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G. Michael Purdy papers

 Record Group
Identifier: MC-10

Scope and Content Note

The materials span the years 1980 to 1995 and are divided into two series: Subject Files and Correspondence. Files contain proposals, drafts, reports, photographs, cruise reports, working notes, publications and correspondence.

Subjects covered in the papers include biographical information about Purdy, his involvement in various national and international projects, committees, and workshops, course material, and correspondence relating to science and his Chairmanship of the Geology and Geophysics Department.


  • 1980-1995

Language of Materials

The records are in



Open: materials are available for research.


Copyright: Permission to publish material from the collection must be authorized by the Institution Archivist.

Biographical Information

Mike Purdy was born on February 22, 1948, in England. He earned his B.Sc. in 1969 and his M.Sc. in 1970 from the Imperial College at London University and his Ph.D. in geophysics at Cambridge University in 1974. At the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution he was a postdoctoral scholar (1974-October, 1975); assistant scientist (1975-1979); associate scientist (October, 1979-1987); senior scientist (April 1987-1995); and chairman of the Geology and Geophysics Department (January 1991-1995). Purdy resigned from his position at the Institution on October 30, 1995, to accept the position of Director of Ocean Sciences Division at the National Science Foundation.

He is or was a member, editor, and/or chairman of many societies and committees, such as the JOI/IRIS Ocean Seismic Network Steering Committee (1989-), Editorial Board of Marine Geophysical Researches, and the American Geophysical Union. His research interests included crustal structure of the deep ocean; use of seismic methods to study processes of formation and evolution of oceanic crust; and lithosphere structure and the deep structure of continental margins. He has authored or co-authored over fifty scientific papers.


3 boxes (3.25 lin. ft.)


The G. Michael Purdy papers span the years 1976-1995, and cover subjects such as Purdy's involvement in various national and international projects, committees, and workshops, course material, and correspondence relating to science and his Chairmanship of WHOI's Geology and Geophysics Department.


Arranged in two series:

List of Series:

Custodial History

Prior to their donation to the Archives, the material was kept in Purdy's office in the Department of Geology and Geophysics.

Acquisitions Information

Mike Purdy sent two boxes of his non-current materials to the WHOI Archives on December 27, 1991 (accession 1991-32) from his office in Department of Geology and Geophysics (G&G). On December 12, 1999, the Archives received two boxes of Purdy’s correspondence from the G&G Department (accession 1999-18).

Related Material

There are G and G Department files, specifically data, associated with Mike Purdy, located in boxes L173, 182, and 188-189.

Separated Material

Data and Lamont-Doherty technical reports were removed from the boxes and added to the Library’s holdings. Overheads were removed and discarded.

Processing Information

Processed by Margot B. Garritt. Materials from acc.1991-32 received preliminary processing in 1996. Materials from acc.1999-18 were then combined with the first accession and processed, and data from the first accession was removed and added to data holdings in the library. Materials were put into acid-free folders and boxes and labeled.

A Guide to the the G. Michael Purdy papers, 1980-1995
Margot Garritt
December 2000
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written inEnglish

Repository Details

Part of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Data Library and Archives Repository