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William E. Hughes papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 16640

Content Description

This collection contains materials related to the work and patents of the electrical engineer William E. Hughes (1926-2020). The items include correspondence, scientific notes and works, schematics, publications, patent details, spiral notebooks, and photographs related to the work and patents of Hughes. The papers also include information on the Commonwealth Scientific Corporation, where Hughes worked, which was an industry leader in ion beam technologies and equipment, along with texts on ion beams, thin film processes, and engineering.


  • Creation: circa 1979-2000s


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is minimally processed and open for research.

Biographical / Historical

William E. Hughes was born in Charlottesville, Virginia on November 4, 1926. He served in the U.S. Navy V-5 program of Armed Services and graduated from The University of Virginia Engineering School in 1949. Over the fifty-one years of his career as an electrical engineer, he created and held several patents and designs, such as a machine to spray gold on NASA space helmet face shields. He worked at the Commonwealth Scientific Corporation. He died on July 13, 2020.


2.58 Cubic Feet (Two cubic boxes, one half-width legal size document box, and one small oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Materials were kept in the order they were delivered.There was no clear arrangement.

Box 1 contains notebooks from 1979-1998, notes, papers and research on Ion Beam Technology, Vacuum products, and other research

Box 2 contains research materials, transparencies for talks, memos, reports, books and correspondence

Box 3 contains materials related to patents

Oversize folder 1 contains oversized graphs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a gift from Catherine A. Hughes to the Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia on October 1, 2021.


William Hughes Obituary (1926 - 2020) The Washington Post.

Genre / Form


Guide to the William E. Hughes papers
Rose Oliveira, Accessioning Archivist
17 December 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States