AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXIV, No. 1 Spring 2002


Center Launches $3M Endowment Campaign

The Executive Committee of the Friends of the Center for History of Physics has begun a major campaign to enlarge the Center's Endowment Fund. History that Matters: A Campaign to Help Save Our Heritage will be a three-year effort to raise the Fund from its current level of about $4 million with the addition of another $3 million.

Scientists are justly proud of their record. Within living memory, the sciences of physics, astronomy, geophysics and allied fields spectacularly increased our knowledge of the world and transformed daily life. Yet year by year, the record is slipping away. As pioneering scientists retire or die, we risk losing their unpublished notes and letters, and their irreplaceable recollections of our times. Without such information it will be hard to understand what drove the modern advance of science, and harder still to make this great human story live for students and the public. The Center has long taken the lead in addressing these problems. Mobilizing and coordinating scientists, archivists, historians and educators around the world for some four decades, the Center has pursued its unique mission: to preserve and make known the history of physics and allied fields. The pace of technology and the number and type of important records that should be preserved are increasing. Endowing significant parts of our preservation and outreach programs will make sure that irreplaceable documents and reminiscences are kept safe, so that they can be used to foster a better understanding of our heritage.

Your help will be needed to support the "History that Matters" campaign. We will be approaching our Friends later this year for donations and pledges. Still more, we hope our Friends will tell their colleagues and others who might be interested about the Center's goals, work, and needs. If you are not already a Friend, of course we hope you will join. You can write to us for a brochure explaining the campaign; information is also available on the Friends' Web pages,

Your contribution to "History that Matters" will:

  • Expand the Center's highly regarded program of oral history interviewing,
  • Support the preservation and on-line cataloging of collections of correspondence, notebooks and other unpublished papers, both in the Center's Niels Bohr Library and elsewhere,
  • Extend the safety net that the Center has woven with libraries, universities, and other institutions to catch further important reminicences and collections before they are lost forever,
  • Strengthen activities that use materials in the Niels Bohr Library's collections, in alliance with other institutions, to inform not just grades "K through 12" but "K through Gray,"
  • Create more on-line exhibits about the lives of scientists and their discoveries,
  • Support a staff sufficient to meet new opportunities.

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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