A Guide to the Doug Burton Papers, 1962, 1977-1979 Burton, Doug, Papers Ms2020-001

A Guide to the Doug Burton Papers, 1962, 1977-1979

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2020-001


Special Collections, Virginia Tech

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

2020 ( CC0 1.0 )

Processed by: Clare Carter, Student Worker, and Laurel Rozema, Archivist, Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Doug Burton Papers, 1962, 1977-1979 [bulk 1978-1979]
Much of this collection has been digitized and is available online .
Physical Characteristics
1.4 Cubic Feet; 1 box
Burton, Thomas Douglas
This collection contains Doug Burton's papers and memorabilia from a Pratt-funded Virginia Tech engineering trip to the USSR and Finland taken in March 1979. It primarily consists of VT trip handouts, maps, a newspaper, Moscow Olympics souvenirs, some books, and a transcript of Doug Burton's diary.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Doug Burton Papers must be obtained from Special Collections,Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Doug Burton Papers Ms2020-001, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Doug Burton Papers was donated to Special Collections in July 2019.

Alternate Form Available

Much of this collection has been digitized and is available online .

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Doug Burton Papers commenced and completed in January 2020.

Biographical Note

Thomas Douglas (Doug) Burton graduated from Virginia Tech in 1980 with a B.S. in electrical engineering. While a student, Burton was one of about 30 students and professors to visit the USSR and Finland in the Spring of 1979 as part of a study abroad trip for the Virginia Tech College of Engineering. Following graduation, Burton joined Bell Telephone Labs and earned a master's at Cal Tech. He later worked for GE, Otis Elevators, and other companies, before returning to Blacksburg, Virginia, to join Luna Technologies and Luna Innovations in 2001. He retired in January 2019.

Administrative History

John Lee Pratt (an industrialist who provided financial support for Virginia Tech as early as 1957) died in 1975, leaving in his will approximately $12 million for Virginia Tech, half to be used to support programs within the College of Engineering. In his will, Pratt specified that the funds had to be put towards the support of research and scholarships. It was decided that the Pratt funds were going to be put towards four distinct programs: one half towards a scholarship program, one fourth towards a graduate fellowship program, one eighth used for the funding of international travel for facility, and the remaining one eighth for a study abroad program for undergraduate students. One of those study abroad trips was one taken from March 16 to March 30 in 1979 to the USSR, and documented in Doug Burton's diary, as seen in this collection.

Scope and Content

This collection contains trip handouts, three books, the Pratt report of the trip, Moscow Olympics souvenirs, "The Truth" Russian newspaper, brochures and maps, a hotel card, "Love an Engineer" button, a Russian receipt, and digital copies of photos, letters, and Doug Burton's diary.


This collection is arranged by type.

Index Terms


  • University Archives
  • University History
  • Organizations:

  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. College of Engineering (1964-)
  • People:

  • Burton, Thomas Douglas

Contents List

Much of this collection has been digitized and is available online .

box-folder 1 folder: 1
Trip Correspondence and Summary, 1978-1979
box-folder 1 folder: 2
Russia Trip Guidelines, 1979, undated
box-folder 1 folder: 3
Excerpts from Doug Burton's Diary (Pratt Report), 1979-03-16-1979-03-30, 1979-06-07
box-folder 1 folder: 4
Hotel Card, undated
box-folder 1 folder: 5
Russian Receipt, undated
box-folder 1 folder: 6
Russian Newspaper, 1979-03-27
box-folder 1 folder: 7
Trip Maps, 1977-1978
box-folder 1 folder: 8
Digital Copies of the Trip's Photos, 1979
box-folder 1 folder: 9
"Love an Engineer" Button, undated
box-folder 1 folder: 10
"Next Time You go to Russia" Guidebook, 1977
box-folder 1 folder: 11
Russian Dictionary, 1962
box 1
"The Russians" by Hedrick Smith, 1976
box 1
Moscow Olympics Souvenirs, undated