Skip to main content

Frederick L. Hovde papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 51

Scope and Contents

The Frederick L. Hovde Papers (1908-1983; 63.5 Cubic ft.) document the life and career of engineer and educator Frederick Hovde. The vast majority of the papers document Hovde's business career, particularly his tenure as President of Purdue University (1946-1971), but also his work for the U.S. government and other agencies on nuclear and atomic energy, weapons research, national defense, and rocket ordnance research. A group of personal papers is included, documenting Hovde's academic career, family, and personal life. A significant collection of Hovde's mementoes and personal belongings, such as souvenirs from trips, medals and awards, academic regalia, and sports uniforms are included in the artifacts series. The correspondence includes letters between Hovde and other important individuals, such as Richard Nixon, Herbert Hoover, Lyndon B. Johnson, Albert Einstein, J. Edgar Hoover, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Other significant correspondence includes letters regarding astronauts Virgil Grissom and Roger Chaffee, Purdue alumni killed during an Apollo space training mission. Hovde's correspondence with astronaut Eugene Cernan is also included.


  • 1908-1983
  • Majority of material found in 1946-1971
  • Other: Date acquired: 11/30/1982


Access Information

The majority of the collection is open for research. Access to Box K is restricted by donor request.

Conditions Governing Use

A section was this collection is restricted due to donor request.


63.50 Cubic Feet (59 cubic foot boxes, 4 manuscript boxes, and 3 flat boxes)

Arrangement Note

1. Business Career, 1918-1983 (40 Cubic ft.) 2. Personal and Family Life, 1908-1983 (9 Cubic ft.) 3. Photographic Materials, 1925-1983 (2 Cubic ft.) 4. Audio-Visual Materials, ca. 1950s-1978 (0.5 Cubic ft.) 5. Artifacts, ca. 1922-1982 (9 Cubic ft.) 6. Oversized Materials, 1921-1982 (3 Cubic ft.)

Source of Acquisition

Hovde family

Method of Acquisition


Existence and Location of Originals

Related Materials

Edward C. Elliott Papers Andrey A. Potter Papers Oral history interview conducted May 16, 1972 and August 31, 1972, located within MSO 2, Purdue Office of Publications Oral History Program collection.

Separated Materials

Oversized materials, photographs, and artifacts have been separated and grouped into individual series for preservation purposes as deemed appropriate by the archivist. Most photographs relating to Purdue events were removed and transferred to the Purdue Photo File, with photocopies of the original photos remaining in the Hovde Papers for reference purposes.

Processing Information

Original order of the files has been retained. For this reason, some personal correspondence has been left within the business correspondence series, accurately reflecting the order of Hovde's working files and the way he used them.
Frederick L. Hovde papers
In Progress
Joanne Mendes
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States