Francis G. Slack Collection

Identifier: MSS.0395

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

This .21 linear feet collection contains a biography, a booklet from the first lecture series, and eight pamphlet offprints, authored by Professor Slack, from published journals.


  • 1928-1978

Language of Materials



Francis Goddard Slack was born in Superior, Wisconsin, on November 1, 1897. He received a B.S. degree from the University of Georgia in 1918 and entered the U.S. Army, being commissioned a pilot; because World War I ended before his graduation he never engaged in combat flying. In 1921 he entered Columbia University and in 1926 received the Ph.D. in physics.

In 1928, Francis Slack came to Vanderbilt University as associate professor of physics. He immediately began to strengthen teaching and research. One of his first constructive efforts was to organize and equip an advanced laboratory where students might learn the rudiments of electrical measurement and perform such famous experiments as the determination of e, e/m, and h. The Vanderbilt laboratory was unequalled in the South at the time.

In 1939, he was appointed Professor of Physics and chairman of the department. He had a distinguished career in the Southeast as a physics teacher, researcher, and administrator. He was the first physicist at Vanderbilt and indeed in the state of Tennessee to put equal emphasis on teaching and on research at a national-international level. In 1951, Professor Slack stepped down from his position. In 1977 Vanderbilt University established in the Department of Physics and Astronomy an annual lecture series named in honor of Francis G. Slack.


.21 Linear Feet

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the Francis G. Slack Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

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