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Charles Davis Hollister papers

 Record Group
Identifier: MC-31

Scope and Content Note

The Hollister papers dating from 1967 to 1998 consist of eleven boxes, 24 folders of photographs and three filing cabinets of ocean floor photography, a total of 9 linear feet.


  • 1967-1998

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


Hollister graduated from Columbia University in 1967 with a Ph.D. in geology. He served the Institution in a number of capacities both scientific and administrative. He was named Senior Scientist in 1979 and was appointed Dean of Graduate Studies for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Joint Program for the years 1979 -1989. In 1989 he accepted appointment as WHOI’s Associate Director for External Affairs and in the same year was appointed Vice President of the Corporation. He spent the later part of his career administering and fund raising for the Institution.

He was the author of numerous papers and books including Face of the Deep, 1971 and three books on sediment transport and waste disposal. He testified before several U.S. Congressional committees concerning disposal of nuclear waste. Hollister was a member of the American Geophysical Union and a fellow of the Geological Society of America, among other professional affiliations. He was also a past president of the American Alpine Club.

He died hiking on August 23, 1999, while on vacation with family members in Wyoming. He was 63 years old.


14 boxes plus photographs (9 lin. ft.)


The Charles Davis Hollister papers span the years 1967-1998, and consist of biographical information about Hollister and his family, projects and papers relating to his work at WHOI, and numerous photographs.


Arranged in three series:

Custodial History

The custodial history of the papers is undocumented.

Acquisitions Information

Charles Hollister deposited several cartons of data in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Data Library and Archives (DLA) including cruise data from USS Pensacola and USS Portland as well as data from the Deep Sea Drilling Program (DDP) Leg 35. Jacqueline Hollister, his wife, donated five cartons of files from his office upon his death in 1999. She donated four additional cartons of files in 2001. Mary Zawoysky transferred to the Archives the planning materials from a 1993 conference on radioactivity. In 2003 the Archives received an additional carton from Mrs. Hollister

Related Material

As Dean of Education for 1979 to 1989, Hollister’s work is documented in the records of the Education Office, in particular box 43. Data from scientific cruises aboard the Portland and Pensacola are located in the Data Collection. The HEBBLE project was documented in a number of WHOI Technical Reports.

Separated Material

Files from the later part of Hollister’s career, particularly those files related to development and fund-raising, have been incorporated into the papers of the Development Office. Development Office files from the 1990s will be retained in that office until scheduled to be deposited in the DLA.

Hollister's work also produced a large quantity of ocean floor photography housed in the Library’s bottom photography collection.

Processing Information

Second-level processing completed by Melissa Lamont in April 2001. Processing of this collection was partly supported by a grant from the Friends of the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics.

All materials were housed in acid free boxes and folders, staples and other metal clasps removed. Photocopies were made of a large volume of older fax paper. Since the collection was donated to the Data Library and Archives in several pieces, the original order could not be discerned. Effort was made to retain original folder titles and the material was arranged nearly chronologically.

A Guide to the the Charles Davis Hollister papers, 1967-1998
Melissa Lamont
April 2001
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