AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXII, No. 1, Spring 2000


History of Science in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
by Raymond Teichman

Please click on the photo to view an enlarged version.

Image of the letter to FDR drafted by Sziland and signed by EinsteinThe Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, NY houses a small but significant body of materials relating to twentieth century science. The most important are files on diplomatic concerns about sharing information on the development of the atomic bomb and records relating to official government science policy.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s papers include the famous August 1939 letter from Albert Einstein which prompted him to initiate actions that resulted in the Manhattan Project and the production of the first atomic weapons in July 1945. The Einstein letter is part of the Alexander Sachs file in the President’s Secretary’s File. The President’s papers also contain files on the National Bureau of Standards, National Academy of Sciences, National Defense Research Committee, and Office of Scientific Research and Development. Other collections with important science-related materials are the papers of Harry L. Hopkins, FDR’s Page 2 of the letterprincipal wartime advisor, with correspondence relating to the atomic bomb, and the papers of Alexander Sachs, with files on the Atomic Energy Commission and Atomics.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library is one of ten presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, an independent agency of the United States Government. It is located on Route 9 in Hyde Park, New York, approximately 80 miles north of New York City. For more information, please contact the library at (914) 229-8114 or visit its Web site at

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AIP History CenterCenter for History of Physics
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