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Lawrence Rauch Papers

The bulk of the collection consists of letters written home by Rauch during his time as a graduate student at Princeton from 1941 to 1949, which document Princeton academics and student life as well as Rauch's work in radio telemetry, and include references to his defense work for the United States government. Additionally, there are photographs which include portraits of Rauch and his family, Princeton era snapshots, and about a dozen photographs of Operation Crossroads atomic blasts. A significant amount of the work described in the letters relates to radio telemetry, about which Rauch co-wrote a book with Dr. Myron Nichols. There is also a group of Princeton-related ephemera including course notes for a class Rauch taught and other academic items.In the correspondence, which forms the bulk of the collection, Rauch describes his academic and social life at Princeton to his family, and includes details on his World War II defense work. From the beginning of his time at Princeton, Rauch was passionate about his studies in mathematics and physics. This work had the added benefit of providing deferral from the military draft. His letters include copious details regarding his academic work, social life, living quarters, eating situation, interest in radio telemetry, and war-time jobs.In the 1941 letters, Rauch describes attending seminars given by Professor Einstein, a growing relationship with Dean Eisenhart and the Eisenhart family, as well as “secret defense work” that he promptly becomes involved in. A description of exams, type of work, and types of courses are a quotidian part of the letters. Not only does Rauch consistently mention his heavy course load at Princeton, he also talks about traveling throughout the east coast for defense work. Of special note are trips to Hotel Niagara and the Pentagon, and he also traveled to New York, Vermont and North Carolina. He frequently admonishes his parents that the work is “top secret” and must not be discussed with anyone.His mentorship under Professor Tukey increases during these years and their friendship progresses as well. Effects of the war present themselves in the letters: rationing, friends leaving to fight, a Japanese Princeton professor forced to repatriate after Pearl Harbor. The correspondence covers several historically important events to both the country and the University such as Pearl Harbor, military in residence on the Princeton campus, and the fire in the University Gym.Until 1943, Rauch wrote home nearly every Sunday. Rauch tells his parents about his social activities, including frequent teas with other students and faculty at Dean Eisenhart’s, beer parties with other students, learning ping pong, dates with the Dean’s daughter Anna Eisenhart, going to picture shows, and more. There is a lacuna in the letters from the time he started dating his first wife, Yvonne, until he married her (July of 1943 to January of 1944). After his marriage, the letters were more sporadic.A significant amount of the work described in the letters relates to radio telemetry, about which Rauch co-wrote a book with Dr. Myron Nichols. His work on “secret defense projects” during the war involved radio telemetry, as did his work on Operation Crossroads after the war.