Johns Hopkins University Joseph Sweetman Ames collection
- Ames, Joseph Sweetman, 1864-1943 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
0.47 Cubic Feet (1 legal size document box)
Ames returned to Hopkins in 1887 to do work in spectroscopy and took his Ph. D. in 1890. During this period (1888-1891) Ames held an assistantship in Henry A. Rowland's laboratory. Upon Rowland's death in 1901, Ames became Director of the Physical Laboratory. Ames became an associate professor at Hopkins in 1891 rising to full professor in 1899. He taught until becoming provost of the University in 1926 and president from 1929 to 1935.
Ames was a long-time member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. One of the original members from the Committee's creation in 1915, Ames served as chairman of either the executive committee or the full committee from 1919 until his retirement in 1939.
Ames died in 1943.
Scope and Contents
The 17 speeches (1931-1935) in this collection are ones given by Ames as President of Hopkins. Most were given on commencement or Commemoration Day. Other speeches were ones to the P.L. Club on "The Fringes of Science," the American Bible Society, and the Maryland State Normal School and speeches on the re-opening of Homewood House and on Dr. John H. Latan.
The largest part of the collection consists of copies of class lectures Ames delivered in the Physics Department at Hopkins. According to a former student, Ames did not allow note-taking in his classes. He wrote out all of his lectures and reproduced them for his students. Included in this series are 5 sets of Ames's lecture notes. They date from 1918 to 1923 near the end of Ames's teaching career. These lectures were not published, but the ones on Theoretical Mechanics are part of the text by the same name which Ames published with Francis D. Murnaghan in 1929.
Three of the lectures, the ones on thermodynamics, mechanics and electricity, are from a three-year sequence which Dr. Ames gave as a course in theoretical physics to graduate students. These lectures along with Ames's two works Textbook of General Physics (1904) and A Manual of Experiments in Physics (1896) which he wrote with Hopkins colleague W.J.A. Bliss and R.W. Wood's Physical Optics give a good view of the Hopkins physics curriculum between 1915 and 1925.
The lecture notes on relativity are the typescript of the original. They are from a course Ames gave once or twice. They are interesting as constituting one of the first courses on relativity given in the U.S.
The fifth set of lecture notes are from lectures Ames delivered at the Bureau of Standards in 1918-1919.
There are 7 photographs of Ames in this collection. Two are formal portraits, one shows Ames working at his desk and one is of him after receiving an honorary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. There is also a photograph taken in 1917 of Ames and General William Mitchell taken in front of an airplane in France. An undated photograph shows Ames seated around a conference table with Hopkins colleagues William H. Howell, William Bullock Clark, William H. Welch, Basil L. Gildersleeve, and Edward H. Griffin.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Ames, Joseph Sweetman, 1864-1943
- Clark, William Bullock, 1860-1917
- College teachers
- Cox, Richard Threlkeld, 1898-1991
- Gildersleeve, Basil L. (Basil Lanneau), 1831-1924
- Helmholtz, Hermann von, 1821-1894
- Howell, William H. (William Henry), 1860-1945
- Johns Hopkins University. Department of Physics
- Mechanics, Analytic
- Murnaghan, Francis D. (Francis Dominic), 1893-1976
- Relativity (Physics)
- Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Francis Delano), 1882-1945
- Rowland, Henry Augustus, 1848-1901
- United States
- United States. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
- Welch, William Henry, 1850-1934
- speeches (documents)
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA