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Sydney T. Knott papers

 Record Group
Identifier: MC-43

Scope and Content Note

The Sydney Knott papers consist of materials related to Knott's work and engineering activities at WHOI from 1950-1971. Materials in the papers include correspondence, meeting minutes, patent information, data, photographs, and computation books.


  • 1950-1971

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

Sydney T. "Bud" Knott, Jr., was a Research Specialist and Hydro-acoustics engineer in the WHOI Geology and Geophysics Department. Bud began employment at the Institution on May 6, 1946 on Dr. J.B. Hersey's project B-16. His undergraduate education began at Bowdoin and included Massachusett's Teacher's College, Tufts and Columbia. Following a four-year tour of duty as a Naval Officer serving on destroyers in the Pacific, he returned to Cape Cod to build boats together with his brother Dan.

Bud is considered by many to be the father of modern echo sounding at the Insitution, since he developed the Precision Graphic Recorder in the mid-fifties.

Bud participated (along with others from the Institution) in responding to the Navy's request for assistance in searching for the submarine Thresher , and with the use of PGRs and towed cameras the team photographed the first debris associated with the wreck. As a direct result of the Thresher search, in April of 1964, Paul N. Nitze, then Secretary of the Navy, awarded him the Navy Meritorious Public Service Citation for his valuable contributions to the Department of the Navy in the field of scientific investigation. This is one of the highest honors which the Navy can grant a civilian.

Taken from Knott's WHOI Obituary.


3 boxes (3 lin. ft.)


The Sydney Knott papers consist of materials related to Knott's work and engineering activities at WHOI from 1950-1971.


Arranged in a single series:

List of Series:

Custodial History

The papers had been in an office in the Bigelow Laboratory prior to their donation to the Archives.

Acquisitions Information

The Sydney T. Knott papers were received by the Data Library and Archives in September 1979.

Processing Information

First-level processing and folder listing completed by Rosemary Davis.

A Guide to the Sydney T. Knott papers, 1950-1971
David Sherman
May 2009
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