Ray Hefferlin Collection

The Ray Hefferlin Collection is comprised of physics-related materials collected by Ray Hefferlin, PhD, former physics professor at Southern Adventist University.


The Ray Hefferlin Collection includes newspapers, periodicals, photographs, posters and correspondence. McKee Library acquired the Ray Hefferlin Collection in 2015 from the Hefferlin family. The collection is stored in the Physics and Engineering Department; Hickman Science Center, Room 1408. 

A Brief History

Professor Hefferlin was born in Paris, France in 1929 and moved to California with his father at the age of seven. He attended Pacific Union College and received his bachelor’s degree in 1951. He received his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. He married Inelda Phillips in 1954 and shortly thereafter, in 1955, became professor at Southern. Hefferlin’s passion for physics has been evident throughout the entirety of his professional life. During the 1960s, Hefferlin received his first research grant and focused on experimental spectroscopy, studying the interaction between matter and radiated energy. Later on, into the 1970s, he switched to more theoretical work and began working with others to create a chart (similar to the periodic table of elements) that organized diatomic molecules in a way that highlighted their similar properties. The end result was a definitive work that continues to be used today by students and scientists internationally. Professor Hefferlin passed away on March 7, 2015.

Research Aids

Finding Aid - PDF
Finding Aid - HTML
A finding aid is a guide to an archival collection. Finding aids include information about the collection’s creator(s) and subject matter, and describe the content, date, and format of the documents in a collection. Finding aids also detail the collection’s arrangement and include information for researchers about how to access and cite the collection. The HTML finding aid is available through ArchiveSpace.

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