Skip to main content

George Collins Papers

Identifier: Ms-2003-012

Scope and Content

The collection contains a variety of materials, but consists primarily of Collins' correspondence from the 1950s through the 1970s, including his time as a professor at Virginia Tech. Other materials include professional papers, notes from speeches and papers, and travel reports. The collection includes a few photographs, as well as memorabilia from his time teaching at Notre Dame.


  • 1952 - 1993


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: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

George Collins, a physicist, particle experimentalist, educator, and administrator, earned a PHD with R.W. Wood at Hopkins studying UV Spectroscopy. Collins was a Professor at Notre Dame working on nuclear excitation and disintegration. He was responsible for the construction of a nuclear accelerator for the Notre Dame Nuclear Physics lab in 1935. He worked with Dr. Jose Caparo. In 1935, the accelerator was Notre Dames largest nuclear physics- related project to that date. The accelerator was the source of several decades research on nuclear physics, much of which was headed by Collins. At MIT he assisted the war effort in the Radiation Laboratory, developing radar for military purposes. He taught at University of Rochester and served the Department of Physics as Chairman. He was in charge of construction and operation of the 240 MeV synchrocyclotron and initiated, with Robert Marshak the Rochester Conferences. He was Chairman of Brookhaven's Cosmotron Department and a Fulbright fellow in Belgium. Late in his career he came to Virginia Tech and taught physics from 1968 to 1976.


2 Cubic Feet (3 boxes, 1 oversize folder)


These papers are comprised mostly of correspondence from George B. Collins' time as Chairman of the Brookhavens Cosmotron Department. The collection also contains travel vouchers, research proposals, travel reports, and materials relating to Collins' work as a professor at University of Notre Dame and at Virginia Tech.


This collection is arranged in three series:

  • Series I: Correspondence includes letters from 1952-1993.
  • Series II: Papers contains materials from Collins' teaching and professional career.
  • Series III: Artifacts consists of larger memorabilia (a photograph, a sign, and a poster).

Source of Acquisition

This collection was acquired by Special Collections and University Archives in 2003.

Separated Materials

The following books were removed and cataloged for the Special Collections Rare Book Collection:

  • "Astronomy and Cosmology- A Modern Course" by Fred Hoyle
  • "The Big Bang- The Creation and Evolution of the Universe" by Joseph Silk
  • "The Great Design- Particles, Fields, and Creation" by Robert K. Adair
  • "How to Tell the Birds From the Flowers" by Robert Williams Wood
  • "Physics for Poets" by Robert H. March
  • "Physics for Society" by W. B. Phillips
  • "University Physics- Sixth Edition" by Francis W. Sears, Mark W. Zemansky, and Hugh D. Young

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the George Collins Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the George Collins Papers was completed in September 2013.

George Collins Papers, 1952-1993
Adrienne Glenney, Student Assistant, and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist
2013 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US