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History of Atomic Energy Collection, 1872-2014

Collection Overview

Title: History of Atomic Energy Collection, 1872-2014

ID: MSS Atomic

Extent: 2.61 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by format into four series: Series 1: Publications; Series 2: Ephemera; Series 3: Audiovisual Materials; and Series 4: Artifacts.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1990

Languages of Materials: English [eng], French [fre], German [ger], Dutch;Flemish [dut], Swedish [swe], Russian [rus], Danish [dan], Italian [ita], Portuguese [por], Japanese [jpn], Chinese [chi], Polish [pol], Czech [cze], Afrikaans [afr]

Abstract

The History of Atomic Energy Collection is the largest collection related to nuclear history in SCARC. All topics related to the nuclear era appear in this collection across a range of material types.

Scope and Content Notes

The History of Atomic Energy Collection is the largest collection related to nuclear history in SCARC collections. Containing over 3,000 published items and other cultural artifacts, this collection is a significant resource for research on the political, scientific, economic, technological, and social issues that have characterized the nuclear age. Materials date from the late 19th century to 2014.

All topics related to the nuclear era appear in this collection, including early scientific discoveries, the Manhattan Project and World War II, military aspects of atomic energy, civil defense, nuclear testing, nuclear engineering, the effect of the atomic age on society and culture, biographies of key figures in nuclear history, and fiction, poetry, drama, and music related to the atomic age. Other key concentrations are in nuclear industries including uranium mining, nuclear reactor operations, and materials documenting the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The original online finding aid for the collection (RB Energy) is archived and available here. Series 1: Publications includes all cataloged materials including books, scientific offprints, magazines, journals, and other printed material. A current list of cataloged materials included in the collection can be found in 1Search here. Series 2: Ephemera includes all uncataloged materials from the original accession as well as items added since acquisition. Five of these items from the original accession are missing as of 2022. Series 3: Audio includes four recordings, two of which have use copies. Series 4: Artifacts includes several 3D items including two Geiger-counters.

Administrative Information

Accruals: Since 1990, publications and ephemera have been added to the original accession through gift and purchase. Since 2012, purchases have been primarily publications.

More Extent Information: 5 boxes, including 2 oversize boxes and one map folder; 3 photographs

Statement on Access: The collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The bulk of this collection was purchased in 1990 from dealer Leif Laudamus of Amherst, Massachusetts.

Separated Materials: Two manuscript collections were identified in 2012 from the original accession and treated separately: the David Marcus Letters and the Charter Heslep Papers.

Related Materials: Other large collections of nuclear history materials include the Robert Dalton Harris, Jr. Collection of Atomic Age Ephemera, the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers (especially Series 12: Peace), and the Nuclear Free America Records.

Related Publications: A catalogue of the original accession was issued in 1999: The History of Atomic Energy Collection at Oregon State University: A Catalogue of Holdings. Compiled by Leif Laudamus and Ramesh Krishnamurthy. New York: James Cummins, 1999.

Preferred Citation: History of Atomic Energy Collection (MSS Atomic), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information:

We acknowledge that materials in SCARC collections and the language that describes them may be harmful.  We are actively working to address our descriptive practices; for more information please see our SCARC Anti-Racist Actions Statement online.

Some materials in this collection use derogatory language to describe ethnic groups. We acknowledge the racism represented by the use of these phrases and the harm they may cause our users. Providing access to these historical materials does not endorse any attitudes or behavior depicted therein.

An online finding aid was created for the original Laudamus accession in 2002. That finding aid (RB Energy) is archived and available here as a crosswalk to the original catalog numbers. This finding aid was updated in 2022 to bring into compliance with current descriptive practices and standards. The current guide supercedes the earlier finding aid and incorporates material that had been added to the original accession but did not appear in the earlier finding aid.

Finding Aid Revision History: An online finding aid was created for the original Laudamus accession in 2002. That finding aid is archived and available here as a crosswalk to the original catalog numbers. This finding aid was updated in 2022 to bring into compliance with current descriptive practices and standards. The current guide supercedes the earlier finding aid and incorporates material that had been added to the original accession but did not appear in the earlier finding aid.

People, Places, and Topics

Antinuclear movement.
Atomic bomb.
Civil defense.
Hiroshima-shi (Japan)--History--Bombardment, 1945
History of Science
Manhattan Project (U.S.)
Nagasaki-shi (Japan)--History--Bombardment, 1945
Nuclear arms control.
Nuclear disarmament.
Nuclear energy
Nuclear engineering.
Nuclear industry.
Nuclear nonproliferation.
Nuclear physics.
Nuclear propulsion.
Nuclear warfare.
Nuclear weapons--Testing.
Nuclear weapons.
Radioactive fallout

Forms of Material

Artifacts (object genre)
Ephemera (general object genre)
Sound recordings.


Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Publications, 1872-2014

Publications includes all cataloged materials from the Laudamus catalog, including books, scientific offprints, magazines, journals, and other printed material. In the earlier version of the collection, items were listed in numerical order, and included call numbers for items cataloged up to 2012. The Laudamus catalog also included many annotations describing items.

A current list of cataloged materials included in the collection can be found in 1Search here. These records do not include Laudamus catalog annotations, but do include item numbers. New materials added to the original Laudamus accession include publications from the libraries of Barton Hacker and Leonard Maki, as well as publications from the Robert Dalton Harris, Jr. Collection of the Atomic Age.

Series 2: Ephemera, 1945-1989
Series 2: Ephemera includes all uncataloged materials from the original Laudamus accession, including stickers, posters, brochures, mailers, fliers, clippings, and other materials. Original Laudamus catalog numbers and annotations have been included. Materials related by organization have been grouped at the folder level.
Box-Folder 1.1: Clamshell Alliance, 1988-1989
Newsletters, mailers, brochures. Includes Laudamus 1488.
Box-Folder 1.2: Council on Economic Priorities, 1988-1989
Newsletters, mailers, brochures.
Box-Folder 1.3: Environmental Defense Fund, 1988
Newsletters, mailers, brochures.
Box-Folder 1.4: Greenpeace, 1987-1988
Newsletters, mailers, brochures.
Box-Folder 1.5: Massachusetts Ballot Question 4, 1986-1987
Includes Laudamus 0399, 2992, 2993, 2994, 3039 (2 items). Pamphlets, fliers, brochures, postcards and other ephemera related to the proposed shutdown of Yankee Rowe and Pilgrim plants.
Box-Folder 1.6: National Mobilization for Survival, 1989
Newsletters, mailers, brochures.
Box-Folder 1.7: Natural Resources Defense Council, 1988-1989
Newsletters, mailers, brochures.
Box-Folder 1.8: Physicians for Social Responsibility, 1988-1989
Newsletters, mailers, brochures.
Box-Folder 1.9: SANE, 1988-1989
Includes Laudamus 3037; newsletters, mailers, brochures.
Box-Folder 1.10: Traprock Peace Center, 1988-1989
Newsletters, mailers, brochures.
Box-Folder 1.11: Union of Concerned Scientists, 1987-1989
Newsletters, mailers, brochures.
Box-Folder 1.12: U.S. Council on Energy Awareness, 1990
Includes Laudamus 3086, 3087, 3088, 3089, 3091, 3092.
Box-Folder 1.13: Baker shot photographs, Operation Crossroads, 1946
Laudamus 1070. Group of 5 original photographs of the blast. Each photo is about 9-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches. Originally mounted together in a 16 x 47 inch frame, numbered 1-5 in the mat from left to right.  "Lookout Mountain Laboratory, Air Proving Ground, Los Angeles, California" was lettered in black ink in the lower right corner of the mat, now removed.
Box-Folder 1.14: Baker shot photograph, Operation Crossroads, 1946
Laudamus 1109. Untitled original panoramic photograph of the "Baker" shot taken from near-ground level on the shore of Bikini Atoll. 16 x 30 inches, mounted to stiff board.
Box-Folder 1.15: Hiroshima and Nagasaki Pilots, undated
Laudamus 0352. Glossy black-and-white 7-1/2 x 7-1/2 inch photograph depicting Charles W. Sweeney, pilot of the "Bock's Car," and Paul W. Tibbets, pilot of the "Enola Gay" shaking hands, mounted in mat with inset autographs of Sweeney and Tibbets; undated.
Box-Folder 1.16: Trojan Nuclear Electric Plant, 1990
Laudamus 3094. Brochure.
Box-Folder 1.17: Shelter Guide: Facts You Should Know, undated
Laudamus 3090. Brochure.
Box-Folder 1.18: "Star Wars: Defense or Death Star?" Speaker: Dr. Robert Bowman, undated
Laudamus 3035. Flier.
Box-Folder 1.19: Clippings, 1945-1990
Includes Laudamus 2961, 2962, 2967, 2972, 2981, 2990, 3014, 3027, 3030, 3036. Collection of miscellaneous newspaper and magazine clippings on atomic topics.
Box-Folder 1.20: Anti-nuclear stickers, undated
Includes Laudamus 3037.
Box-Folder 2.1: Anti-nuclear bumper stickers, undated
Includes Laudamus 3037 and 3039.
Box-Folder 2.2: The Atomic Kid.  An Explosion of Laughs. Mickey's Radio Active., 1955
Laudamus 2756. Complete set of 8 color lobby cards for the movie, starring Mickey Rooney, Robert Strauss, and Elaine Davis. Each about 11 x 14 inches. Republic Pictures. 1955.
Box-Folder 2.3: The Most Dangerous Man Alive: In the Heart of an Atomic Testing Area It Takes Only 10 Seconds to Turn a Human Into the. . ., 1961
Laudamus 2871. Complete set of 8 color lobby cards for the movie, starring Ron Randell, Debra Paget, and Elaine Stewart. Each about 11 x 14 inches. Columbia Pictures. 1961.
Box-Folder 2.4: Peter Sellers. George C. Scott in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb. The hotline suspense comedy., 1964
Laudamus 2841. Original poster for the movie. 41 x 27 inches, in red, white, blue, and black ink. Columbia Pictures. 1964. Missing as of 2022.
Box-Folder 2.5: Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. The classic comedy from the maker of 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange., 1972
Laudamus 2842. Original poster for a return tour of the film. 41 x 27 inches. Columbia Pictures Industries. 1972. Missing as of 2022.
Box-Folder 2.6: Class of Nuke’em High." A Lloyd Kaufman/Michael Herz Production, Torma Entertainment., 1986
Laudamus 3038. Missing as of 2022.
Folder-Item 5.1: "Gone with the Wind." The Film to End All Films. The Most EXPLOSIVE Love Story Ever., 1982
Laudamus 2808. Satirical poster, showing Ronald Reagan carrying Margaret Thatcher in a romantic pose in imitation of Clark Gable and Betty Davis, with mushroom cloud in the background. 34 x 23 inches. Hampton, Ct.: Donnelly/Colt. circa 1982.
Series 3: Sound Recordings, 1961-1979
Series 3: Audio includes LPs of retrospective programs, as well as tape and CD use copies for 2 items.
Box-Folder 2.7: Century of the Atom: told through the voices of the scientists who created the nuclear age, 1971
Laudamus 1167. Presented by the United States delegation to the Fourth International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. Boxed set, comprising two 12-inch l.p. records, a 75-page illustrated text pamphlet, and a large color folding chart of "Nuclear Research, Development & Application: A chronology, 1895-1971," housed together in the original pictorial box. Washington, D.C.: USAEC. 1971. Narrated by Chet Huntley and Glenn T. Seaborg, this set features the actual recorded voices of J.J. Thompson, Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein, Otto Frisch, Otto Hahn, Herbert Anderson, Enrico Fermi, and other notables. With cassette tape and CD transfer.
Box-Folder 2.8: To Fermi With Love, 1970
Laudamus 1168. The various voice recordings heard in this album were drawn from the archives of the Argonne National Laboratory, the United States Atomic Energy Commission, and the American Institute of Physics. The script was written by James Chimbidis; jacket design by Leo Vartanian; narration spoken by Jay Andre; and produced by Argonne National Laboratory. This set features the actual recorded voices of Herbert Anderson, Laura Fermi (Mrs. Enrico Fermi), Emilio Serge, Arthur Holly Compton, Crawford Greenewalt, John Wheeler, George Weil, Walter Zinn, Norman Hilberry, Leslie R. Groves, Dale Babcock, Henry DeWolfe Smyth, Leona Woods Libby, Frank Matthias, Gus Knuth, and Otto Hillig. With CD transfer. 2 12-inch l.p. records. DuPage County, IL: Argonne National Laboratory. 1970s.
Box-Folder 2.9: The Quick and the Dead, 1950
Volume 1. The Story of the Atom Bomb * Volume 2. The Story of the Hydrogen Bomb. Featuring Bob Hope & William L. Laurence. Set of nine 45 RPM records, in the original two pictorial boxes with slipcase, each box with accompanying text pamphlet. Camden, N.J.: RCA Victor. 1950. Comprises recordings of the series of broadcasts aired by NBC on national radio in the Summer of 1950, featuring Bob Hope as "Everyman." The program was written and directed by Fred Friendly, and features actual interviews with Leslie Groves, William S. Parsons, David Lilienthal, Bernard Baruch, and many others.
Box-Folder 2.10: The Complacent Americans, 1961
Laudamus 1016. With: Robert Connelly as the American, who failed, both himself and his Country. And Jack F. Fuller, Office of Civil Defense, Coordinator City of Los Angeles. 12-inch long-playing phonograph record, in the original pictorial jacket. Los Angeles: Cee Dee Records. 1961. A "mirrorphonic" recording on transparent red vinyl. The first side is a fictional nuclear attack on Los Angeles, with attendant sound effects. Side 2 comprises an extended plea for a stepped-up civil defense effort. Missing as of 2022.
Series 4: Artifacts, 1954-1965
Series 4: Artifacts includes two Geiger counters, a game, and commemorative memorabilia for Operation Crossroads.
Box-Item 3.1: "Atomic Bomb.", 1945
Laudamus 0292. By The A. C. Gilbert Company, New Haven, Conn. Children's puzzle-game, comprising a map of Japan with holes for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, housed in a glass-topped cardboard box with 2 metal "bombs" to shake into holes. Approximately 4 x 3 x 1 inches. New Haven: Gilbert Co. circa late 1945. Glass is broken, metal missing.
Box-Item 3.2: Geiger counter, Atomic Research Corporation, 1954
Laudamus 1219. Fine professional grade counter, approximately the size of a small car storage battery, with the atomic logo of the manufacturer in chrome and black on two sides. Housed in original leather case, with associated text brochures, several radioactive samples (removed), etc. Colorado Springs: Atomic Research Corporation. circa 1954. The "Raytomic S-100 Scintillation Counter." This is an attractive, near-professional grade instrument, "the best scintillation counter you can buy in this price range."
Box-Item 3.3: Geiger counter, "The Snooper", 1955
Laudamus 1220. Geiger Counter Model 108. A Precision Product. Plastic geiger counter, embossed with logo of atom and vernier caliper on the sides, with headphone, housed in original pictorial cardboard box. Los Angeles: Precision Radiation Instruments. n.d. (circa 1955). Typical of the inexpensive counters produced in response to the "uranium rush" of the early 1950's. The box is lettered with the blurbs "Safe to Use. Find Uranium Ore Deposits. Earn $35,000 Gov'nt Rewards. No Experience Required," etc. The "Radioactive Sample" is not present.
Box-Item 3.4: Neutron irradiated dime, 1964
Laudamus 1312. 1964 U.S. Dime, set into a circular plastic holder, with schematic design of an atom on reverse of holder. 1-3/4 inches in diameter. New York World's Fair: Atomic Energy Commission. 1964-1965. A souvenir of the USAEC exhibit at the New York World's Fair
Box-Item 3.5: Neutron irradiated dime, 1965
Laudamus 1142. A 1941 U.S. dime, inset into a circular plastic and aluminum holder, lettered as above. 7/8 inch in diameter. (Oak Ridge).
Box-Item 3.6: Kwajalein Test Site Commemorative Spoon, 1960
Laudamus 1093. Accounted. Sterling silver spoon, lettered "TEST SITE KWAJALEIN" and with a miniature map of Kwajalein in bas relief. 4 inches x 1 inch (maximum dimensions). N.p. circa 1960.
Box-Item 4.1: Commemorative tray for Operation Crossroads Atomic Bomb Experiment. Bikini Atoll, 1946
Laudamus 1108. Framed print, in the form of a tray, depicting the test shot at Bikini Atoll, with a photograph of the ship USS Merapi inset into the mushroom cloud in the center. 15 x 22 inches overall. (Bikini Atoll). 1946. This framed memento was apparently constructed from a wooden tray by "Gerard R. Seeney SK 3/c USS Merapi A.F. 38," who has signed the print in the mat.

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