AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXIII, No. 2, Fall 2001

 

Recent Acquisitions of the Niels Bohr Library

The following report describes the rich variety of historical materials preserved during the past year in the Niels Bohr Library. But this is not all that the AIP History Center helps to preserve, nor even the most important part. Center staff continually work to place records and papers of important scientists at their home institutions' archives or another appropriate repository.

Manuscript Materials

 
In 1999 the University of Alaska, Fairbanks was a recipient of a Grants to Archives award from the Friends of the Center for History of Physics to process the papers of the eminent geophysicist Sydney Chapman. Some of this funding helped reproduce the collection on microfiche for wider distribution—especially useful here in view of the University's remote location. We now have a copy of microfiche in the Niels Bohr Library. Excluded from the filming were the photographs, audio-visual materials, reprints and books. See the description in documentation preserved.

Our unique collection of student notebooks has continued to grow. Paul F. Zweifel sent us some from courses at Duke University and the University of North Carolina during the years of 1949-1980 (1.5 lin. ft.). From Maurice Griffel we received a collection of his student notebooks (1940-1948) taken from lectures at the University of Michigan by George Uhlenbeck, and Enrico Fermi lectures at the University of Chicago (.5 lin. ft.). Meanwhile George Rideout provided the annual addition to the Gravity Research Foundation records, comprised of the entries and winners of the 2001 Essay Contest (.5 lin. ft.). We received the papers of astronomer Hugh Johnson pertaining to his work at Lockheed Space and Missile Company as well as his own research in x-ray astronomy covering the years 1946-1999 (4.25 lin. ft.). The Scripps Institution of Oceanography sent us some technical reports separated from the William A. Nierenberg papers there, most of which came out of the JASON project and span the years 1977-1999 (.75 lin. ft.). Lawrence Cranberg sent us some documents relating to an article in Physics Today on Robert Oppenheimer and the history of the Superconducting Super Collider, from 2000 (.5 lin. ft.). Albert J. Miller, a former student of Robert Resnick, donated a copy of four notebooks that were the preliminary text and notes for Resnick and David Halliday's textbook Physics for Students of Science and Engineering used at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institution prior to publication. They date from 1957-1958 (.5 lin. ft.).

From AIP Member Societies, the past year brought another addition to the records of the American Vacuum Society, which includes records and photographs for the year 2000 (1 lin. ft.). A new collection has been created by the American Astronomical Society's Division on Dynamical Astronomy. DDA Archives Committee Member James Hilton brought in records and photographs that document the group's founding and ongoing activities from 1969-1999 (5.0 lin. ft.).

Some interesting additions to our Miscellaneous Physics collections have come our way. Finn Aaserud of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen sent us copies of the manuscript for the satirical Faust, eine Historie (written in 1932 by a group of young physicists there, and illustrated by George Gamow), 23 pp., and three volumes of the Journal of Jocular Physics (1935, 1945, 1955), first published on the 50th birthday of Niels Bohr. Selected papers (55 pp.) of Gian Carlo Wick (dated 1933-1945) were sent to us by Erasmo Recami. They are photocopies of documents from the Wick Archive, Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and include correspondence with Emilio Segrè, Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, Arnold Sommerfeld, and others. N. M. Sretenova donated a copy of an 82 page paper titled "Postmodern Science in the Historical Context of Postmodern World" (1998) on the Einstein-Bohr debate. A photocopy of a one-page manuscript by Albert Einstein on his unified field theory (ca. 1945) was donated by Z. W. Zink. We also received a copy of a dissertation from Michel Pinault (the University of Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne) on Frédéric Joliot, reproduced on four microfiche.

Manuscript Biographies and Institutional Histories

From Roy S. Clarke, Jr. we received a copy of a talk he gave to the Meteoritical Society 2000 Annual Meeting titled "Frederick C. Leonard: Before He Knew Meteorites" (15 pp.). Biographical materials on John Aloysius O'Keefe were donated by David Rubincam (1938-2000; 73 pp.) and Bernard Chovitz (2000; 6 pp.). An autobiography of George R. Ringo Jr. titled "A Letter to my Grandchildren" (2000; 153 pp.) was received from the author. Arnold Perlmutter sent us a copy of his manuscript "Marietta Blau's Work After World War II" (2000; 44 pp.). Elizabeth W. Moore donated her autobiography, "A Career in Crystallography" (172 pp.). A biography of Peter Pringsheim was sent to us by Dr. Valentin Wehefritz (1999; 79 pp.). We received Elizabeth N. Shor's biography of Victor Vacquier entitled "Profile of a Magnetician" (9 pp.). John Clauser donated a copy of his talk from the 2000 Quantum [Un]speakables Conference in Commemoration of John S. Bell on the early history of Bell's Theorem (24 pp.).

Book Donations

The Niels Bohr Library's book collection was greatly expanded this year thanks to the generous donation of several hundred of the late Joseph Weber's books given by his wife, Virginia Trimble, including many hard-to-find items (such as conference proceedings) on general relativity. We also received a number of books from the libraries of J. N. Gadel presented by Mrs. M. S. Gadel, Serge Korff donated by Mrs. R. B. Mendell, and Arthur Ginzbarg from Hana N. Ginzbarg. For other book donations, we would also like to thank Marjorie Friedman Axler, Edward Cliver, Jeff Hecht, Toyoki Koga, C. R. K. Murty, Ray Serway, and Gail Troutman.

Photographs

The online searchable database for the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives now contains more than 3,100 images of physicists from our collection of over 25,000, with more being added every month. This year the Visual Archives was notably enhanced by two sizeable and well-described collections of photographs, which include pictures of Werner Heisenberg, T. D. Lee, Leon Lederman, Aage Bohr, Glen Seaborg, Wolfgang Pauli, Val Fitch, Norman Ramsey, Martinus Veltman, and many other eminent physicists. One collection was donated by J. D. Jackson of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the other by Norton M. Hintz of the Tate Laboratory of Physics. We have also received excellent donations from the American Astronomical Society and Physics Today, both drawing on photos received for their published obituaries, as well as from Donald D. Clayton, Malcolm Tarlton, Carson Todd, Martijn Veltman, and the Niels Bohr Library and Archives (Copenhagen). The comprehensive collection of portraits of physicist Nobel Prize winners was kept up-to-date with donations from Alan J. Heeger, Jack Kilby and Herbert Kroemer.

Oral History Interviews

A large number of oral history interviews were received during the past year. Most are still being processed—that is, transcribed, edited by the interviewer, sent to the person interviewed for corrections, and retyped. Eventually nearly all will be cataloged in our online International Catalog of Sources and open for scholarly use at the Niels Bohr Library. The following interviews were conducted by Patrick McCray, our Postdoctoral Historian: Helmut Abt, Roger Angel, Robert Fugate, Richard Garwin, Goetz Oertel, and Robert Park. Center Director Spencer Weart interviewed Wallace Broecker and James Hansen. Interviews received from recipients of the Center's Grant-in-Aid awards included: Bert Bolin, Leo Clarke, George Haltiner, Willard Sam Houston, Jr., Edward Lorenz, Thomas Malone, and Paul Wolff, all conducted by Kristine Harper; Angela Camacho, Gordon Feldman, Luis Quirogo, and Dennis Sciama by Alexis DeGreiff; and separate interviews (on different topics) of Charles Misner by Luis Ferreira and Christopher Smeenk. (For the Grants-in-Aid program, see the article on page 4.)

Alexei Kojevnikov is editing interviews of David Bohm conducted in 1986-87 by Maurice Wilkins, who has kindly released them to us. Other interviews deposited in the Niels Bohr Library were: Herbert L. Anderson conducted by Lillian Hoddeson and Alison Kerr; Oren Anderson and Robert Green by Henry Bass; P.W. Anderson by Shivaji Sonhi, Piers Coleman and Premal Chandra; William Baker and Eugene Kovach by Ronald Doel; Bart J. Bok by David DeVorkin; Basil Hiley by Alexei Kojevnikov; James D. Franson, Yanhua Shih and Morton Rubin by Joan Bromberg; Yuri Galperin by David Stern; Nathaniel C. Gerson by Fae Korsmo; Kenneth N. Stevens by Melanie Matthies, and Theodor Heuter by Charles Schmid.

Other Audio-Visual Materials
In order to better preserve the extensive audio materials we make available to scholars, it has become necessary to ask for two business days advance notice for use of these items.

Some unusual audio-visual materials were donated during the last year. Gerald and Katherine Kron sent us their home movies of AAS and IAU gatherings from the 1950s and 1960s. From E. Leonard Jossem we received a videotape of a colloquium given by Arnold Arons in 1988 on physics education at Ohio State University. Audio tape recordings of a symposium held at the U.S. Naval Observatory in 1977 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the satellites of Mars was received from James Hilton. The American Physical Society donated audio tapes of a session at the March 2001 Annual Meeting on the History of Electronic Structure Theory in Atoms.

Finding Aids

Our most recently acquired finding aids include quite a few from repositories that completed processing collections with the help of our Grants to Archives. McMaster University Library, Division of Special Collections in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada sent us the finding aid to the papers of Henry George Thode. We received the finding aid to the papers of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin from the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, UK, and Churchill College Archives Centre in Cambridge contributed the Sir John McGregor Hill papers finding aid. Also from the UK, the finding aid to the Sir Brian Hilton Flowers papers came from the Imperial College of Science and Technology Archives in London. From Sweden’s Kungl. Svenska Vetenskapsakademien in Stockholm we received the finding aid for the records of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

Closer to home, we received the finding aid to the Joseph Ford papers from the Georgia Institute of Technology Library, the product of a grant awarded last year. The Western Historical Collections at the University of Colorado sent us finding aids to the papers of Albert A. Bartlett, William Duane, Bernhard Haurwitz, and Oliver Clarence Lester. Another 2000 grant awardee, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, sent us finding aids to the papers of Nicholas Fofonoff, John Hersey, Charles Hollister, John Meacham Hunt, Columbus Iselin, Raymond Montgomery, and William Von Arx.

In our own collections, we have completed finding aids for the following: Records of the American Physical Society Directed Energy Study; papers of F. Barton Hoag, Hugh Johnson, Earle Hesse Kennard, David Knapp, Fritz Reiche, Brian Schwartz, and Paul F. Zweifel Notebooks.
We continue to add finding aids online with Encoded Archival Descriptions... for the full set visit www.aip.org/history/ead/findingaids.html


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