Making the Papers of Joseph Rotblat, Owen Richardson, and Harold Grad Accessible to Researchers
By R. Joseph Anderson, Director, Niels Bohr Library & Archives
In 2013, the AIP History Programs awarded grants of $10,000 each to three archives to help organize and catalog the professional papers of two Nobel laureates, Joseph Rotblat and Owen Richardson, and of mathematician Harold Grad.
The Rotblat Papers is the largest of the three collections, and they document his work as a nuclear physicist and a cofounder and secretary general of the Pugwash Conferences. He shared the 2005 Nobel peace prize with Pugwash for its work on nuclear disarmament. The Rotblat grant was awarded to the Centre for Scientific Archives in the UK, and the papers will be housed at the Churchill Archives Centre when fully cataloged.
Richardson was “one of the outstanding pure scientists . . .” in the development of radio and television, and his papers are rich in correspondence with other top physicists of the 1920s through the 1940s. They represent one of the keystone resources in the renowned History of Science Collection at the Harry Ransom Research Center at the University of Texas-Austin.
Grad’s papers document both his own work and the history of the Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences at NYU. They’re an especially important resource on mathematical formulations of plasma physics.
All three collections will be described on our ICOS catalog when they are processed and cataloged. AIP’s Grants to Archives program was established in 1998, and we have awarded 60 grants over the years. The purpose of the program is to assist other archives in undertaking significant projects to preserve, process, and catalog collections in the history of modern physics and allied field. The goal is to further historical understanding of science and the science community.