The Caltech Institute Archives

Interview with Judith R. Goodstein

Goodstein, Judith R. (2014) Interview with Judith R. Goodstein. [Oral History]

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An interview in six sessions, September and October 2012, with Judith R. Goodstein, university archivist emeritus. Early education in Brooklyn, N.Y., at Erasmus Hall High School and Brooklyn College, where she majored in history and met future husband, David L. Goodstein (Caltech professor of physics and applied physics, emeritus). Both do graduate work at University of Washington; her dissertation on chemist Humphry Davy. David recruited by James Mercereau at Caltech; they leave for Pasadena, 1966. After six months at Caltech and a year at University of Rome, they return to Caltech; she becomes institute archivist at behest of historian Daniel J. Kevles. Recalls establishment of Caltech Archives under library director Harald Ostvold; early years in basement of Millikan Library; growth of Archives; origins of rare book collection, oral history project; difficulties with library director Glenn Brudvig. Teaching at Cal State Dominguez Hills and UCLA; dashed hopes for faculty position at Caltech; becomes faculty associate, 1982; co-teaches with Diana Kormos-Buchwald. Her 1989 appointment as Caltech registrar; divides time between Registrar’s Office and Archives, which moves the following year from Millikan to new Beckman Institute. Writes Millikan’s School, published by W. W. Norton. Her work as registrar; on Freshman Admissions and Convocations committees; resignation as registrar in 2003. Returns full time to Archives; first digitization project in Archives; dealings with Caltech administration. Becomes archivist emeritus, 2009. Comments on current state of Archives, now back under library control. Acquisition of Max Delbrück and R. P. Feynman papers. Friendship with Feynman; her discovery of Feynman lecture on Newton’s laws of planetary motion; David Goodstein’s reconstruction of proof, published as Feynman’s Lost Lecture. Her research on Italian mathematics; writing of The Volterra Chronicles.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:California Institute of Technology; Feynman, R. P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988; Mathematics--Italy--History--19th century; Mathematics--Italy--History--20th century; Science--Archives--United States.
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Goodstein_J
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Official Citation:Goodstein, Judith R. Interview by Sara Lippincott. Pasadena, California, September-October 2012. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:Subjects > Administration
Subjects > Humanities
All Records
ID Code:230
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:29 Sep 2014 17:04
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:24

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