Richard S. Westfall papers, 1942-1996
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of the papers of Richard Samuel Westfall, Distinguished
Professor of History and Philosophy of Science and Professor of History, who was a
member of the faculty of Indiana University from 1963 to 1996. It covers the period from
1942 to 1996, with the bulk of the material dating from 1956 to 1996. The material is in
a number of formats: videotapes, audiotapes, computer disks, typescripts, reprints of
articles, books, bundles of 5" x 7" note cards, and correspondence files. Material is
arranged into 9 series, as follows:
Series 1 - Biographical Material: This series consists of clippings and other
biographical material about Westfall, with dates ranging from 1942 to 1996.
Series 2 - Family Material: This series consists of a binder containing biographical
material on Professor Alfred Westfall, father of Richard S. Westfall, with dates ranging
from 1953 to 1969, and a folder containing Christmas letters from Richard S. Westfall
and his wife, dates ranging from 1963 to 1995.
Series 3 - Student Papers: This series consists of 7 folders, each containing a
typescript of a paper written by Westfall while he was a student at Yale. One of the
papers is coauthored. Most of the papers are in binders. One paper is dated 1949, when
Westfall was working on his M.A. degree. The others are undated. However, Westfall's
senior essay can be assigned a date of 1948, the year he completed his B.A. degree.
Folders are arranged with the two dated papers in chronological order, then the
remaining papers in alphabetical order, with the coauthored paper last. Also in the
series is Westfall's Ph.D. dissertation from Yale University.
Series 4 - General Subject Files: This series consists of correspondence and other
records related to Westfall's research, publications, teaching and administrative
duties. Records are arranged in alphabetical order and were created in the period from
Series 5 - Lectures and Class Notes: This series consists of 2 subseries: Lectures and
Class Notes. Most of the records in this series are undated. Some of the material in the
Lectures subseries may be from Indiana University class lectures, and some is definitely
from outside lectures, as it is identified as such. Material in the Class Notes
subseries consists primarily of typescripts, often very extensive and detailed, and many
annotated in Westfall's handwriting, often with heavy use of abbreviations. The Class
Notes subseries also includes paper copies of transparencies used in Westfall's
Series 6 - Publications: This series comprises 4 subseries, which date from the period
1951 to 1996. Subseries 1 consists of folders containing correspondence related to
Westfall's publications and lectures, as well as reviews of his work, arranged in
alphabetical order. Subseries 2 consists of folders containing typescripts, several
edited by Westfall, and page proofs, arranged in chronological order. Subseries 3
consists of folders containing Westfall's reprints, articles, reviews, catalogs, and
essays, arranged in chronological order. Subseries 4 consists of a copy of Westfall's
coedited work containing the writings of Newton.
Series 7 - Computer disks: This series consist of disks containing many of Westfall's
publications, lectures, research notes, and letters of recommendation.
Series 8 - Videotapes and Audiotapes: This series consists of videotapes and audiotapes
by or about Westfall, including audiotapes of a sermon he delivered and of a memorial
service for him, and videotapes of his contribution to a televised "Biography" of
Newton, and of a CBS interview with Westfall. The records in this series date from the
period 1987 to 1996.
Series 9 - Research Files: This series consists of 2 subseries. Subseries 1 consists of
a "Catalog" of short biographies of scientists, which Westfall was compiling for a
publication he never completed. This subseries comprises 21 folders and is arranged
alphabetically. Subseries 2 is composed primarily of notes taken by Westfall from his
readings, written on 5"x 7" plain paper sheets, which have been wrapped in bundles of
acid-free paper and placed in boxes in the same general order in which they were
received. Where Westfall provided descriptions, these have been retained. Otherwise, a
description has been supplied for each bundle. None of the bundles of notes are dated.