Documentation Projects

Through our research, we work to build a sound base for advising scientists and institutions on how to best safeguard the record of their achievements.

History of Physics Entrepreneurship
A three-year study of the role that physics entrepreneurship plays in industrial research and development. The report includes a description of the demographics, funding sources, geographic distribution and business models of startups, along with recommendations for documenting them.

History of Physicists in Industry
A systematic study of the organizational structure, communications patterns, and archival records of industrial physicists in the U.S.; the report provides general guidelines for understanding and documenting their work.

Study of Multi-Institutional Collaborations
Reports presenting findings of the AIP Center's study of the organizational structures and functions of large research collaborations. Of broad interest to scholars concerned with the social context of modern science or current archival methodology. Particularly useful to those institutions and individuals with responsibilities for selecting records of archival value to meet the needs of administrators and future historians and other scholars.

Documentation of Postwar Physics
A set of booklets developed by the AIP Center for History of Physics' extensive study of records keeping and records appraisal at U.S. Department of Energy Laboratories. Generally useful for large laboratories and other research institutions initiating or upgrading archival programs.

  • A Study of Preservation of Documents at Department of Energy Laboratories, by Joan Warnow, et al. 33 pp., January 1982. The final report to the Department of Energy covering the elements of the AIP study, its findings and its recommendations.
  • Guidelines for Records Appraisal at Major Research Facilities; Selection of Permanent Records of DOE Laboratories: Institutional Management and Policy, and Physics Research, by Joan Warnow and the AIP Advisory Committee on the Documentation of Postwar Science. 31 pp., 1982, revised 1985. Methodology for reviewing information content of management and policy files, and for identifying records of archival value from R & D files.
  • Files Maintenance and Records Disposition: A Handbook for Secretaries at Department of Energy Laboratories, by Jane Wolff. 21 pp., 1982, revised 1985. A prototype handbook on the importance of records, setting up and using a filing system, and proper records disposition.

Rutherford Correspondence Catalog
Compiled by Lawrence Badash. (National Catalog of Sources for History of Physics Report No. 3.) Pub. R-264. 174 pp., October 1980. This catalog contains an alphabetical and chronological listing of all known Rutherford correspondence preserved in the Cambridge University Library and other repositories.

Preliminary Finding Aid to the Archives of the Lick Observatory
From the card catalog maintained by the Lick Observatory Archives Staff, University of California at Santa Cruz. (National Catalog of Sources for History of Physics Report No. 5.) 56 pp., 1980 (Pub. R-293). This finding aid contains a listing of correspondents identified in the Lick Archives with information on the number of items and date spans. Contact us to request a free copy.

Reprints of Articles   
Each of these articles is available for free from the Niels Bohr Library & Archives upon request.

  • The Documentation Strategy Process: A Model and a Case Study, by Larry J. Hackman and Joan Warnow-Blewett. 35 pp., 1986.

    Article describing how the archival community might strengthen its ability to analyze documentation needs and address these needs more efficiently.

  • Preserving the Heritage of Discovery, by Spencer Weart. 5 pp., 2002.
    An article from Physics Today describing the history of the Niels Bohr Library on its 40th anniversary.
  • Science After '40. Documenting Recent Science: Progress and Needs by Joan Warnow-Blewett.
    34 pp., 1992. Article describing discipline history centers and projects to document modern science and technology.
  • Preserving and Making Known the History of Physics: The American Institute of Physics Center for History of Physics, by Spencer Weart. 15 pp., 1986.
    Article describing the resources and services of the Center for History of Physics.