New Online Repository for Historic Books and Manuscripts

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By Chip Calhoun, Technical Services Archivist

Digital Collections repository landing page.The Niels Bohr Library & Archives is proud to launch a new digital repository, which will make its unique collection of books, manuscripts, and archival collections more accessible to users. The repository, at, includes the following materials, never before available online:

  • Special Collections books:  Textbooks and monographs documenting the development and the history of physics.
  • Forman Collection of books: This collection of historic German texts was donated to the Library in 2011 by historian of science Paul Forman. It includes 44 important and rare German mechanics texts from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and includes Forman’s annotations.
  • Manuscript biographies: Unpublished or self-published manuscripts ranging from responses to surveys conducted by our own Center for History of Physics to full length biographies. More biographies will be added to this collection throughout the month of November and beyond.

Sample of a special collections book in new digital repository.

In addition to these materials, the new repository provides an improved interface for our previously digitized collections. These include:

  • The Samuel Goudsmit papers: Our first fully digitized archival collection, which document his career as a physicist and as head of the ALSOS mission, an American scientific World War II intelligence combat unit responsible for determining German progress in developing an atomic bomb.
  • Rheology Bulletin: The full run of the Society of Rheology’s newsletter
  • AIP History Newsletter: The last 10 years of our own newsletter

New Samuel Goudsmit papers landing page.

The new repository uses the Islandora platform, which integrates the open-source Fedora Commons digital repository with the Drupal content management system used across, and is hosted by a vendor, Lyrasis. For most of 2015 we have been working with Lyrasis to move our collections and metadata into the new repository, test the new system, and to train our staff to use the repository effectively. We are excited about how the new repository will make it faster and easier to put new material online, and we look forward to growing our online collections.