Becoming Caltech, 1910–1930: Presentations from the Archives

A century ago, a small institution called Throop Polytechnic Institute dramatically reinvented itself, transforming from a manual arts academy to an engineering school, then expanding into a research institute. In 1920, it became the California Institute of Technology. Join us on Zoom for a series of presentations by Caltech archivists on the science, engineering, architecture, and community life of early Caltech.

To participate, please register for the sessions you would like to attend using the links below. You can also find below links to video of presentations already given, and a bibliography of further reading.


Session 1, Commencement Edition. Thursday, June 11, 5:00–6:15
Watch on YouTube


Session 2, Thursday, June 25, 5:00–6:00
Watch on YouTube


Session 3, Thursday, July 9, 5:00–6:00
Watch on YouTube


Session 4, Thursday, July 23, 5:00–6:00
Watch on YouTube


Session 5, Thursday, August 6, 5:00–6:00

  • Humanities before HSS

  • Architectural Elements Saved

  • Biology Returns to Caltech 


Session 6, Thursday, August 20, 5:00–6:00

  • Caltech Takes to the Air: The Fly Boys and the Science Guys

  • The Cosmopolitan Club and Students of Color

  • Origins of the Athenaeum


Further Reading