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About the Samuel A. Goudsmit Digitization Project

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The Goudsmit Papers are a major international collection of correspondence, research notebooks, reports, World War II science documents and other material of Samuel Goudsmit, a Dutch physicist who spent most of his career in the U.S. and was involved at the cutting edge of physics for over 50 years. Goudsmit, who was scientific head of the Alsos Mission that tracked German efforts to build an atomic bomb during WW II, was a prolific letter who saved correspondence and other documents from his student days through the end of his career. In 1948 he became research director at the brand-new Brookhaven National Laboratory, and in 1950 he became editor of Physical Review, then emerging as the preeminent physics journal. In 1966 he also became the first editor-in-chief of the American Physical Society. Topics represented include the development of quantum physics in Europe and its spread to the U.S., the Nazi atomic weapons program, post-war physics research, and scientific publishing. Because of its breadth and depth, it is the most used collection in the Niels Bohr Library & Archives. In summary, the Goudsmit Papers, and especially his rich correspondence, document the mainstream of physics research from the 1920s through the mid-1970s.

The project to digitize the Goudsmit Papers took two years to complete and was partially supported by the U.S. National Historical Publications and Records Commission. For help in using the online collection, contact nbl@aip.org. To read more about the life of Samuel Goudsmit and the papers, please visit the finding aid to the collection.


R. Joseph Anderson, Melanie J. Brown
Project leadership

Rebecca Bruner
Project assistant

Rosa Maria Innocent
Interface design and creation

Liang Lang

Ada Uzoma
Design and maintenance

Macfadden & Associates, Inc.
Document scanning and image delivery

Additional thanks to Jenny Krivanek and the AIP Web Development department for advice and general assistance throughout the project.

Scanning and online access to this collection was supported in part by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Selection criteria

The entire collection was scanned, with the exceptions of: obvious duplicate copies of documents, published items and books that are readily available elsewhere, and audio/visual material, including photographs that are already available online through the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives.

Image specs

Each page of the collection was scanned individually on a flat-bed scanner, resulting in 68,929 master images (400 dpi, TIFF). The full-size and thumbnail JPG images presented in the collection website were derived from the original TIFF images.