These papers consist of writings, diaries, printed material, photographs, and correspondence relating to Dryden's personal and professional life. Because Dryden spent his entire career working for federal agencies, the bulk of his professional papers were the property of the National Bureau of Standards, NACA, and NASA. Photocopies and microfilm of some of these records are in the collection. His papers include drafts and finished copies of his publications and speeches (Series 1); files on his professional activities outside his work (Series 2); and Dryden's personal files he kept while at NACA and NASA (Series 3). Represented are his work with Theodore von Karman and the Army Air Force Scientific Advisory Group studying German wartime scientific efforts, and Dryden's files as a member of NACA (1921-1958), Naval Research Advisory Committee (1946-1951), Institute of Aeronautical Sciences (1932-1957), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (1958-1965), International Union for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (1947-1965), National Academy of Sciences (1945-1965), and the National Geographic Society (1950-1965). Also included are his student work, diaries, sermons, awards and honorary degrees. The overall collection spans from 1908 to 1966.