John D. Clark Papers
Scope and Content
The collection includes Personal (Series I) and Professional Papers (Series II) of chemist and science fiction writer John D. Clark, dating from 1923-1988. Series I: Personal Papers includes various awards and certificates, photographs, diaries from 1924-1984, student papers, articles written by his father, and correspondence from his mother. There is an additional autobiographical manuscript in in Series II written by John A. Clark called "Reminiscences."
Series II: Professional Papers contains correspondence between colleagues and contemporaries, reports, and Clark's science fiction and non-fiction writing. This includes a manuscript of Ignition!, articles on and by John D. Clark, and various shorter pieces of work. It also contains photographs and a large "proclamation" saluting Clark's work, signed by various colleagues.
- 1923 - 1988
- Clark, John D., 1907-1988 (Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.
Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
John Drury Clark was born August 15, 1907, in Fairbanks, Alaska, to John Albert Clark and Jeanette Ruth Drury. Clark graduated from Fairbanks High School on May 27, 1925. Clark attended the University of Alaska and California Institute of Technology from 1927-1930. He graduated with a B.S. in Physical Chemistry. Clark later received a Master of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin (1932), and his PhD from Stanford University(1934).
In the early 1930's, Clark worked with General Electric. By 1949, Clark worked with the Naval Air Rocket Program where he had a job until he retired in 1970. Specifically, Clark was the chief chemist at the Naval Air Rocket Test Station and its successor department. He worked in the Liquid Propulsion Laboratory at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey. Under Clark's direction, a new family of storable high-energy liquid propellants later used in the Apollo program was developed by Navy civilian scientists in 1959.
Clark was married twice, first to soprano singer Mildred Baldwin in 1943. Later he married Inga Pratt, widower of Fletcher Pratt, in 1962. John D. Clark died in July 1988 at age 80 in New Jersey.
Source: John D. Clark. Ancestry Online Family Trees.
- "A new periodic chart", Journal of Chemical Education (1933).
- "Minus Planet," published in Astounding Stories (Apr 1937). Available in Spec Sci Fi PN6120.95.S33 A88.
- "Space Blister," published in Astounding Stories (Aug 1937). Available in Spec Sci Fi PN6120.95.S33 A88.
- "A Probable Outline of Conan's Career," with P. Schuyler Miller, published in The Hyborian Age (1938).
- "A Modern Periodic Chart of Chemical Elements", Science (1950).
- "The Silicone World", published in Startling Stories (December 1952). Available in Spec Sci Fi PS648.S3 S72.
- "Introduction" to The Petrified Planet (1952).
- "An Informal Biography of Conan the Cimmerian," with P. Schuyler Miller, published in The Coming of Conan (1953).
- "An Informal Biography of Conan the Cimmerian," with P. Schuyler Miller and L. Sprague de Camp, published in Amra, vol. 2, no. 4, (1959).
- "Science Fact: Dimensions, Anyone?" published in Analog Science Fiction - Science Fact, (November 1966). Available in Spec Sci Fi PN6120.95.S33 A88.
- Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants, Rutgers University Press (1972). Available in Newman Library TL785 C53.
4.4 Cubic Feet (3 boxes; 1 folder)
This collection contains both the professional and personal papers of chemist and science fiction writer John D. Clark (1907-1988), including correspondence, drafts of scientific and science fiction publications, notes, unpublished typescript memoir, diaries (1923-1984), clippings, and photographs. Some material relates to Clark's work as chief chemist at Naval Air Rocket Test Station, Dover, N.J., later Liquid Rocket Propulsion Laboratory.
This collection in arranged in two series.
Series I is dedicated to personal papers which are divided into the following subseries: A. Biographical Information, B. Diaries, C. Student Work, and D. Papers by John A. Clark and Jeanette Clark. Each subseries is ordered chronologically. If files share a date of origin or are not dated, the files are then organized alphabetically.
Series II contains the professional papers. Series II is divided into sub-series by: A. Correspondence, B. Photographs, C. Administrative Documents, and D. Writing and Related Papers. Correspondence is organized alphabetically by last name. Photographs and Administrative Documents are ordered chronologically.
Sub-series D: Writing and Related Papers, under Series II, is further divided in sub-subseries by manuscript, author, and genre. The sub-subseries are "Non-Fiction on Space," "Reminiscences (John A. Clark)," "Ignition!", "Institute on Man and Science," "Science Fiction Writing," and "Articles by or related to John D. Clark". With the exception of "Reminiscences" and "Ignition!", each sub-subseries is ordered first chronologically and then alphabetically if multiple files share a date or are undated. "Ignition!" and "Reminiscences" are ordered by chapter.
Please note: This collection is in off-site storage and requires 2-3 days notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives for more information.
Source of Acquisition
The John D. Clark Papers were donated to Special Collections and University Archives in 1988.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the "John D. Clark Papers" by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
The processing, arrangement, and description of the John D. Clark Papers was completed in October 2015.
- John D. Clark Papers, 1923-1988
- Kaitlyn Britt, Intern, and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist
- 2015 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
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