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Sally Harrison Dieke papers

Identifier: MS-0312

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The papers have not been completely sorted or analyzed. They have been tentatively sorted into 5 series: Personal, Student Papers, Teaching Materials, Writing/Research, and Professional Files.

Dieke's teaching career and her environmental activism are the best documented aspects although there is information on her education and personal life.


  • Creation: 1886 - 1989


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is not fully processed and therefore has not been prepared for research use. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

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.

Biographical Note

Sally Cary Fairfax Harrison Dieke was born in Belvoir, Virginia on February 7, 1913. Dieke attended the Potomac and Foxcroft schools, the junior college division of George Washington University, and received a Ph.D. in chemistry from The Johns Hopkins University in 1938. Her dissertation "Some Problems in the Statistical Mechanics of Condensing Systems" was written under Joseph E. Mayer. Mayer and Dieke published two papers based on this work.

Dieke spent her professional career doing research and teaching in Baltimore area colleges and universities. She was a research assistant in chemistry (1942-1943) and in psychobiology (1943-1953) at Hopkins. While doing research in psychobiology, Dieke published four papers with Curt P. Richter. Dieke did further chemical research and received a patent in 1962, but after 1950 Dieke devoted most of her efforts to astronomy. In that year Dieke began a nineteen year career teaching astronomy at Goucher College. During this time she was also a research assistant (1960) at the Observatoire de Paris and was leader of the Baltimore station in the Moonwatch Satellite Tracking Program of the International Geophysical Year (1957-1959).

Dieke also taught astronomy at Morgan State College (1956) and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (1969-1979). She also was a Research Fellow in the History of Science at Hopkins from 1966 to 1989. Outside of teaching, Dieke served on the Governor's Science Advisory Council.

Beginning in the 1970s and continuing until her death in 1989, Dr. Dieke was active in environmental issues in Maryland. She was a member of the Sierra Club, the Maryland Conservation Council, and the Coastal Resources Advisory Committee.

Sally Harrison married Hopkins physicist Gerhard Dieke in 1938.


30.1 Cubic Feet (20 record center cartons, 3 letter size document boxes, 9 custom boxes (18 x 13 x 3 inches), 1 flat box (11 x 9 x 3 inches), 1 over-sized folder)

Language of Materials



The collection of astronomer, chemist, and environmental activist, Sally H. Dieke, consists largely of papers from her teaching career and her work with local environmental groups, which range in date from 1886 to 1989.


The papers were bequeathed to the University by Sally Harrison Dieke. They were taken from her home and placed in the Special Collections Department on January 23, 1991.


Accession number 90-91.32.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Cynthia H. Requardt in February 1991.

Sally Harrison Dieke papers
Cynthia H. Requardt
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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