Recent Acquisitions of the AIP Niels
|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 institution’s archives or another appropriate repository. Last year we opened fifty-nine new cases. Forty were for the papers of deceased scientists, seventeen were for prominent living individuals, and two were for the records of scientific organizations. Among scientists who died in late 1997-1998 whose papers we worked to place were Gertrude Goldhaber, David Schramm, Norris Bradbury, Shlomo Alexander, and Athelstan Spilhaus, Sr. We closed twenty-nine cases during the year—nearly all with success in preserving important materials for posterity.|
This year we have been working with AIP Member Societies to expand the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. Most recently, we completed a project to acquire copies of nearly 200 important photos from the collection of the American Geophysical Union. These are portraits of AGU award winners that were not previously represented in the Visual Archives. We also made preservation photographic negatives to assure long-term persistence of the images. Earlier this year we acquired an even larger photo collection from the American Vacuum Society, of members at meetings and on other occasions. This collection will be processed in a similar manner.
Donations from scientists, their families and colleagues are what make the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives uniquely useful. We regularly request portraits from scientists identified as significant by prizes or our surveys, and nearly all respond generously. Photos also come from historians and others. We warmly thank the following people and organizations from whom we’ve received photos during the last year: Ian Barbour, Eva Bergmann, D. Allan Bromley, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Abraham Clearfield, Robert D. Cowan, Russell J. Donnelly, Dan A. Hays, Colin O. Hines, Gerald Holton, Geoffrey Ibbott, Sue Kaufmann, Adrienne Kolb, Robert B. Laughlin, Andrew Lemard, Rudolph A. Marcus, James A. McLennan, Marcia McNutt, Maureen A. Rafferty, Norman F. Ramsey, Hans Reiche, Robert Resnick, John H. Reynolds, Werner Schreyer, Michael Shinagel, Horst Störmer, Gerard ‘tHooft, George Tilton, Yvonne R. Towse, and Daniel C. Tsui.
A number of interviews were received by the Center. Some are now available for research but most are still being processed. AIP’s Post-doctoral Historian, Alexei Kojevnikov, conducted an interview with Philip Anderson. Jean Yehle interviewed William Hay and Cesare Emiliani and Donald Moore. Spencer Weart interviewed Jack Eddy.
Interviews conducted with support of grants-in-aid, funded by the Endowment Fund of the Friends of the Center for History of Physics, include Dan Bolef, Martin Brown, William C. Davidon, and Lincoln Wolfenstein, interviewed by Patrick Catt; Karl Hinz, Sir Anthony Laughton, and Xavier Le Pichon, interviewed by Tanya Levin; and Arnold Perlmutter and Leopold Halpern, interviewed by Maria Rentetzi.
The Niels Bohr Library book collection continues to grow thanks to generous donations. This year we are especially grateful to have received copies of books from their authors. Such donations included: Herbert Friedman’s Astronomer’s Universe and Sun and Earth, Norman Ramsey’s Spectroscopy with Coherent Radiation, and Roland C. Hanson’s The Galvanometer. The Library also received donations from the American Chemical Society Library (Experimental Nuclear Physics), several boxes of books from the American Association of Physics Teachers, six books from Charles H. Holbrow, and five books from Alex Harvey.
The papers of Homer Levi Dodge were augmented by Alice Dodge Wallace and Norton Dodge with photographs, slides, manuscript and printed materials dating from 1905-1975 (8.25 linear feet). Emil Wolf donated 1.0 lin. ft. of lecture notebooks belonging to Max Born (1905-1937). We received this year’s Gravity Research Foundation Essay competition files, including abstracts, winners, and a list of applicants from George Rideout, Jr. The records of the Archives of British Men of Science project (ca. 1970-1975) were sent to us by Roy MacLeod (15 lin. ft.). We received some papers of Paul Rosenberg (1916-1994) from Gale Gross (0.5 lin. ft.).
The American Institute of Physics added to the records of the Office of the Director, including materials on the Institute’s move of its headquarters from New York City to Maryland, 1980-1993, 1.0 lin. ft. We also received an addition of 0.1 lin. ft. to the American Institute of Physics, Office of the Director, William H. Koch records from 1965-1981. We received 3.0 lin. ft. from the Office of the Secretary, Records of Roderick Grant from former AIP Secretary, Rod Grant.
The American Physical Society’s Centennial produced the Century of Physics Timeline Wall Chart, copies of which are now in the Library’s archives. Brian Schwartz added his papers to those of the American Physical Society collections with 2.0 lin. ft. of records (1967-1977) relating to the responses of physicists and professional organizations to social problems, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and nuclear weapons, and the formation of the Forum on Physics and Society and the Subcommittee on Professional Concerns. The American Astronomical Society, Historical Astronomy Division’s records grew by 0.5 lin. ft. with the addition of obituary materials published in the Society’s Bulletin from 1997-1998, sent by Virginia Trimble. The records of the American Vacuum Society also grew with additions of 0.5 lin. ft. sent by Yvonne R. Towse, which included publications and photographs. We received 2.0 lin. ft. of American Association of Physics Teachers, Office of the Secretary, Records of Roderick Grant from Rod Grant.
There were also good additions to the Niels Bohr Library’s small collections. Hans Frauenfelder surveyed sixty senior scientists on the impact of immigration from Europe on U.S. physics for a talk at the APS Centennial Conference, and sent us copies of his materials, including correspondence, e-mail, and overheads (1999, 84 pp.). A manuscript copy of Fritz Reiche’s “Propagation of plane electromagnetic waves through a conducting uniformly moving substance” donated by his son Hans Reiche included personal reminiscences, notes and correspondence (1948-1972, 149 pp.).
Additional responses to the History of Geophysics survey begun in 1997 have been received during the last year. They include autobiographical materials from Ralph B. Baldwin, Martin H.P. Bott, Jack G. Calvert, Konrad Krauskopf, Alexander R. McBirney, Harry Petschek, John H. Reynolds, Werner Schreyer, George R. Tilton, and Yushou Xie.
A program with manuscript notes for the Mark Zemansky Commemorative Session of the AAPT 1982 Summer Meeting was donated by Melba Phillips (11 pp.). Frederik W. Wiegel sent us a brief summary of his memories of Arnold J.F. Siegert during the period they worked together at Northwestern University, written in 1998 (3 pp.). From Ronald E. Mickens we received an autobiography, vitae and publication list for Nelson Fuson, plus a program with photocopies of pictures and articles from the 25th Annual Fisk University Infrared Spectroscopy Institute (1974-1997, 34 pp.). A copy of a senior thesis on David Bohm was donated by Shawn Mullet, a student at the University of Texas at Austin. We received additional files on the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics Selection Committee (1992-1996; 1 inch) from C.W. Misner.
In the last year we have received some noteworthy additions to our videotape recordings. The Department of Special Collections at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst donated copies of six videotapes titled “Conversations with David Inglis”— other members of the department were also included in the interviews. We received two videotapes of oral history interviews done in 1984 with Rudolf Peierls and Eugene Wigner donated by Patricia Rife from her dissertation research. A videotape of Steven Weinberg’s contribution to the first Dirac Memorial Lecture on Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics, “Towards the Final Laws of Physics” in 1986, was sent to us by J. Eric Slone. Robert Resnick donated a copy of his videotape, “So, You Want to Write a Textbook!”, a colloquium talk he gave in May 1999 on the history of the text and his response to winning the Oersted Medal in 1974. We now have a copy of the videotape of the American Physical Society’s Nobel luncheon from their Centennial meeting titled “Celebrate a Century of Physics”. From the American Institute of Physics’ Publication Division we received a videotape copy of “Today’s Physicist: The Fire That Burns Within” from the Careers for Physicists series (1997).
The library’s collection of audio tape recordings now includes an American Astronomical Society donation of three audio tapes of sessions recorded at their Centennial meeting, including the Opening Remarks; Session 2, David DeVorkin, “Beyond the Observatory: Reflections on the Centennial”; Session 60, “My Most Memorable AAS Meeting”; and Session 95, “The Future of the AAS (and of Astronomy)”
During the previous year, finding aids to the following collections were received: box list of the M. King Hubbert papers from the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming; records of the Department of Physics, City College, City University of New York sent by their Archives; from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution we received finding aids to the papers of Henry Stommel; Office of the Director, Craig Emery Dorman; Office of the Director, John Hyssop Steele; Office of the Director, Paul M. Fye; Office of the Director, Admiral Edward Hanson Smith; Office of the Director, Columbus O’Donnell Iselin.
for History of Physics
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