American Institute of Physics: Oral Histories

American Institute of Physics: Oral Histories

From the webpage:

The Niels Bohr Library & Archives holds a collection of over 1,500 oral history interviews. These range in date from the early 1960s to the present and cover the major areas and discoveries of physics from the past 100 years. The interviews are conducted by members of the staff of the AIP Center for History of Physics as well as other historians and offer unique insights into the lives, work, and personalities of modern physicists.

Read digitized oral history transcripts online

I don’t have a large collection audio data-set (see: Shining a light into the BBC Radio archives) but there are lots of other people who do.

If you are teaching or researching physics for the last 100 years, this is a resource you should not miss.

Integrating audio resources such as this one, at less than the full recording level (think of it as audio transclusion), into teaching materials would be a great step forward. To say nothing of being about to incorporate such granular resources into a library catalog.

I did not find an interview with Edward Teller but a search of the transcripts turned up three hundred and five (305) “hits” where he is mentioned in interviews. A search for J. Robert Oppenheimer netted four hundred and thirty-six (436) results.

If you know your atomic bomb history, you can guess between Teller and Oppenheimer which one would support the “necessity” defense for the use of torture. It would be an interesting study to see how the interviewees saw these two very different men.

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