of the Center for History of Physics
Leading the Way
Since its inception in 1965 the Center for History of Physics has been a leader in preserving the history of the scientific work of our times. The Center is the first and most widely recognized institution dedicated to saving the history of a scientific discipline. Its mission is broad, embracing an alliance of fields ranging from geophysics to astronomy and extending, like the science itself, internationally.
The Center has shown its leadership by providing advice and assistance to other archives worldwide. An example is the Grants-to-Archives program which provides support to institutions archiving the papers of scientists from their own institutions and localities. In the 1990s the Center, recognizing that funds for processing collections were static or dwindling even while the number of scientists reaching retirement age or dying was rapidly increasing, set up its small matching grants program to encourage organizations to process their papers. The immediate goal is to assure that important correspondence, notebooks and other records languishing in storage in disorder are physically preserved and made fully accessible to scholars. Meanwhile the program attracts additional matching funds to this neglected sector and encourages archives to take in more papers.
The Center is also well-known for its recommendations and guidelines on ways to preserve the histories of the federal science labs and great multi-institutional collaborations. These guidelines are backed up by extensive research and consultation on preserving these highly significant records, which have largely been neglected by traditional archival programs.
Not surprisingly, the Center attracts other leaders who give support and guidance to ensure its long-term viability. We thank the many Friends of the Center who have provided financial support in 2000. Their names are listed in this edition of the Newsletter, and are posted on our Web site. If you want to become a Friend of the Center, you can use the Web site or the form below to contact us.
We also applaud the many who have contributed to our active Friends-in-Deed program by donating books, photographs, and other source materials, or by volunteering time and effort in conducting oral interviews or archiving and preserving records. A list of these Friends-in-Deed and an acknowledgment of the tremendous help provided by Steven Brush and Per and Eleanor Dahl are featured in this issue of the Newsletter. The form below can also be used to offer help.
Our Legacy Circle is comprised of people who have made a commitment to the preservation of the history of physics and allied sciences by a planned gift. Planned giving, which can begin at any time in your life, is a way to support the Center while realizing other financial goals such as your own financial security, assurance of retirement income for a family member, an increased retirement income of your own, a reduction in capital gains taxes, and a lower taxable basis of your estate. Contact the Center using the form below if you wish to find out more.
Please let us know how and when we can contact you to become a Friend of the Center, volunteer to become a Friend-in-Deed, or explore options provided through planned giving.
Would you like to support our work? Make a pledge, donate books or photographs, or maybe volunteer time & expertise?
Visit the Friends of the Center for History of Physics pages