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W. J. A. Bliss papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0110
William Julian Albert Bliss was born in Washington, DC in 1867 and was both a student and a professor at Johns Hopkins University. The collection consists of notebooks lecture notes, writings, and correspondence. The material spans 1892-1927, with the bulk spanning 1892-1894 and 1925-1927, and cover two periods of Bliss's career at Hopkins.

Dates

  • 1892-1927

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

0.76 Cubic Feet (2 letter size document boxes)

Biographical Note

William Julian Albert Bliss was born in Washington, D. C. on January 22, 1867. He received his A. B. from Harvard in 1888, and entered the Physics Ph.D program at The Johns Hopkins University the same year. After receiving his doctorate in 1894, Bliss joined the faculty. He taught continously for 38 years, instructing students in electricity and magnetism. He retired in 1928, and died in 1940.

Bliss co-authored, with Joseph S. Ames, what was to become the standard physics lab guide: The Manual of Experimental Physics. He also served as chairman of the Dormitory Committee from 1911 to 1925.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of notebooks lecture notes, writings, and correspondence. The material spans 1892-1927, with the bulk covering 1892-1894 and 1925-1927, and cover two periods of Bliss's career at Hopkins: his graduate work in physics under Henry A. Rowland and Joseph S. Ames, 1892-1894, and two years of his professorship, 1925-1927.

The notebooks contain Bliss's notes on physics from lectures given by Joseph Ames and Henry Rowland. Bliss studied with both men while working on his Ph.D. Electricity, heat, light, magnetism and optics are covered in the notes.

Bliss taught an upper level course on electricity and magnetism. His lectures dealt primarily with the mathematical theory of the subjects. Because the emphasis was heavily mathematical, Bliss had his students work a number of problems. The questions and solutions for the problem sets are included on notecards with the lectures. . The correspondence focuses on departmental and personal business matters such as lab supplies and mortgage payments. The few letters in this series survived because Bliss recorded lecture notes on the back. The originals remain with the lectures; copies on acid-free paper are available to the researcher.

The only item in the Writings series is a comment on an article by Rowland.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The W. J. A. Bliss papers came to the Manuscripts Department at two different times. The first part, seven notebooks, lecture notes, and notecards, were transferred from the Ferdinand Hamburger, Jr. archives in 1982. Nine additional notebooks were transferred from the Henry A. Rowland Papers (MS.0006) in 1988.

Related Materials

For related material see the Henry A. Rowland Papers MS.0006 and the David Sterrett Pindall Notebook MS.0207.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Margaret N. Burri in 1988.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA