AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXIII , No. 1, Spring 2001


The Bakken: Research on Electricity and Magnetism and Their Applications to Life Science and Medicine
by David Rhees, Executive Director

The Bakken Library and Museum significantly enhanced its storage, access and services in 1999 with the addition of a beautiful new reading room and renovation of the existing adjacent library rooms. Together they constitute a quieter, better organized library suite that for the first time permits direct access of researchers to the entire secondary and reference collections. Founded in 1975, the Bakken's focus is on the history of electricity and magnetism and their applications in the life sciences and medicine. Related materials in the collections include mesmerism and animal magnetism, 19th-century ephemera concerning alternative electromedical therapies, miscellaneous scientists' letters, and trade catalogs. The instruments include electrostatic generators, magneto-electric generators, induction coils, physiological instruments, recording devices and accessories. The Bakken offers Visiting Research Fellowships for the purpose of facilitating research in its collection of over 11,000 books, journals, manuscripts, and prints, as well as more than 2,000 scientific instruments.

A catalog of books and manuscripts, as well as information on research fellowships may be found on the Bakken's Web site ( or at no charge by contacting the Librarian. The Bakken is located on the west shore of Lake Calhoun at the intersection of West Calhoun Parkway and 36th Street in Minneapolis. To receive information about conducting research at the Bakken, contact Elizabeth Ihrig, Librarian, at or call (612) 926-3878, ext. 227, or by mail to: Elizabeth Ihrig, The Bakken Library and Museum, 3537 Zenith Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55416-4623. Appointments are recommended in order to ensure the best service. The Bakken welcomes all researchers, both real and virtual!

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AIP History CenterCenter for History of Physics
Phone: 301-209-3165
American Institute of Physics 2003 American Institute of Physics, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740-3843. Email: Phone: 301-209-3100; Fax: 301-209-0843