Digital Collections

Archives Collections

Search the Archives Collections collection

The NCAR Archives provides access to selected materials from our collections online. Below is a listing of available materials. We continutally add resources to our digital collections, so check back often!

Atmospheric Technology Division (ATD) Records

The ATD digital collection consists of publications, correspondence, and reports-- all rich resources for understanding the history of scientific ballooning, research aviation, computing,  field observing facilities, and field projects. The collection includes the following publications: Facilities for Atmospheric Research, Atmospheric Technology, and the Research Aviation Bulletin.

GATE Records

The GARP Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE) was a large and complex international scientific experiment designed to gain an increased understanding of the atmosphere and causes of climatic variation and change. GATE sought to learn how cloud clusters in the tropic transformed and redistributed energy within the atmosphere, knowledge that was needed for the development of numerical models for long-range weather prediction and for assessing the long-term effects of pollutants on the atmosphere. The GATE digital collection includes GATE bulletins and selected correspondence, mission reports, press kits, and photographs.

High Altitude Observatory (HAO) Records

The High Altitude Observatory (HAO) is a lab within the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) that conducts fundamental and applied research in solar-terrestrial physics using observational, theoretical, and numerical methods. Research at HAO extends from the solar core to the surface of the Earth.  The HAO digital collection consists of the newsletters and photographs from the High Altitude Observatory, as well as the Solar Research Memorandum series, a collection of unpublished scholarly works by early HAO scientists.

Information Releases

Browse decades of NCAR history as told through press releases and correspondence. The history of UCAR/NCAR staff, research, field projects, scientific breakthroughs, and buildings are detailed in the collection.

IPCC Collection

This collection consists of the personal papers of UCAR/NCAR scientists who served as Lead Authors, Co-Authors, and Contributing Authors to the Climate Change 2007 - The Physical Science Basis, the contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Materials include articles, calendars, chapter drafts, correspondence, powerpoint presentations, notes, and photographs. This is not an official archive of the IPCC; rather it is a collection of items voluntarlly donated to the NCAR Archives by UCAR/NCAR scientists interested in preserving the historic record of climate science. A full guide to the collection is available here.

Line Islands Experiment (LIE) Records

During March and April 1967, field parties from NCAR and other meteorological research organizations, universities, and governmental agencies established research bases in the Line Islands, a group of small atolls more than 1000 miles south of Hawaii. From these three islands and from aircraft and ships in the vicinity, observation groups collected one of the most comprehensive sets of meteorological data in the oceanic part of the Equatorial Trough Zone for a variety of basic studies. This digital collection consists of photographs taken during the experiment.

Mesa Laboratory Construction Records

 This collection includes correspondence, memos, design specifications, and budgets related to the design and construction of the Mesa Laboratory. Materials document the site selection committee, selection of an architect, bidding process for contractors, internal discussions on design and space allocation, interior design, and the dedication ceremony.

National Hail Research Experiment (NHRE) Records

This collection consists of the records of the National Hail Research Experiment, an experiment aimed at making a contribution to the question of the operational and economic feasibility of hail suppression. Materials include selected correspondence, newsletters, press releases, reports, and photographs.

National Scientific Balloon Facililty (NSBF) Records

The National Scientific Balloon Facility (NSBF) Records document the early days of the NSBF while it was managed by NCAR. Records illuminate the logistics of conducting balloon flights abroad and at home, particularity during the Cold War era. The collection offers a window into instrumentation, modifications, and issues with balloons and electronics packages. The collection includes correspondence, memos, budgets, reports, proposals, and papers.

UCAR's Beginnings

These papers document the earliest days of UCAR/NCAR history. Digitized records reveal the details of forming the National Center for Atmospheric Research, its governance in the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and its relationship to the National Science Foundation. The collection includes the minutes of the first UCAR Board meetings and correspondence between key players in the institution's history, such as Horace Byers, Henry Houghton, Walter Orr Roberts, and others.

UCAR/NCAR Oral History Collection

The UCAR / NCAR Oral History Project documents the history of UCAR through interviews, recorded discussions, and lectures by staff and others. The project has a strong focus on the creation and development of NCAR as well as the design and construction of the Mesa Laboratory by I.M. Pei, early in the Center's history. Not all interview transcripts are available online, please contact us for more information.

UCAR/NCAR Publications Collection

This collection contains digitized newsletters and reports from our Publications Collection spanning from the earliest days of NCAR to the last decade such as the NCAR Newsletter, Scientific Aviation, Science Briefs, Women in Atmospheric Science Newsletter, UCAR Report, NCAR Quarterly, and many others.

UNIDATA Program Records

The Unidata Program helps researchers and educators acquire and use earth-related data. This digital collection consists of Unidata's newsletters from the Program's creation in 1984 to 1999.

Scientific Computing Division (SCD) Records

The NCAR Computing Facility was formally organized in 1964 and became the Scientific Computing Division (SCD) in 1980. The SCD Records digital collection includes newsletters of SCD, such as the SCD Record, SCD Computing News, and Power Curve. Issues were sent to all users of Computing Division services, and in a pre-internet era these issues were the main way to provide information about what was going on in the division. The digital collection also includes a small collection of photographs.

Solar Research Memorandum

The Solar Research Memorandum series consists of unpublished, informal memos covering a variety of scholarly work undertaken by early HAO scientists.

Staff Notes

Staff Notes is the in-house newsletter for the employees and retirees of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (including the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the UCAR Office of Programs). Staff notes includes articles on scientific research and administrative initiatives, in addition to staff profiles.

Tropical Wind, Energy Conversion, and Reference Level Experiment (TWERLE) Records

TWERLE was sponsored by the Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA) and designed and implemented by NCAR and the University of Wisconsin. It was an intensive program of meteorological observations made from superpressure balloons orbiting the earth that were tracked and monitored by the Nimbus-6 satellite, providing data which increased understanding of atmospheric circulation. Crew members at three sites in the tropics launched about 100 balloons during the summer and early fall of 1975. The launch crews consisted of about five to seven NCAR staffers. A subsequent midlatitude phase, during which balloons were launched from Christchurch, took place from November 1975 to February 1976.

Vincent Lally Papers

The Vincent E. Lally papers document over thirty years of using high-altitude balloons in the atmospheric sciences. Dr. Lally's papers include the many projects he oversaw as well as his work at the National Scientific Balloon Facility. These papers include correspondence, research notebooks, data, maps, graphs, and photographs.

Walter Orr Roberts Collection

This collection consists of writings and photographs created by NCAR's first Director, Walter Orr Roberts. Writings include Dr. Roberts' informal series called "Provocations," short essays posing provocative comments related to scientific issues that mostly focus on weather, climate, the sun, or near space.  Photographs include images from his 1960s trips to Sweden, Denmark, and the then-U.S.S.R.

Warren M. Washington Papers

The papers of Warren M. Washington document his scientific, professional, and advisory activities, as well as his significant contributions to diversity issues, particularly the enhancement of opportunities for people of color in science. The collection includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, speeches, lectures, articles and manuscript drafts, teaching materials, notes and calculations, clippings, awards, and photographs.



Featured YouTube Video

Contact Us

Kate Legg, Archives & Digital Collections Librarian

Visit the Archives

The NCAR Archives are open year round, Monday through Thursday, from 8:30-4:00. The archivist offers reference and information services for all users.  If you would like to visit the Archives, please contact us 24 hours in advance to schedule an appointment.

The Archives are located at the Mesa Lab in Boulder, CO. View directions and a map.