Website Q & A — Fall 2009 Issue

Q:

How do I find archival collections related to astrophysics?

A:

Start at the main landing page (http://www.aip.org/history) for the Center for History of Physics and the Niels Bohr Library & Archives. In the navigation links on the left of the screen, click on International Archival Catalog (ICOS). If you search only on “astrophysics” this search returns 449 hits — way too many. Narrow down the search by choosing restrictions (limits) in the middle of the page. Add the restriction “Archival Collections held at AIP”, for example. This identifies 26 collections at AIP, including manuscripts, oral history interviews, and autobiographical essays. Note that the other 423 collections identified for “astrophysics” are at OTHER institutions around the world. This catalog is immensely helpful for researchers trying to track down collections related to the physical sciences no matter where they are held. You don’t have to be in the Niels Bohr Library to use it. You can use this catalog anywhere you have web service.

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