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Joseph Valasek papers

Identifier: 417

Scope and Content

The collection contains class notes from when Dr. Valasek was a student, publications, lab notebooks given out to his students, lecture notes, exams and correspondence.


  • circa 1917-1965


Language of Materials

English, German

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Requests for permission to quote from the Joseph Valasek papers should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives head.

Biographical Sketch of Joseph Valasek (1897-1993)

Joseph Valasek was born on April 27, 1897 in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his B.S. from the Case School of Applied Science (now Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH) in 1917, his M.A. in 1920 and Ph.D. in 1921 from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Valasek joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1919 as a teaching assistant in physics. He was promoted to instructor in 1920, assistant professor in 1922, associate professor in 1927 and professor in 1941. He specialized in geometrical and physical optics, experimental optics and spectroscopy, and x-rays. Dr. Valasek discovered ferroelectricity in the 1920s, the spontaneous and reversible electric polarization of crystalline substances. He retired from the University in 1965. In 1983, the University of Minnesota honored Dr. Valasek with an honorary doctor of science degree. Joseph Valasek died in 1993.


3 boxes (3.9 linear feet)


Collection contains the papers of Joseph Valasek, professor of physics at the University of Minnesota.

Other Finding Aid Available

A finding aid with a contents list is available in University Archives.

Joseph Valasek papers, circa 1917-1965
Karen Spilman
May 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area