231 linear feet, 3,108 items
(Written by Glenn T. Seaborg)
This collection of more than 3,000 publications covers the beginning of nuclear science, its development throughout the following 100 years, and its many practical applications for war and peace. Many of the publications are autographed by the authors, which adds to the human interest.
The early publications by the founders of nuclear science -- Henri Becquerel, Niels Bohr, Irene Curie, Marie Curie, Pierre Curie, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Kasimir Fajans, Otto Hahn, George Hevesy, Frederic Joliot, Ernest Lawrence, Lise Meitner, Wilhelm Röentgen, Ernest Rutherford, Frederick Soddy, J. J. Thompson -- are a priceless resource. These appear in Series I (Early Physics) of the 15-section catalogue.
I was interested to see that Series II (From the Manhattan Project Through the Aftermath of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) includes the paper by Arthur Wahl and me in which "we suggest (the name) 'plutonium' (after Pluto, the second planet beyond Uranus) for element 94."
The ten sections which follow cover such areas as the military uses of atomic energy, the Oppenheimer security hearings, the struggle to establish international control of atomic energy, and the development of manifold applications of civilian atomic energy. In addition to the use of atomic energy to produce electricity for civilian use, peaceful uses include the application of radioactive isotopes to medical diagnosis and treatment, and as tools in industry, agriculture, and the arts and humanities. The final three sections will be of particular interest to the social historian. Series 13 catalogues ethical, philosophical and psychosocial discussions, and Series 15 offers fictional and artistic treatments of "The Atomic Age," while Series 14 focuses particularly on the "human interest" through biographies.
This collection of documents is a unique resource, valuable to anyone interested in the history of nuclear science and in its many practical applications.
The following Library of Congress Authorities headings suggest topics, individuals or organizations interspersed through the collection.
- Laudamus, Leif
- Bethe, Hans A. (Hans Albrecht), 1906-2005
- Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974
- Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955
- Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954.
- Feynman, Richard Phillips
- Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967
- Segre, Emilio
- Szilard, Leo
- Teller, Edward, 1908-2003
- Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981
- Weisskopf, Victor Frederick, 1908-2002
- American Institute of Physics
- American Physical Society
- Argonne Laboratory
- Association of Oak Ridge Engineers and Scientists
- Association of Scientists for Atomic Education
- Associations of Washington Scientists
- Brookhaven Laboratory
- Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
- Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists
- Federation of American Scientists
- Los Alamos Laboratory
- Manhattan Engineers District
- National Committee on Atomic Information
- Office of Naval Research
- United States. Congress. Joint Committee on Atomic Energy
- United States. Office of Scientific Research and Development.
- Atomic energy
- Atomic bomb -- Moral and ethical aspects
- Atomic bomb -- United States -- History
- Atomic scientists' movement
- Civil defense
- Manhattan Project (U.S.)
- Nuclear energy -- Patents
- Nuclear energy -- Periodicals
- Nuclear energy -- Research
- Nuclear energy -- Social aspects
- Nuclear energy -- Moral and ethical aspects -- United States
- Nuclear physicists
- Nuclear reactions
Other Reference Guides
Atomic Energy & Nuclear History Collection Learning Curriculum. This exhibit traces the development of the atomic age from the discovery of radioactivity in the late 1800s to the close of the Cold War near the end of the twentieth century. Narrative text and image selection by Trevor Sandgathe. 2010.
A catalogue was published, entitled, The History of Atomic Energy Collection at Oregon State University: A Catalogue of Holdings. Compiled by Leif Laudamus and Ramesh Krishnamurthy. James Cummins Bookseller. New York. 1999.
Restrictions on Access
Permission to examine will be granted to qualified researchers upon completion of an "Application for Use" form, and contingent upon the researcher's agreement to abide by the rules and policies governing the use of manuscripts.
Courtesy of the History of Atomic Energy Collection, Special Collections, Oregon State University Libraries.
The bulk of the collection was purchased in 1990 from Leif Laudamus of Amherst, Massachusetts.