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John Karlem Riess papers

Identifier: LaRC-994

Scope and Contents

John Karlem "Ducky" Riess (1913-2005) was professor of physics at Tulane University from 1943 to 1978 as well as professor emeritus (1978-2005) and faculty advisor to the fraternity system. The collection consists of Riess' personal papers, research materials relating to his publications, offprints of articles, correspondence, family papers, photographs, stamps, drawings, clippings, and awards. There are also materials related to his research on John Leonard Riddell. John Riess, the father of John Karlem Riess, was a local contractor, and some of his papers are included in the collection, as well as those of Alma Sirera Riess (mother), Mary Riess (sister), Oscar Riess (uncle), and Viola Sirera Ransmeier (aunt).


  • 1866-2002
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1920s-1990s


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. No known restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

John Karlem "Ducky" Riess (1913-2005) served as professor of physics at Tulane University (1943-1978), faculty advisor to the fraternity system, and professor emeritus. Born in New Orleans, Riess graduated from Tulane University with his B.S. in chemistry in 1933 and M.S. in mathematics in 1935. He received a Ph.D. in physics from Brown University in 1943. He won numerous awards and actively participated in many fraternal and academic organizations throughout his long career, including Phi Kappa Sigma, ODK, and Phi Beta Kappa. Riess died in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Alpha of Louisiana Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa has named an annual award, given to the most outstanding new inductee, in his honor.


16.00 Boxes

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged chronologically by topic as follows: personal papers, family papers, business papers, publications, certificates, photographs, bound volumes, certificates, and awards. The collection consists of sixteen boxes and 22 volumes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the John Karlem "Ducky" Riess estate. Date acquired: 11/30/2005.

Other Descriptive Information

OCLC Number: 430215319

Processing Information

Collection processed by Kevin Fontenot, revised in 2009 by Eira Tansey.
Archon Finding Aid Title
LAC Group
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Tulane University Special Collections Repository

Jones Hall Room 202
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans 70118 US