Each year the Niels Bohr Library & Archives acquires historically relevant and valuable materials through donations from AIP’s Member Societies and from individuals interested in preserving the history of physics. This past year we’ve received numerous collections to help us document topics such as the history of physics societies, the teaching of physics, and new manuscript biographies from the physicists themselves.
With the appointment of Robert G. W. Brown as the new AIP CEO, we received a new set of records that span the work of our former Executive Directors Marc Brodsky and Fred Dylla. We also received Fred Dylla’s journals from his time here and two additions to email collections from Marc Brodsky and former AIP Secretary Ben Snavely. These email collections mark a big step forward in the archives being able to accept born-digital records and make them available to researchers when permitted. To round out our AIP-centered collections, this year we were given an addition to the AIP Office of the Secretary records and the master tapes of the AIP News Services Divisions’ Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science (DBIS).
Additionally, we have had a productive year in growing our American Institute of Physics Member Society collections. From the American Astronomical Society (AAS), we now have the administrative files from Helmut Abt’s time as editor of The Astrophysical Journal and the records from Joseph Tenn’s tenure as the AAS Historical Astronomy Division (HAD)’s secretary-treasurer. The AVS sent us their annual addition to their records that includes awards, committees, divisions, and conference material. The American Physical Society (APS) sent us sets of records of the APS Committee on Applications in Physics (CAP) and the APS Division of Biological Physics (DBP), and we collected the presentations sponsored by the APS Forum on the History of Physics (FHP) from the APS March and April 2015 meetings. The American Crystallographic Association (ACA) sent us biographical interviews and additional materials from their newsletter and John R. Helliwell’s acceptance lecture for the Patterson Award. Lastly, we received an addition of video interviews from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) to bring our collection up to date.
Other highlights we’ve received this year include the annual addition to the Gravity Research Foundation (GRF) essays; a set of papers from Samuel Goudsmit’s daughter, Esther Goudsmit; a documentary on Henrietta Leavitt by P. Papacosta; two DVDs of lectures from the 10th Hawaii Conference on High Energy Physics; and recorded television programs of Holger Moller Hansen and Robert Bruce Lindsay. We also received manuscript biographies by Louis Brown on "Beryllium-8: A Half-Century of Nuclear Physics," two sets of remembrances of Norman Foster Ramsay, and Walter Harrison’s "Tunneling into Physics." Finally, we continue to receive single folder collections, which become part of our Miscellaneous Physics collection, to help round out the sources available to our researchers. These included atomic weapons training booklets from Janet Wert Crampton; sets of correspondence from Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen and between Richard Dalitz and Michael Jones; lecture notes from the Brandeis University Summer Institute in Theoretical Physics in 1959; and sets of correspondence and supplementary material between Karl Darrow and three APS divisions during his time as Secretary.
To find out more about the happenings at the AIP History Programs see the latest edition of our newsletter: https://www.aip.org/history-programs/history-newsletter.