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Collections

The Niels Bohr Library & Archives has an outstanding collection of books and print materials in the history of modern physics. We are perhaps even better known as an archives that includes major photo, biographical, and institutional history collections; historical records of AIP and itís Member Societies; and select collections of the papers of leading physicists.



Library Collection thumbnail image of Max Planck
Library Collections, Books and Serials

The Libraryís print holdings consist of approximately 14,000 titles including physical science monographs, textbooks, laboratory manuals, instrument catalogs, and published correspondence. The Library also holds complete runs of the journals published by the American Institute of Physics.

Archival Collection thumbnail image of Werner Heisenberg
Archival Collections

The Niels Bohr Library & Archives is the official repository for the permanently valuable records of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Archives and also includes some records from most of AIPís Member Societies, such as the American Physical Society and the American Astronomical Society. Otherwise, the Archives does not try to acquire collections for itself, but seeks to preserve them at the most appropriate repository.

Moving Image Collection thumbnail image of Diana McSherry
Moving Image Collection

The Niels Bohr Library & Archives has a small collection of films and other moving images. Some are produced commercially while others are non-commercial or privately produced. These materials are made up of donations received from various sources including scientists, their families and colleagues, and institutions.

ESVA image of Emilio Segre
Still Images at The Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Our visual archives contains over 30,000 historical digital images, photographs, slides, lithographs, engravings, drawings and other visual materials. Most of the images are portraits and informal snapshots of individual scientists, but many show groups, laboratories, and apparatus.

High quality print and digital reproductions are available for purchase at low cost while our stock thumbnail images are free to download for educational, non-commercial uses.

Oral History Interviews thumbnail image of Otto Frisch
Oral Histories

The Oral History collection includes over 3,000 hours of interviews with some 1,500 physicists, astronomers and others. Most of the interviews are transcribed; most have indexes, abstracts, and detailed tables of contents, copies of which are available upon request. The Library also holds the original tape recordings of most interviews.

Institutional Histories thumbnail image of the Yerkes Observatory
Institutional Histories

Institutional histories provide detailed descriptions of a department, laboratory, school, or company. Often written by journalists or historians an institutional history chronicles the lifespan of an establishment or organization. In some cases the work may be created after the dissipation of an organization, in others solicited in celebration of a noteworthy event such as a centennial or significant anniversary.

Online Exhibits thumbnail image of Werner Heisenberg
Online Exhibits

The History Centerís eleven online exhibits engage a very broad audience, from elementary school students, to historians of science. Our exhibits had over 2.5 million visits and 39 million page views during 2008. Visit our gallery to learn more about Marie Curie's discovery of radium or the three physicists who in the 1940s developed the device that created our information age: the transistor. Get to know Albert Einstein through images, voice clips, and essays and consider the "Uncertainty Principle" with Heisenberg.