Jorgen Holmboe Papers, 1918-1980 (SMC 101)


Extent: 0.8 Linear feet (2 archives boxes)

The papers of meteorologist Jorgen Holmboe contain mainly personal and professional correspondence, but also document his participation on the Lincoln Ellsworth Antarctic Expedition of 1934-1936. The bulk of this material is in Norwegian with some material in English and German.

Jorgen Holmboe was born on November 8, 1902, near Hammerfest, Norway. In 1922, he entered the University of Oslo, initially studying mathematics. He became research assistant to meteorologist Vilhelm Bjerknes, founder of the Bergen Geophysical Institute and leader of the Bergen School of Meteorology, in 1925. After graduating in 1930, Holmboe worked as a meteorologist for the Norwegian weather service, first in Tromso, then in Bergen. From 1933 to 1935, he served as meteorologist for the Lincoln Ellsworth Antarctic Expedition. Upon his return, Holmboe married Kirsten Bendixen; they had one daughter, Anna, born in 1941.

Holmboe was appointed assistant professor at MIT in 1936, and then was invited by Bjerknes to join him in establishing a meteorology program at UCLA. Initially part of the physics program, the meteorology department was established as a separate department at UCLA in 1946. Holmboe served as the first chair of the Meteorology Department in 1946, and again from 1949-1958. His research principally concerned wave motion in the atmosphere, the formation of cyclones, and air flow over the Sierra Nevada.

Holmboe was appointed professor emeritus at UCLA, and retired in 1970. He died on October 29, 1970.

The papers of meteorologist Jorgen Holmboe document his work as assistant to Vilhelm Bjerknes and his participation on the Lincoln Ellsworth Antarctic Expedition of 1934-1936. The collection also documents the Holmboe family in Norway and the United States.

The papers are arranged in two series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE and 2) PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL PAPERS.

Container List


Scope and Content of Series

The CORRESPONDENCE series makes up the bulk of the collection, containing personal and professional letters primarily in Norwegian. The series and is arranged in two subseries: A) Chronological and B) Alphabetical.

A) The first subseries contains letters arranged by date. These letters are mainly professional in nature. A group of letters to and from the Holmboe family, including Jorgen Holmboe's parents, are found here as well. These letters are filed under "Family Letters" and sorted by date.

B) The second subseries is arranged by correspondent. The bulk of these are letters between Jorgen and Kirsten Holmboe, with most letters written in Norwegian. Several of these letters appear to have been numbered by Holmboe and are kept in their numerical order. Also included are letters from Anna Holmboe, Baard Holth and Fred Spiess.


Box 1 Folder 1-2
1929 - 1935. Includes congratulatory telegrams on Holmboe's marriage
Box 1 Folder 3
1936-1937, 1940, 1946, 1949
Box 1 Folder 4
1967 - 1968

Family letters

Box 1 Folder 5
1933 - 1934
Box 1 Folder 6
1941, 1945-1946
Box 1 Folder 7
1965 - 1973


Box 1 Folder 8
Holmboe, Anna, 1955, 1962-1968, 1972

Holmboe, Jorgen to Kirsten Holmboe

Box 1 Folder 9
ca. 1932 - 1934
Box 1 Folder 10-15
1937 - 1938. Numbered letters
Box 1 Folder 16
1937 - 1938
Box 2 Folder 1
1942-1945, 1948
Box 2 Folder 2
Box 2 Folder 3
1962, 1965-1966

Holmboe, Kirsten to Jorgen Holmboe

Box 2 Folder 4
1933 - 1934
Box 2 Folder 5-6
1937 - 1938. Numbered letters
Box 2 Folder 7
Box 2 Folder 8
Holth, Baard, 1934
Box 2 Folder 9
Spiess, Fred Noel, 1935 - 1936


Scope and Content of Series

Series 2) PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL PAPERS contains materials related to Holmobe's life, family, travels and work. Of particular interest are papers related to the Lincoln Ellsworth Antarctic Expedition, including invoices, travel documents, meteorological information and correspondence. The bulk of this material is in Norwegian.

Box 2 Folder 10
Biographical materials, 1918 - 1980
Box 2 Folder 11
Certificates, memberships & honors, 1941 - 1969
Box 2 Folder 12
Holmboe, Kirsten Bendixen - Biographical materials, 1924 - 1965
Box 2 Folder 13
Lincoln Ellsworth Expedition, 1929 - 1935
Box 2 Folder 14
Meteorological papers & correspondence, re. Southern hemisphere, 1933 - 1938
Box 2 Folder 15
Loyalty oath controversy, UCLA, 1949
Box 2 Folder 16
The Bergen School of Polar Front Meteorology - Typescript, undated
Box 2 Folder 17
Jacob Bjerknes obituary - Drafts, 1975
Box 2 Folder 18
Bergeron, Tor. Draft of a Commentary on the Copenhagen (1929) Codes for Weather Messages. Translated from the German original, ca. 1935
Box 2 Folder 19
Jorgen Holmboe and the Bergen School of Meteorology (video), 1979

Betacam tape and DVD. Digitized version available upon request.

Original restricted (digital version available).