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Kenneth O. Emery papers

 Record Group
Identifier: MC-19

Scope and Content Note

The Kenneth O. Emery papers consist of Emery's correspondence, research files, reports, papers, photographs and some data.


  • 1936-2002

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

Kenneth O. Emery began his career in the Division of War Research at the University of California, San Diego from 1943 to 1945, producing maps of sediment types that were important for acoustic submarine warfare but also proved valuable to later studies by K.O. and others concerning continental margins. After the war, K.O. moved to Los Angeles, where he taught geology for 16 years as an assistant professor and later professor at the University of Southern California (USC) and did research in the Gulf of California. He also worked for the U.S. Geological Survey from 1946 to 1960 and served as Oceanographer at the Navy Ordnance Test Center in Pasadena from 1960 to 1962. In 1962, K.O.’s research brought him to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he recruited a group of young geologists who became the core of a marine geology grouping what was then a department of geophysics. He was named Senior Scientist in 1963, was the Henry Bryant Bigelow Oceanographer from 1975 to 1979, and was named Scientist Emeritus in 1979. He also served as the first Dean of the WHOI/MIT Joint Graduate Program.

[Biographical information taken from WHOI obituary.]


5 boxes, 1 flat file folder and photographs (15 lin. ft.)


The Kenneth O. Emery papers span the dates 1936-2002, and consist of Emery's correspondence, research files, reports, papers, photographs and some data.


Arranged in four series:

Custodial History

The custodial history of the papers is undocumented.

Acquisitions Information

The Kenneth O. Emery papers were donated in several accessions (acc.1998-17, 2000-01, 2001-04, 2005-40, 2005-46, and 2006-17) by Emery's daughter, Charlet Emery Shave. Acc.2009-42 was received on September 28, 2009 from Jim Broda; it had been stored in a wooden shipping container on the main floor of the McLean building.

Related Material

See Emery's Biographical file and the related file "Script for 'the Restless Sea,'" a Disney film to which Emery contributed.

Processing Information

The finding aid was updated on July 8, 2005. Material from acc.2009-42 was given first-level processing by David Sherman on September 29 and 30, 2009. Werner Deuser processed more material from acc2005-40 and acc2005-46 in boxes 3 and 4 in October 2013. Electronic records series was processed by David Sherman in October 2013. Photographs series was processed by Ralph Montilio from December 2014-March 2015.

A Guide to the the Kenneth O. Emery papers, 1936-2002
July 8, 2005
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