Monday, June 20, 2005

History of Physics

The Center for History of Physics is a division of the American Institute of Physics, The Center for History of Physics is the oldest and best-known institution dedicated to the history of a scientific discipline. It's mission is to preserve and make known the history of modern physics and allied fields including astronomy, geophysics, optics, and the like. Through research the staff builds a sound base for advising scientists and institutions on how they may best safeguard the record of their achievements. Meanwhile the Center maintains its own strategy for documenting physics history world-wide. One part of this strategy is a program of oral history interviewing to save for posterity the recollections of eminent physical scientists. The Center has conducted some 3,000 hours of interviews with over 1,500 individuals. Most of the tapes are transcribed, indexed, and available for use. Still more important has been saving correspondence, notebooks, and other unpublished materials--the "raw data" historians must have. By aiding scientists, their families, and archivists at many institutions around the world, the Center has done much to assure the survival of many unique and priceless collections that might otherwise have been lost forever.


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