AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXVIII , No. 2, Fall 2006


Expansion of Alsos, Online Resource for Nuclear History
and Issues References

by Frank Settle

The Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues ( has a new Web face, improved features and an expanded set of annotated references. Initiated in 2000 as a component of the National Science Foundation’s National Science Digital Library (, Alsos has expanded its initial focus on the history of the Manhattan Project to cover Cold War and post-Cold War topics including nuclear power, nuclear waste, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and nuclear terrorism. In doing so, it has grown to include over 2,000 references, covering a broad spectrum of topics and disciplines associated with nuclear issues.

Among the new features, Alsos now assists users in locating materials with an improved presentation of popular topics. The results are sorted by relevance to facilitate selection of references from long lists, and online references may be accessed more directly. Finally, users can instantly find books, articles and films in libraries near them via links using the “Find in a Library” feature offered publicly by WorldCat.

As would be expected, users usually discover Alsos through search engines, which have extensively indexed its holdings. It is reached by many additional users through links on appropriate pages of Wikipedia. Hundreds of libraries, college departments, secondary schools, research institutes, and professors worldwide provide links to Alsos for information about nuclear issues deemed relevant to many disciplines. Recently, Alsos has partnered with three other web sites to integrate a still larger variety of historical and current materials on nuclear themes on the Nuclear Pathways project ( Alsos provides bibliographies for specific topics for those content-rich partner web sites.

The Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues continues to expand its role as a source of references on both current and historical material. More specifically, the collection contains many references addressing the evolution of nuclear physics and its impact on world events. For further information contact Frank Settle, Department of Chemistry, Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA, 24450, e-mail:


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