As a faculty member of the Department of Social Sciences during his tenure at Georgia Tech, Melvin Kranzberg was instrumental and influential in establishing the School of History, Technology and Society after his retirement. This collection includes professional papers, transcripts of speeches, media articles and correspondence that span his educational and academic career.
(51 document cases and 1 oversize box)
Class rosters and grade sheets with social security numbers are restricted [Series 3, Subseries 3, Box 31, Folders 7-14].
Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.
21.4 Linear Feet
The collection of Melvin Kranzberg's papers includes correspondence, professional and student papers, revised drafts and manuscripts, speeches, papers written by colleagues and students of Dr. Kranzberg, lecture notes, newspaper and magazine articles, books, and photographs. The wealth of information researched and collected by Dr. Kranzberg is a testament to his devotion to the education and awareness of the History of Technology.
SERIES 1. Technology, 1950-1994 is divided into twelve subseries: History of Technology, Science and Engineering Disciplines, Computer Technology, Military Aspects of Technology, Technology Transfer, American Technology, International Technology, Environmental Technology, Energy, Innovation, Space Technology, and the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). All materials contained within this series relate to Dr. Kranzberg's classes and areas of research.
Subseries 1. History of Technology, 1950-1994 contains all of Dr. Kranzberg's teaching modules and collected articles and papers spanning from pre-history to modern science and technology in the form of both typed and written lecture notes; papers written by Dr. Kranzberg as well as his colleagues and students; and newspaper, journal, and magazine articles. The subseries is further divided into four eras of history covered in the collection: Pre-Historic to Ancient Civilizations; Medieval to Renaissance; Scientific Revolution through the Industrial Revolution; and Modern. Many of the divisions contain Dr. Kranzberg's "modules" or folders of typed and handwritten lecture notes and outlines, along with related articles and clippings that were used in his lecture classes. Numerous book reviews and journal articles showcase an excellent bibliography from which Dr. Kranzberg researched many of his speeches and papers.
Subseries 2. Science and Engineering Disciplines, 1951-1994 contains various newspaper, magazine and journal articles, along with professional papers, papers written by colleagues and students and speeches relating to various disciplines that were either researched by Dr. Kranzberg or were covered in his lecture classes. The subject matter ranges from Earth and Physical Sciences to Engineering fields, Architectural Design, Science and Engineering Education, and even specific scientists in various fields.
Subseries 3. Computer Technology, 1961-1988 contains numerous newspaper, magazine and journal articles, along with papers written by colleagues, and notes regarding computer related technology such as Robotics, Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Home Computing and Automation. This subseries also contains a copy of the 1983 TIME Magazine article that picked the computer as "Machine of the Year."
Subseries 4. Military Aspects of Technology, 1954-1982 contains papers by colleagues and students of Dr. Kranzberg; newspaper, magazine and journal articles; and speeches pertaining to the proliferation, impact and issues dealing with the military aspects of science and technology.
Subseries 5. Technology Transfer, 1965-1988 contains papers and speeches by Dr. Kranzberg, and his colleagues as well as lecture notes, correspondence, brochures, and newspaper, magazine and journal articles. These materials relate to the various issues surrounding the transfer of technology to developing countries, from Britain to the United States before and during the Industrial Revolution and a 1984 Georgia Tech sponsored conference entitled, "Technology Transfer in the Modern World."
Subseries 6. American Technology, 1953-1984 contains speeches by Dr. Kranzberg, newspaper, magazine and journal articles, notes, correspondence, papers written by colleagues of Dr. Kranzberg concerning the development of technology in America starting with the Pre-Columbian era, through the American Revolution, the Civil War and into the modern era. This subseries also touches on the subject of Technology and Democratization which is grouped in order by Roman numerals as arranged by Dr. Kranzberg in preparation for writing on the topic.
Subseries 7. International Technology, 1953-1994 includes a poster, speeches, and other materials gathered in preparation for the Georgia Tech sponsored exhibit at the High Museum of Art entitled, "China: 7000 Year of Discovery." Also included are newspaper, magazine, and journal articles; papers written by colleagues of Dr. Kranzberg; speeches; correspondence; and notes concerning technology in China, Germany, India, and Japan. A collection of papers presented at the 1986 "Conference on Modernization and Technological Innovation: Social and Economic Consequences."
Subseries 8. Environmental Technology, 1971-1992 provides insight into technology's impact on the environment, methods of teaching conservation, discussion on hazardous waste and disasters, and information on urban planning. Contained within this subseries are speeches; newspaper, magazine, and journal articles; and papers by colleagues of Dr. Kranzberg.
Subseries 9. Energy, 1965-1988 contains several lectures and supporting documents that trace the impact of energy and the technology behind it in relation to mankind. Contained within are edited manuscripts; speeches; newspaper, magazine, and journal articles; correspondence; personal articles; professional papers written by Dr. Kranzberg as well as by colleagues of his; and pamphlets.
Subseries 10. Innovation, 1966-1993 primarily focuses on research done by Dr. Kranzberg and colleagues at Georgia Tech concerning "The Ecology of Innovation." This subseries provides a wealth of their work in progress, in the form of draft and edited manuscripts; speeches; newspaper, magazine and journal articles; reprint orders of the project appendices; lecture notes ;agendas; papers by colleagues of Dr. Kranzberg. The research produced by this project in subjects such as Technological Change, Engineering Innovations, and Current Problems in Innovation, formed the background for the Kranzberg saying, "Invention is the Mother of Necessity."
Subseries 11. Space Technology, 1950-1994 highlights over 40 years worth of collected documents concerning the history of space exploration, the rise of NASA, the impact of space technology, and the future of the U.S. space program after the Space Shuttle Challenger accident. Contained within are professional papers and speeches by Dr. Kranzberg; papers written by colleagues; newspaper, magazine, and journal articles; correspondence; and lecture notes. Items of note include the Report of the President's Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, "Concepts of Space and Man's Identity" Harper's Encyclopedia Article written by Dr. Kranzberg; proceedings from the Georgia Tech Conference on International Space policy, and a transcript of Dr. Kranzberg's Oral Testimony before Congress concerning the Value of the Space Program.
Subseries 12. Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), 1958-1983 contains pamphlets on the journal of the society, "Technology and Culture," programs from the society's annual meeting, a program from the Sorby Symposium on the History of Metallurgy, as well as newsletters from the professional society that Dr. Kranzberg helped to found.
SERIES 2. Papers, 1939-1994 is divided into three subseries, Student, Professional, and Others. It encompasses all of Dr. Kranzberg's career starting with papers he wrote as a student at Amherst College and then as a Doctoral candidate at Harvard University which focus mostly on Eurpean and more specifically on French history, Dr. Kranzberg's military courses, textbooks written while at Case Institute, and professional papers written throughout his academic career. The last subseries contains papers written by colleagues of Dr. Kranzberg.
Subseries 1. Student, 1939-1944 encompasses the end of Dr. Kranzberg's college studies, as well as his educational training in the military during World War II. The college papers focus on French history and include manuscripts for "The Justice and Justness of the Mise of Amiens," and "Myths and Guns, A Study in French History." The military papers are from Indiana University and include class notes, lecture outlines, blue book exams, graded reviews, quizzes, maps. The items deal with Balkan politics, economics, geography and cultural studies. Also included are items used in his military intelligence training, including class notes and practice exercises.
Subseries 2. Professional, 1947-1991 spans Dr. Kranzberg's career from his beginning as an associate professor at Amherst College through his time at the Case Institute of Technology and even after his retirement from the Georgia Institute of Technology. The papers are taken from conferences and symposiums, as well as journals and digests of international professional societies. Included in this subseries are manuscripts for textbooks written while at Case which encompass subject matter ranging from Greek Civilization, to the Middle Ages, through 18th and 19th Century European and more specifically, French history.
Subseries 3. Other, 1957-1994 is a collection of papers written by colleagues of Dr. Kranzberg, many with attached personal notes. Several of the published papers are in German. Prominent academics included in these papers are Lewis Mumford, John B. Rae, Nathan Rosenberg, and Lynn White, Jr.
SERIES 3. Classes, 1947-1991 is divided into three subseries, Case Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Other. It comprises the bulk of the courses taught by Dr. Kranzberg in his 50 year career as a college professor. The classes are preserved in the form of lecture notes, syllabi, paper topics, project assignments, examinations, correspondence, class rolls, and grade sheets. Dr. Kranzberg's courses mostly pertained to the History of Technology, but also touched on the specific area of European History, and Special Topics courses which included Energy and Chinese History. The third subseries consists of several extracurricular courses taught over the summer, with allocated grant money and a course by newspaper.
Subseries 1. Case Institute of Technology, 1951-1972 forms the earliest of the courses taught by Dr. Kranzberg. The bulk of the curriculum focuses on a three term course sequence of "History of Science and Technology," as well as supplementary materials and a bibliography. Several other courses taught include "Science, Technology and Human Values," "Introduction to Humanities, Man and Nature," "Development of an Industrial Society." Contained within are lecture notes and outlines, syllabi, paper topics, project assignments, examinations, newspaper, magazine and journal articles, correspondence, .and restricted class rolls and grade sheets.
Subseries 2. Georgia Institute of Technology, 1972-1988 comprises the courses taught by Dr. Kranzberg, when he accepted the position as Callaway Chair for the History of Technology at Georgia Tech. The classes mirrored the same sequences he taught previously at Case, which included a three term sequence in "Technology in Western Civilization/History of Technology." Other courses of note include "History of Technology in America," "Technology and Economic Change," "19th Century Europe," and a Special Topics course which supplemented students and trained them as guides for the High Museum of Art Exhibit, "China:7000 Years of Discovery." The subseries contains lecture notes and outlines, syllabi, paper topics, project assignments, examinations, newspaper, magazine and journal articles, correspondence, and restricted class rolls and grade sheets.
Subseries 3. Other, 1947-1991 includes lecture notes and outlines, papers by students and colleagues of Dr. Kranzberg, correspondence, newspaper, magazine, and journal articles, course synopses, pamphlets, memos and restricted class rolls and grade sheets relating to his coursework taught in special sessions. Included is an NDEA Course on "Technology in American History" taught at the University of Massachusetts in 1968, "Energy and the Way We Live" Newspaper Course, a Sloan Foundation Course on Energy, and a continuing education course on Energy.
SERIES 4. Speeches, 1954-1994 organized by date, comprise the numerous speaking engagements at conferences, seminars, symposia, annual meetings, and celebrations where Dr. Kranzberg participated. The speeches cover a variety of topics and are found in typed form, with edits and supplementary materials such a newspaper, magazine, and journal articles included along with the speeches. Some contain multiple copies and were used for more than one event.
SERIES 5. Published Materials, 1962-1996 is divided into four subseries, Conference Programs, Reviews, Journals, and Other. This series is a combination of all of the countless printed materials that Dr. Kranzberg saved that range from scholarly journals and publications, to book and article reviews, to conference programs and published proceedings along with magazines and other documents such as annual reports related to his areas of research.
Subseries 1. Conference Programs, 1962-1996 consists of programs and published proceedings, that Dr. Kranzberg attended or found of interest to his work. Most of the conferences focused on the impact of technology.
Subseries 2. Reviews, 1967-1986 contains book and article reviews written by Dr. Kranzberg as well as reviews of his book, Technology in Western Civilization. The subject matter critiqued consists of Robotics, Automotive Technology and Science Fiction.
Subseries 3. Journals, 1967-1996 includes, quarterly and monthly journals from academic professional societies that range in topic from engineering disciplines to industrial arts to science and medicine. This subseries also contains several journals in French and German.
Subseries 4. Other, 1968-1995 contains handbooks from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and from the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC), along with magazines, and various other publication including books entitled "Wingspread - the Building", and "Vulcan and His Times".
SERIES 6. Personal, 1956-1994is divided into three subseries, Personal Publicity, Correspondence, and Family/Religion. Materials in this series include newspaper articles, handwritten letters, and financial statements.
Subseries 1. Personal Publicity, 1956-1993consists of newspaper clippings and magazine articles that interview Kranzberg or merely mention his name. Most of the articles deal with issues of technology.
Subseries 2. Correspondence, 1960-1994includes letters from professional colleagues and friends. Some are typewritten, though most are handwritten. Also included are holiday cards.
Subseries 3. Family/Religion, 1974-1994contains newspaper articles on the Jewish faith and community, several income tax reports, and property information for a rental home the Kranzbergs had in Florida.
Dr. Melvin Kranzberg was a charismatic personality, who gathered an immense ammout of knowledge, and enjoyed discussing, chatting, and debating about the impact of technology on the world.
He earned his Bachelor's degree in History from Amherst College (1938) and his Master's (1939) and Doctorate (1942) from Harvard University. During World War II, he served in military intelligence, winning the Bronze Star for interrogating German prisoners and obtaining the location of German gun emplacements. After the war he went on to teach at Harvard University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Amherst College and eventually Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.
While at Case he headed up the first graduate program in the United States in the History of Technology, and in 1958 was one of the principle founders of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). He served as secretary from 1959-1974 and eventually president of SHOT from 1983-1984. Kranzberg edited its journal "Technology and Culture," from 1959-1981. He left Case in 1972 to become the Callaway Chair for the History of Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology and taught there until his retirement in 1988. Even beyond his retirement, Dr. Kranzberg kept an office in the D. M. Smith building and continued to write letters of recommendation and correspond with his colleagues until his death on December 6, 1995.
During his career, Dr. Kranzberg edited or authored eleven books, wrote numerous articles and papers, delivered speeches at conferences around the world, and was granted accolades by his colleagues. Among these honors, Dr. Kranzberg received the Leonardo da Vinci Medal, the highest honor from SHOT, in 1968, the NASA Apollo Achievement Award in 1969 and the State of Israel's Jabotinsky Centennial Medal for eminence in science and letters in 1980.
A workaholic, he was known for his sense of humor and outgoing personality. His office was often overflowing with books and papers, many of which ended up in this collection. He was meticulous with saving and categorizing as many of his papers as possible. Dr. Kranzberg dissected newspapers. magazines, and journals, carefully saving the clippings under various subject headings for use in his next speech or paper. He typed up "modules" for all of his classes, including arranged and typed lecture notes. He saved all of his exams and many of his students' papers.
For the most part, this collection has been maintained in its original order. The first and largest series, Technology, has been divided into 12 subseries: Subseries 1. History of Technology, 1950-1994 [Boxes 1-6]; Subseries 2. Science and Engineering Disciplines, 1951-1994 [Boxes 7-10] Subseries 3. Computer Technology, 1961-1988 [Boxes 10-11]; Subseries 4. Military Aspects of Technology, 1954-1982 [Box 11]; Subseries 5. Technology Transfer, 1965-1988 [Boxes 11-12]; Subseries 6. American Technology, 1953-1984 [Boxes 12-14]; Subseries 7. International Technology, 1953-1994 [Boxes 14-15]; Subseries 8. Environmental Technology, 1971-1992 [Box 16]; Subseries 9. Energy, 1965-1988 [Box 17]; Subseries 10. Innovation, 1966-1993 [Boxes 18-20]; Subseries 11. Space Technology, 1950-1994 [Boxes 21-23]; Subseries 12. Society for the History of Technology, 1958-1983 [Box 23]. Each subseries contains materials on a specific field of technology except for Subseries 12, which is devoted to SHOT, an academic organization. Materials within each subseries are arranged chronologically.
The second series, Papers, is comprised of his written work as a student and as a professional. The second series is divided into three subseries: Subseries 1. Student, 1939-1944 [Box 24]; Subseries 2. Professional, 1947-1991 [Boxes 24-27]; and Subseries 3. Other, 1957-1994 [Box 27]. The third subseries contains papers written by Kranzberg's colleagues. All are arranged chronologically. Class materials in the third series are divided by the institutions where he taught. Folders are chronologically arranged by courses at Case Western Reserve University (formerly Case Institute of Technology), Georgia Institute of Technology and summer workshops / seminars.
The fourth series includes texts of the speeches he gave and are arranged by the years in which they were given. Consequently, copies of the same speech appear in varying places within this series. Different types of publications are divided in the fifth series, Published Materials. Most of the materials are arranged alphabetically by journal or conference titles. The last series, Personal, is comprised of print media about Kranzberg, personal and professional correspondence. and various materials concerning his family and religion.
Print copy of finding aid available in repository.
Louise Kranzberg donated these papers in 2000 (Accession #2000.057).
Photographs have been separated to VAM157. Books have been separated into the general library collection.
(51 document cases and 1 oversize box)
Andrew D. A. Bozanic processed this collection in 2002.
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board.