Marston C. and Peter Sargent Papers, 1845-1985 (bulk 1932-1975) (SMC 25)

OFF-SITE STORAGE: COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.

Extent: 10 Linear feet (10 record cartons, 1 map case folder, and 2 oversize folders)

The family papers of Marston C. Sargent and his wife, Grace "Peter" Sargent, including extensive familial correspondence, photographs, and personal papers documenting their genealogical history, early years living and teaching at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, travels abroad, and Peter's writings.

Marston C. Sargent (1906-1986) was an oceanographer and inventor affiliated with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at UC San Diego for more than four decades. Sargent was born in Somerville, MA, and graduated from Harvard in 1929 with a degree in biology. He earned his doctoral degree in plant physiology and biophysics in 1934 at California Institute of Technology (marrying Grace "Peter" Tompkins on April 8, 1933) and worked for there for three years as an assistant biologist. Sargent moved to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography as an assistant biochemist and later became an instructor of oceanography from 1937-1942. He was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946, during which time he was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Navy's Bureau of Ships. He eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve. After the war, Sargent returned to SIO where he held the position of assistant professor until 1951. From 1951 to 1955, Sargent was an oceanographer and head of training at the U.S. Navy Electronics Laboratory. In 1955, he moved to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Pasadena where he worked and remained until 1970 (serving a two-year stint in London). After leaving ONR, Sargent was the coordinator of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations until 1974.

Sargent was a co-inventor of an electric device called the Bathythermograph Data Reduction System, which enabled digitization of records compiled with the mechanical bathythermograph, an instrument for logging underwater temperatures. This device allowed researchers to quickly record large quantities of data on ocean conditions. He also became an authority on photosynthesis and the growth requirements of marine plankton algae. Sargent retired in 1974, but he continued as a research associate with the Marine Life Research Group at SIO until 1980.

Grace "Peter" Tompkins Sargent (1909-1992), daughter of Florence and Harry Tompkins, was born in the Sierras of California. Her father, Harry, was one of the first rangers in the new U.S. Forest Service under Gifford Pinchot. She was known by her childhood nickname, Peter, her whole adult life. Peter attended grade school in Pasadena with Roger Revelle. In 1931 she graduated from Stanford with a degree in English, where she was also a member of the Zoology Club; she went on to earn her masters in zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1932. She met her husband Marston in Pasadena, where she was working as a Girl Scout nature counselor and secretary. She accompanied him to Scripps and his other assignments with the Navy in California. In 1979, Peter wrote and privately published a short, informal history of her recollections of the early years living and working at Scripps, The Sea Acorn, and she was the author of other works drawing on her experience in the Sierras and her father's experience in the Forest Service. She was an active member of the League of Women Voters and participated in the campaign for open space in the city of San Diego.

The family papers of Marston C. Sargent and his wife, Grace "Peter" Sargent, including extensive familial correspondence, photographs (prints, negatives, and slides), and personal papers documenting family genealogical history, early years living and teaching at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, travels abroad in Europe and London, and Peter's writings. The collection contains relatively little documentation of Marston's scientific research with the Navy and at SIO. Additional topics include: Peter's father, U.S. Forest Service ranger Harry James Tompkins (1867-1949); SIO history, particularly from the perspective of a faculty spouse; the UC loyalty oath; London's Office of Naval Research; open space initiatives in the Tecolote Canyon and Clairemont areas of San Diego; manuscripts for Peter's books The Sea Acorn and Nature's Child; and Sierra National Forest.

Arranged in four series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) MARSTON C. SARGENT, 3) PETER SARGENT, 4) PHOTOGRAPHS.

This EAD finding aid for the Sargent Papers utilizes re-purposed description and a container list from an inventory created in 1996 by archival processor Jeffrey A. Stoffel. The collection was not re-appraised, reorganized or re-labelled when the format of the finding aid was updated; therefore, it may be considered minimally processed.

Container List

CORRESPONDENCE

Scope and Content of Series

Series 1) CORRESPONDENCE: Includes letters written and received by the Sargent and Tompkins families, dated from 1888 to 1983. It includes substantial correspondence exchanged by Florence and Harry Tompkins, Peter's parents, to her; as well as letters by her sister Jean "Tommy" Tompkins and her aunt Delia. Sargent family correspondence includes letters from Marston's mother, Nannee May, and his sister Viella. Marston Sargent's professional correspondence with colleagues is limited and is composed primarily of letters from Sydney Rittenburg (1941-1981), Fred Hulse (1938-1983), and Robert Emerson (1937-1938). Arranged in approximate chronological order.

Box 1 Folder 1
Miscellaneous papers
Box 1 Folder 2-9
Correspondence, undated
Box 1 Folder 10-43
Correspondence, 1888-1942 September
Box 2 Folder 1-35
Correspondence, 1942 October-1946
Box 3 Folder 1-35
Correspondence, 1947-1953 September
Box 4 Folder 1-17
Correspondence, 1953 October-1983

MARSTON C. SARGENT

Box 4 Folder 18-19
Photograph portraits, 1924-1928, and undated
Oversize FB-072 Folder 8
Portrait of SIO faculty and staff, 1939

Annotation on verso notes Roger Revelle and F. B. Sumner missing from photograph.

Box 4 Folder 20
Retirement
Box 4 Folder 21
Notes
Box 4 Folder 22
Sketchbook
Box 4 Folder 23
Reprints
Oversize SIO MC-044-01
Western Junior High School, Somerville, Massachusetts, Class of 1921 - Panorama photograph
Box 4 Folder 25
Biographical information, 1929-1964
Box 4 Folder 26
Diplomas and letters, 1933-1952
Box 4 Folder 27
University of California employment record, 1937-1953
Box 4 Folder 28
Publications, 1934-1948
Box 4 Folder 29-32
Naval Reserve records, 1942-1954
Box 4 Folder legal
The Desert Log, 1942
Box 4 Folder legal
Wills, 1942
Box 4 Folder 33
Naval Electronics Laboratory, 1951-1955
Box 4 Folder 34
IX and other societies, 1951-1967
Box 4 Folder 35
Workman's compensation claim, 1963
Box 4 Folder 36
Principles of Adult Education, 1955
Box 4 Folder 37
Badges and insignia
Box 4 Folder 38
Aeromarine Electronics, Inc., Proposal for Bathythermograph Data Reduction System
Box 4 Folder 39
Bathythermograph Data Reduction System, 1964
Box 4 Folder 40
BT, 1968-1969
Box 4 Folder 41
Bermuda Biological Station for Research, 1947
Box 4 Folder 42
Bottles, 1973
Box 4 Folder 43
British Certificate of Registration, 1958
Box 4 Folder 44
California Academy of Sciences, 1965-1974
Box 4 Folder 45-49
CalCOFI and Marine Research Committee, 1950-1974
Box 4 Folder 50
Report on CalCOFI, by Murphy, 1960 May 26
Box 4 Folder 51
Eldon Sette, 1972
Box 4 Folder 52
P. Smith, 1953
Box 5 Folder 1-2
Carlin Case, 1975
Box 5 Folder 3-5
Wilbert M. Chapman, 1961-1965
Box 5 Folder 6
Contaminants, 1971
Box 5 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1959-1960
Box 5 Folder 8-9
Energy, 1973-1977
Box 5 Folder 10
Environmental Quality Act, 1973
Box 5 Folder 11
London, Office of Naval Research, 1960
Box 5 Folder 12
Navy Electronic Laboratory - Personnel file, 1960
Box 5 Folder 13
ONR - Personnel file, 1958-1960
Box 5 Folder 14-17
Smog and pollution, 1952-1970
Box 5 Folder 18
Sewage and pollution, 1973-1975
Box 5 Folder 19
Prestidigitator calculations, ca. 1964
Box 5 Folder 20
Transportation, 1971-1977
Box 5 Folder 21-22
Water, 1973-1977
Box 5 Folder 23
Yugoslavia, 1959
Box 5 Folder 24-25
Ecosystem of the California Current, 1959-1974
Box 5 Folder 26
Party, 1974 July 2
Box 5 Folder 27
Scripps, 1978-1979
Box 5 Folder 28
Picture by Paul Sample of Vermont, undated

PETER SARGENT

Box 5 Folder 29
Caricature
Box 5 Folder 30
Portrait
Box 5 Folder 31
Photograph by Anna Clark
Box 5 Folder 32
Notes
Box 5 Folder 33-39
Clippings, 1930-1981
Box 5 Folder 40
Clippings - Sentinel, 1955-1956
Box 5 Folder 41
Altadena School, 1917
Box 5 Folder 42
Travel, 1920
Box 5 Folder 43
Address book, ca. 1920
Box 5 Folder 44-45
Diaries, 1921, 1924
Box 5 Folder 46
Playbills, 1921-1927
Box 5 Folder 47-50
High school records, 1922-1927
Box 5 Folder 50-51
Sunnyside Club, 1921
Box 5 Folder 53-54
Class notes and nursing, 1924
Box 6 Folder 1-4, 25-27
College courses and papers, 1928-1929
Box 6 Folder 5
Wedding invitation, 1933
Box 6 Folder 6
Bird records, 1937-1939
Box 6 Folder 7
Marmer's Club party, 1941 April 5
Box 6 Folder 8
"India and the War", undated
Box 6 Folder 9
Telephone book, 1946
Box 6 Folder 10
La Jolla discussion group, 1946
Box 6 Folder 11-17
Personal files, 1941-1958
Box 6 Folder 18-20
Politics/Personal files, 1939-1948
Box 6 Folder 21
Financial, 1946
Box 6 Folder 22-24, 28
Short stories, 1928
Box 6 Folder 29-32
Lewis letters and Cabin Country outline, 1952-1963, 1973
Box 6 Folder 33-36
Shin letters, 1949-1962
Box 6 Folder 37-43
Sierra source material, 1910-1963
Box 6 Folder 44
U.S. Forest Service, 1939
Box 6 Folder 45
Sierra North - Plot, correspondence and first 150 pages, 1952
Box 6 Folder 46-51
Nature's Child, 1932-1972

Includes correspondence and source material.

Box 6 Folder 52-53
The Girl Peter, 1976
Box 6 Folder 54-55
Sandy - Outlines and correspondence, 1969-1972
Box 6 Folder 56
A Sawmill History of the Sierra National Forest
Box 6 Folder 57
Ritchie Press and UC Press, 1973
Box 7 Folder 1-13
Sea Acorn, 1974

Includes Fleming letters.

Box 7 Folder 14
Mother - Sierra Years, 1971
Box 7 Folder 15
Mother (all except Sierra Years), Dad - Letters, 1946-1954
Box 7 Folder 16-21
Florence J. Tompkins paintings, 1963-1965, and undated
Box 7 Folder 22
Sargent - Correspondence with Mother, 1959-1963
Box 7 Folder 23
Harry James Tompkins - Photographs, ca. 1905-1919
Box 7 Folder 24-26
Harry James Tompkins - Family genealogical records, 1845-1965
Box 7 Folder 27-29
Sargent family genealogical records, 1861-1960

Includes material from Oscar Groves Sargent memoirs.

Box 7 Folder 30
Letter book - Florence Holbrook Johnson Tompkins letters leaving home in Washington D.C. to go to Northfork, California, 1907-1908
Box 7 Folder 31
Delia Tompkins, 1952-1956
Box 7 Folder legal
Jean Ann Tompkins's Pasadena High School album, 1923
Box 7 Folder 32-34
Jean and Bill Arnold - Letters to family and photographs, 1928-1963
Box 7 Folder 35
Jeannie and Tommy, A True Story of Two Children, 1940-1949
Box 7 Folder 36-39
League of Women Voters, 1939-1949
Box 7 Folder 40
Budget book, 1979
Box 8 Folder 1-2
League of Women Voters, 1950, 1961
Box 8 Folder 3-5
Loyalty Oath and Regents, 1950
Box 8 Folder 6
Loyalty Oath controversy - UC Interim Report of the Committee on Academic Freedom to the Academic Senate, Northern Section of the University of California, 1951 February 1
Box 8 Folder 7
C. K. Tseng, 1951
Box 8 Folder 8
Donald William Pritchard, 1951
Box 8 Folder 9-12
Unitarians, Communists and the FBI, 1949-1952
Box 8 Folder 13
"Against Thy Neighbor", 1954
Box 8 Folder 14
Indian mission, 1956-1968
Box 8 Folder 15
News from the Bird Banders, 1936-1942
Box 8 Folder 16
Birds, 1967-1968
Box 8 Folder 17
Volunteer Research Reserve, 1943-1952
Box 8 Folder 18
Ideas on articles and sketches from writing class, 1956
Box 8 Folder 19
Publishers - Sketches, 1952-1954
Box 8 Folder 20
Housewife's Guide, 1954
Box 8 Folder 21
Television scripts
Box 8 Folder 22-24, and legal
Scrapbook - Europe, 1959-1960
Box 8 Folder 25
Calendars, 1958-1959
Box 8 Folder 26-28
England, 1957-1967
Box 8 Folder 29-30, 42
Europe, 1958-1959
Box 8 Folder 31
Passport, 1966
Box 8 Folder 32
Education, 1957-1959
Box 8 Folder 33-35, and legal
Correspondence, 1959
Box 8 Folder 36
Minutes of the Social Club, 1958
Box 8 Folder 37-38
"Peter" files, 1958-1959
Box 8 Folder 39-41
London, England - Clippings and scrapbook, 1958-1959
Box 9 Folder 1-3
London, England, 1958-1960
Box 9 Folder 4-5
ONR and Embassy wives, 1958-1960
Box 9 Folder 6
Scrapbook, 1959-1960
Box 9 Folder 7
"San Diegans in Surrey", 1963
Box 9 Folder 8
Klausner, 1973
Box 9 Folder 9
Correspondence, 1975
Box 9 Folder 10
"Peter, the Organizer", 1978
Box 9 Folder 11
Land Development Review Committee, 1968
Box 9 Folder 12
Fliers on open space, Ecology Fair and Clairemont, 1970
Box 9 Folder 13, 20, 26
Clairemont Mesa Development Committee (CMDC), 1969-1973
Box 9 Folder 14
CMDC open space, 1969-1977
Box 9 Folder 15
Northern Area and Town Council, 1961-1966
Box 9 Folder 16, 18-19
Joint Advisory Board for Tecolote Park District, 1969-1972
Box 9 Folder 17
Tecolote Canyon dedication, 1978 April
Box 9 Folder 21-22
Open space, 1970
Box 9 Folder legal
CL water, 1952-1970
Box 9 Folder 23
Jack "Under an Evil Star", 1971
Box 9 Folder 24
Passports, 1972, 1977
Box 9 Folder 25
Christmas trip, 1976
Box 9 Folder 27
Travel book, 1978
Box 9 Folder 28
Notes, ca. 1985
Box 9 Folder 29
Terman study, 1981
Oversize FB-072 Folder 7
Oversize materials: University of California master of arts diploma in Zoology; Sedgwick, ME playbills (ca. 1886); Madera County Chamber of Commerce poster about saw mill and lumber industry

SARGENT FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS

Box 10 Folder 1-4
Family photographs, undated

Includes one folder of prints from nitrate negatives (negatives destroyed), ca. 1907-1940.

Box 10 Folder 5
Anna Clark
Box 10 Folder 6
Boulder Dam souvenir snapshots, undated
Box 10 Folder 7
Marston Sargent

Includes retirement party photos and early formal portraits.

Box 10 Folder 8-15
Miscellaneous prints - Travel, early family, landscapes, ca. 1880-1980
Box 10 Folder 16
Tom and Anne Sargent - Portraits
Box 10 Folder 17
Marston C. and Grace Sargent wedding portrait, 1933 April 8
Box 10 Folder 18
Tecolote Canyon dedication - Slides, 1978
Box 10 Folder 19
Indian mission and sawmill, Northfork, 1905-1910

Photographs possibly by Harry Tompkins. Includes images of American Indians weaving baskets, children swimming and playing, and mission life.

Box 10 Folder 20
Shoebox of prints and negatives - Assorted snapshots of La Jolla, Sargent family and friends, travel and landscape images, 1900-1976
Box 10 Folder 21
File box of family slides documenting open space in San Diego, ca. 1960-1976

The majority of slides depict views of undeveloped Tecolote and San Clemente canyons, and bulldozing in both locations. Other areas include Bay Park Canyon, Mount Acadia Park, Pioneer Canyon, Mission Hills Park, Lake Murray, Tourmaline, Oceanside, Mount Etna Park, Cadman Park, Olive Grove Park, Palomar Mountain/Observatory, views from Mesa College, Alcott, Clairemont Drive Canyon, Kate Sessions Park, Stevenson Canyon, Crest, South Clairemont Park, Borrego Springs, and Lindbergh Park. Slides also document Open Space events, maps and charts of Clairemont Mesa, councilman Don Harman, junction between 52 and the 805, and the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park.