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Gordon C. Danielson papers

Identifier: RS 13/20/52

Scope and Content

This collection (1931-1983) contains biographical information, photographs, honors he received, correspondence, class notes, information on the John Franklin Carlson lectures held at ISU, and materials related to a variety of subjects and persons of interest to professor Danielson. The papers cover his time as a student at the University of British Columbia and Purdue University through his tenure as an Iowa State University faculty member (1948-1981).


  • Creation: 1931-1981, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives.


Gordon Charles Danielson was born in Dover, Idaho in 1912 to Norwegian immigrants, Gustov and Olga (Olson) Danielson. His father worked as a yard foreman and superintendent of lumber mills and moved the family to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1925. Gordon graduated as valedictorian from the King George V High School in Ladner, British Columbia in 1928. He received his B.A. (1933) and M.A. (1935) in physics from the University of British Columbia and his Ph.D. (1940) in physics from Purdue University. He spent small amounts of time working for U.S. Rubber in Detroit, Michigan (1940), on the physics faculty at the University of Idaho (1941), at the Radiation Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1942-1946), and at Bell Telephone Labs (1946-1948).

Danielson came to Iowa State College (University) as an Associate Professor of Physics in 1948. He received promotions to Professor of Physics in 1953 and Distinguished Professor in Sciences and Humanities in 1964, a position he held until his retirement and transition to Emeritus Professor in 1981. For much of that time, he also served as Senior Physicist at Ames Laboratory.

He married Dorothy Thompson in 1939 with whom he had four children, a daughter and three sons. He died on September 30, 1983.


5.88 Linear Feet (14 document cases)


The collection is organized into 5 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information and Correspondence, 1955-1983, undated (alphabetical)

Series 2: Class Notes (alphabetical)

Series 3: John Franklin Carlson Lectures (chronological)

Series 4: Subject File (alphabetical)

Series 5: Background Information (alphabetical)

Items in related collections

RS 13/20. Iowa State University. Department of Physics and Astronomy records RS 13/20/4. Iowa State University. Department of Physics and Astronomy records. - John F. Carlson Lectures records, 1955-1969

Related collection materials

See RS 13/20 for materials relating to the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and RS 13/20/4 for more materials about the John Franklin Carlson Lectures.

Processing Information

Released on 2021-02-12.

RS 13/20/52. Gordon C. Danielson papers, 1931-1981, undated
February 18, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672