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An inside look at materials featured at the June 2024 Trimble Lecture

In this blog post we give you a sneak-peak at a selection of materials related to early space telescopes and women in science from the Nancy Grace Roman Papers held at NBL&A which were recently featured at the June 5th AIP Trimble Lecture with Dr. John Mather and Dr. Mark Clampin, "The Next Great Space Telescope: Lessons for Success in the Search for Life Outside the Solar System".

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It’s June, which means school is out, parks and beaches are open, and amusement parks are full of screaming children and melting ice cream. For physicists, like many of us, summer means traveling to summer conferences and symposia, visiting friends and colleagues, and spending time on the water. In this edition of Photos of the Month, we’re celebrating summer, so let’s dive in!

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An inside look at books featured at the May 2024 Trimble Lecture

In this blog post, we give you a behind-the-scenes look at two unique, centuries-old volumes of Roger Bacon's Opus Majus and works on optics from our rare book collection, which were recently featured at the May 8th, 2024 AIP Trimble Lecture with Professor Elly Truitt of the University of Pennsylvania, “A Thirteenth-Century Perspective on Optical Science and Experiment: The Case of Roger Bacon”.

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Welcome to May! The pollen is clearing, flowers are in bloom, and I’m back to share more archival images from the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives (ESVA). This time, we’re celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! This month is also known as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, or AAPI Heritage Month. 

The theme set by the Federal Asian Pacific American Council for 2024 is Advancing Leaders through Opportunity, and what better leaders to spotlight than the physical scientists who have helped redefine our understanding of the world around us?  

The umbrella of AAPI captures a very diverse and wide-ranging group of people, languages, and cultures. It encompasses any person with ancestry in East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands. But that’s not where it ends—there’s also a diversity of fields of study, occupation, and accolades within the AAPI community. In this post you’ll find a Manhattan Project scientist, multiple Nobel Prize laureates, activists, professors, and a former United States Secretary of Energy. 

Without further ado, let’s celebrate Asian Pacific American scientists with some archival images! 

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Before there were walkie talkies, there was Athanasius Kircher. In 1673, Kircher published  Phonurgia nova : sive Conjugium mechanico-physicum artis & naturae paranympha phonosophia concinnatum (1673), which is chock-full of inventive ways to transmit sound. The Niels Bohr Library & Archives recently acquired a beautiful copy of this work.

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April 2024 Photos of the Month

Whether you are staying put or mounting your own expedition to see the April 8th, 2024 total solar eclipse, for this Photos of the Month, we are going to explore what went into the Solar Eclipse Expeditions of the late 19th and early 20th century using the Emilio Segré Visual Archives!

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What we purchased and cataloged in 2023 (sorta)
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The Niels Bohr Library & Archives has a thorough Collection Development Policy, but how we interpret it and enact it can change from year to year. We can’t control what books are published or available on the rare book market. However, we can control what we spend our book budget on, and it’s interesting to take a look back and see if we met our goals of collecting more diversely and broadly than in years past. 

Even more chaotically than purchases, most of our acquisitions are via donation, which are entirely unpredictable. Additionally, 2023 was a pretty unusual year for the Library, but so far every year in this decade has been unusual, so maybe unusual is the new normal. But in 2023 we were without a cataloger for ¾ of the year AND dealing with a huge office clean-up (the office clean-up to end all office clean-ups, as everyone in the building had to empty their offices) so we were inundated with the books that have been lying around people’s offices since the early internet era (sorry netscape navigator tutorials, we tossed you) as well as the newer books that people at the American Institute of Physics collected for their work more recently. 

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Celebrating 10 years of Teaching Guides

When I reached out to our former SPS interns to ask them about their experiences with us and their lives now, I received so many more thoughtful responses than I dreamed of. It was so hard to choose just a few responses to feature in the AIP History Newsletter. Luckily, there is plenty of space on Ex Libris Universum to share their responses in full! Here is the second half of the two part series. You can find the first half here.

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March Photos of the Month

For this March Photos of the Month, we are celebrating both Women's History Month and the 125th Anniversary of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). This post highlights some of women astronomers who have served leadership roles within the AAS and other astronomical organizations with a focus on overcoming gender discrimination in astronomy. Many of the women were actively involved with the efforts to advance the status of women in astronomy through involvement with AAS Working Group and Committee for the Status of Women in Astronomy in the 1970s and signatories of the Baltimore Charter for Women in Astronomy in 1992. 

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February Photos of the Month

We’re big fans of Dr. Ronald Mickens here at Ex Libris Universum. In 2009 he donated his Ronald E. Mickens collection on African-American physicists, circa 1950-2008 to us at the Niels Bohr Library & Archives, which consists of biographical files on numerous physicists that were solicited as part of an exhibit created by the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), as well as part of his work writing obituaries for Physics Today.