NASA News, Budget, Policy
1982-1988

Current NewsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
61
Current News
1986-1987
62
Current News
1987-1988
63
Current News
1988-1989
64
Current News
1986
65
Current News
1986
66
Current News
1986
67
Current News
1987
68
Current News
1987
69
Current News
1987
70
Current News
1987
71
Current News
1988
72
Current News
1988
73
Current News
1988
74
Current News
1988
75
Current News
1989

Television TranscriptsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
76
Television Transcripts
1987
77
Television Transcripts
1987-1988
78
Television Transcripts
1988
79
Television Transcripts
1988-1989

Subject FilesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box
80
Subject Files: A-C
81
Subject Files: D-U

Personal FilesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
82
Appointment Calendars
1977-1987
83
Correspondence
1983-1986
84
Correspondence, Personal files
1985-1986
85
Calenders, Subject Files-- People
1978-1984
86
Subject Files--People
87
Subject Files--People
88
Subject Files: A-M
88
Subject Files: M-Sa
89
Subject Files: Sn-W
90
NASA Files
1986-1989
91
Retirement Files
92
Biographical Data
1979-1985
93
Financial Records
94
DSB Files
1985-1986
95
DSB General Correspondence
96
DSB Meetings
97
DSB Task Forces
98
DSB Meetings, Task Force
99
Burroughs Consultants, Paoli Meetings
100
Burroughs Consultants Strategic Planning
101
Burroughs Corp. Meetings
102
Burroughs Corp Meetings, People
103
Burroughs Corp Marketing
104
Speeches
1987-1989
105
Speeches
1987-1989
106
Hand-written Notes
1987
107
Hand-written Notes
1987
108
Department of Energy Files
109
Department of Energy Conservation Panel
110
Missile Defense Technologies
111
Energy Research Advisory Board
112
Defense Files--Miscellaneous Reports
113
Defensive Technologies Initiative
114
Institute for Defense Analysis
115
SDI Files
116
SDI Correspondence
117
SDI Meeting
118
Speeches
1986-1989
119
File Listings, Calendars
1986-1989
120
Correspondence
1986-1989
121
Correspondnece, Travel

Subject FilesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
122
Subjects: A-B
123
Subject Files: B-C
124
Subject Files: E-F
125
Subject Files: G-I
126
Subject Files: J-O
127
Subject Files: P-R
128
Subject Files: S
129
Subject Files: Space-Speeches
130
Subject Files: Sr-T
131
Subject Files: U-X
132
NASA Files
1970s
133
Presidential and NASA Correspondence
  • Jimmy Carter, 1977-1988
  • Gerald and Betty Ford, 1974-1976
  • Richard and Pat Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson, 1972-1974
  • Nelson Rockefeller, 1975-1976
  • Ronald Reagan, 1972-1980
1972-1988

General FilesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
134
Evans and Sutherland
135
External Tanks Corporation
136
Institutes of Health
137
Washington International Club
138
Personal Papers
139
Personal Papers
140
Societies
141
Correspondence
1958-1962
142
Correspondence
1963-1970
143
Correspondence
1967-1990
144
Government Correspondence
1963-1989
145
Personal Correspondence
1971-1991
146
Speeches
147
Institutes of Health
148
Speeches
149
University of Utah
150
University of Pittsburgh
151
Energy Issues Class
152
Energy Issues Class
153
Energy Issues Class
154
NASA Subject Files: A-N
155
NASA Subject Files: P-S
156
NASA Subject Files: S-U
157
Fairchild Industries
1989-1991
158
Fairchild Industries
1989-1990
159
Fairchild Industries
1988-1991
160
Fairchild Industries
1989-1992
161
Fairchild Industries
1990
162
Fairchild Industries
1990
163
Fairchild Industries
1990
164
Fairchild Industries
1989-1990
165
Disarmament Society
166
Disarmament Society
167
Panels and Reports
168
Presidential Taskforces
169
Ethics and Audit Committees
170
Aerojet
171
Aerojet and Raytheon
172
Evans and Sutherland
173
Medical Sciences
174
The Presidents Science Advisory Committee
175
Space Dynamics Research Corporation
176
Space Dynamics Research Corporation-Space Electronics Corporation
1959-1989
177
Space General
1961-1989
178
Space General-Space Museum Correspondence
1955-1989
179
Subject Files A
180
Subject Files: B-C
181
Subject Files: C-E
182
Subject Files: E-I
183
Subject Files: I-L
184
Subject Files: M-N
185
Subject Files: N-O
186
Subject Files: O-P
187
Subject Files: P-R
188
Subject Files: R-T
189
Subject Files: T-Y
190
Events
1970s
191
Events
1970s
192
Events
1970s
193
Printed Material
194
Printed Material
195
Notes
196
Personal Documents
197
Certificates and Ephemera
198
Articles of Interest
199
Scrapbook Material and Clippings
200
NASA Badges
Folder
201 1
Correspondence
1972-1978
201 2
Energy and Man's Environment Workshop Program
1979
201 3
Commemorative materials
undated
201 4
Ariel Photographs Caption Information
undated
201 5
NBN Scholarship Students' Daily Report on U.S. Study Tour
1966
201 6
News Clippings
1964-1974

Oversize MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
202
General Materials
This box contains correspondence, a calendar, certificate, and memorabilia.
1976-1989
203
Award Certificates
1977-1989
204
Award Certificates
1988-1990
205
Award Certificates
1933-1975
206
Award Certificates
The certificates in this box were signed by Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.
1967-1986
207
Award Certificates and Correspondence
1970-1992
Carton
208
Award Certificates and Framed Memorabilia
Includes a framed commemorative NASA space shuttle program and mission insignias pin collection.
1985-1988
209
Awards
1974-1977
210
Awards
1971-1989
211
Awards and Medals
1972-1988
Box
212
Award
undated
213
Plaques
1986-1989
214
Plaque
1974
215
Plaque
undated
216
Plaques
1975-1989
217
Plaque
1977
218
Plaque
1989
219
Plaque
1976
Carton
220
Plaques
1975-1989
221
Plaques
1971-1992
222
Plaques
1989
Box
223
Artwork
1984 and undated
224
NASA Plastic and Embroidered Logo
undated
225
Satellite Images
1972 and undated
226
Memorabilia
undated
227
Shuttle Spacecraft Cake Decoration
undated
228
Statue of a Young Man
undated
229
Lamp Shade
The lamp was presented to Fletcher by the Lewis Research Center.
1977
229 A
Lamp Base
1977
230
Command and Service Modules Model
undated
231
Satellite Model
This model was presented to Fletcher from the Office of Space Science and Application.
1989
232
Space Rocket? Model
undated
233
Boeing 747-300 Airplane Model
undated
234
Conical Accelerator NASP Concept Model
This model was presented to Fletcher by the NASA Langley Research Center.
1989
235
Lockheed Space Shuttle Model
undated
236
First Liquid Fueled Rocket Model
This model was presented to Fletcher by the Goddard Space Flight Center.
1989
237
First Liquid Fueled Rocket Model
This model was presented to Fletcher from the Goddard Space Flight Center.
1972
238
Satellite? Model
This model was presented to Fletcher from the Goddard Space Flight Center.
1977
239
Viking Lander '75 and Viking Spacecraft '75 Models
1975
240
Viking Spacecraft on a Mars Background Model
1976
241
Apollo Spacecraft Model
undated
242
Space Shuttle
undated
243
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Model
undated
244
NASA Space Shuttle Model
1972
245
Skylab Model
undated
246
Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) Model
undated
247
Saturn V Rocket Model
The height of the model is 87 1/2" and the base is 14 3/4" square.
undated
248
"Lorena C. Fletcher as Candidate for Utah Mother of the Year Award" Scrapbook
1936-1967

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Astronautics--United States--History--Sources

Personal Names

  • Fletcher, James Chipman, 1919- --Archives

Corporate Names

  • United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence