By Joe Anderson, Director
The AIP History Programs have recently awarded grants to help process and make accessible important collections in the history of the physical sciences to four institutions: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Huntington Library, Johns Hopkins University, and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.
The Fermilab History and Archives Project will arrange and process nearly 150 linear feet of personal papers of Leon Lederman, a Nobel physicist who was director of Fermilab from 1979 to 1989. In his history of particle physics, The God Particle, he coined the popular name for the Higgs boson. The papers include files on early experimental work, records of his research at Fermi, correspondence and other materials that document the contributions of a leading physicist.
The Huntington Library will complete processing of the papers of Alan Sandage, one of the most influential astronomers and cosmologists of the 20th century. The collection consists of circa 150 boxes of correspondence, notes, photographs, refereed papers and other publications observing data, computation notebooks, and photographs of astronomical phenomena. It also contains material on his personal views on religion, science, and other matters.
The grant to the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries will help support processing of the papers of three important figures in the history of astrophysics – Arthur F. Davidsen, Gilbert V. Levin, and David P. Stern – comprising about 120 cubic feet. Davidsen was recognized internationally for his leadership in developing space-borne instruments for ultraviolet spectroscopy. Levin was the founder of Biospherics Research Inc., which carried out multiple contracts with NASA to develop innovative approaches to detecting extraterrestrial life. And Stern’s papers are notable for his extensive diaries that document his career at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, along with other topics.
The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, which is the youngest of the 17 national laboratories funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), is playing a vital role in developing an understanding of the atomic nucleus. The grant will help fund a core archives for the lab. The DOE national labs are an exemplar of Big Science and a major source of innovative research. Helping to document their operations and discoveries has been a focus of the AIP History Programs for almost 30 years.
The AIP History Programs’ Grants to Archives were founded in 1998 and are given annually. The maximum grants are $10,000 per institution. For information and a list of previous recipients see here.