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John W. Firor Papers

Identifier:  - 06-JWF

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the papers of John W. Firor, a former Director of the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) and second Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The collection spans his scientific career with HAO and NCAR as well as his work with outside organizations. Most of the material is in paper format including correspondence, publications, reports, notebooks, brochures, clippings and reprints. The collection also includes audiovisual material in the form of photographs, glass plates, negatives, transparencies, films and VHS tapes.


  • 1954-2004
  • Majority of material found in 1966-2003


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


28.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Arrangement is by material type. This collection is arranged into the following six series: I. NCAR/UCAR a. Administrative b. Committees and Meetings c. NCAR History d. Supercomputing II. Advisory Work III. Writings a. Articles, Essays, and Reprints b. Biographical c. Books and Contributions d. Interviews, Lectures, and Speeches e. Miscellaneous f. Notebooks and Handwritten Notes g. Reviews and Commentary h. Writings of Others IV. Photographic Materials V. Clippings and Reprints VI. Audiovisual a. Films b. VHS Tapes

Physical Access Requirements

The collection must be viewed in the Archives during normal business hours.

Technical Access Requirements

Materials have not been reformatted to a digital medium yet. Films, VHS tapes, and computer disks may not be available due to playback issues.

Appraisal Information

Publications were examined for Firor's handwritten notes. Duplicate copies containing his notes were retained, all others were discarded. Copies of photographs beyond 2 copies, copies of documents beyond 2 copies, routine correspondence, personnel records, meeting notices, travel records and employment offers were discarded from the collection. Records containing sensitive information, such as social security numbers, were destroyed.

Accruals and Additions

A small selection of materials related to Dr. Firor's administrative duties were donated in 2015 by a former colleague. No further accruals or additions are expected.

Related Materials

The John W. Firor Papers collection is related to many collections in the NCAR Archives due to the natural relationship of NCAR records. See especially the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) Records and Walter Orr Roberts Collection.

Processing Information

Processing was completed in April 2012. Records were removed from original folders and vinyl bindings and placed in acid-free folders labeled with pencil. When available, original folder titles were maintained and transcribed as accurately as possible. In cases when a title was not available or did not clearly define the folder's content, the processor provided a title. Upon acquisition, the collection had little order. Series and subseries were artificially created by the processor based on content to aid in access and discovery. Metal paperclips were removed and replaced with plastic clips. Newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper, and originals were discarded for preservation measure. Photographs and slides were placed in proper preservation enclosures. Duplicate items, travel records, routine correspondence, order forms, and NCAR library holdings were discarded from the collection. The following titles are current library holdings and were removed: Scientific highlights and other materials: For presentation to Director, National Science Foundation, May 8, 1974; Major scientific objectives, Budget issues, FY 1977, Budget projections, FY 1977-81; National Center for Atmospheric Research, Five year plan: FY 1979-83; NCAR Quarterly, 1963-1974; Facilities for Atmospheric Research, 1-22; Earthwatch, An in-depth review; Annotated outline and briefing materials for Director, National Science Foundation, May 9, 1972; Final report to the Department of Transportation, accelerated research on the stratosphere

Krista Stracka
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Archives Repository