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About the Niels Bohr Library & Archives

Picture of the Reading Room at the Niels Bohr Library and Archives
Reading Room at the Niels Bohr
Library & Archives, 2007

The Niels Bohr Library & Archives and the Center for History of Physics are divisions of the American Institute of Physics that share a common mission: to help preserve and make known the history of modern physics and allied sciences.

The Library & Archives serves both as a repository and a clearinghouse for information in the history of physics, astronomy, geophysics and allied fields. In-house holdings include an outstanding collection of textbooks, monographs, biographies, and related publications, dating mostly from ca. 1850–1950; over 30,000 photographs and other images; ca. 1,000 oral histories with many of the outstanding figures in the fields that we cover; and archival records of AIP and its Member Societies along with other archival records and personal papers of a select number of scientists. All of these materials are indexed online.

As a clearinghouse, we maintain and update the International Catalog of Sources for the History of Physics and Allied Sciences (ICOS for short), which contains descriptions of over 9,000 archival and manuscript collections, oral history interviews, and other primary sources in our fields at ca. 900 repositories worldwide. We add about 200 new records to ICOS each year. And the Physics History Finding Aids Website (PHFAWS) contains cross-indexed finding aids for archival and manuscript collections at archives throughout the U.S. and the U.K.

These pages provide detailed descriptions of both our in-house holdings and our online clearinghouse sites.

The Library & Archives accepts materials that can best be preserved at the American Institute of Physics, including photographs, oral histories, books, and AIP and member society archives. Con tact us for information on donations.

The Niels Bohr Library & Archives was created through the generosity of Dannie Heineman, and is sustained by the general funds of the American Institute of Physics and by tax-deductible donations to the Friends of the Center for History of Physics and its Endowment Fund.