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Spencer Weart research materials for his book "Nuclear Fear: A History of Images", 1957-1987

Description of Collection


American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives.

Papers created by

Weart, Spencer R., 1942-

Size of collection

2 linear feet
2 records boxes

Short description of collection

Collection of booklets assembled by Spencer Weart while writing his book "Nuclear Fear: A History of Images" (Harvard University Press, 1989).

Language(s) of collection


Collection number:


Biographical Note

B.A. in physics at Cornell University in 1963 and a Ph.D. in physics and astrophysics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1968. He then worked for three years at CalTech as a Fellow of the Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories. In 1971 changed his field, enrolling as a graduate student in the History Department of the University of California, Berkeley. In 1974 he took up post as Director of the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics, the oldest institution dedicated to preserving and making known the history of a scientific discipline. Written two children’s science books and wrote or co-edited seven other books, including Scientists in Power; Leo Szilard: His Version of the Facts; a collection of essays on the history of solid-state physics; Nuclear Fear: A History of Images; and Never at War: Why Democracies Will Not Fight One Another.

Scope and Contents of Collection

Collection of booklets assembled by Spencer Weart while writing his book "Nuclear Fear: A History of Images" (Harvard University Press, 1989). Topics found in the booklets include accelerators, atomic energy, pioneers of atomic physics, nuclear fusion, energy, electrons, effects of nuclear energy on everyday life, lasers, magnetism, nuclear power plants, nuclear reactors, plutonium, isotopes, radioisotopes, spectroscopy, thorium, United States Atomic Energy Commission, United States Energy Research and Development Administration, United States Department of Energy, radiation, neutrino, geothermal energy, oil, solar energy, atoms, American Assembly, General Electric, International Atomic Energy Agency, Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, and atomic power safety.

Restrictions on Use and Access

Selected Search Terms

These papers have been indexed in the International Catalog of Sources for History of Physics and Allied Sciences (ICOS) using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.


General Electric Company.
International Atomic Energy Agency.
Lawrence Radiation Laboratory.
U. S. Atomic Energy Commission
United States. Dept. of Energy.
United States. Energy Research and Development Administration.

Subject terms

Nuclear energy.
Nuclear energy. Safety measures.
Nuclear energy. Social aspects.
Nuclear fusion.
Nuclear power plants.
Nuclear reactors.
Solar energy.
Spectrum analysis.

Genre terms


Organization and Arrangement of Collection

The collection is organized into four series:

  • Series I, United States Atomic Energy Commission booklets
  • Series II. United States Energy Research and Development Administration booklets
  • Series III. United States Department of Energy booklets
  • Series IV. Other Agency booklets

Booklets are arranged alphabetically within each series.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Amanda Nelson in 2013.

Preferred Citation of Collection

Box [number], Folder [number], Spencer Weart research materials for his book "Nuclear Fear: A History of Images", 1957-1987. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library & Archives, College Park, MD 20740, USA.

Administrative Information


Finding Aid to the Spencer Weart research materials for his book "Nuclear Fear: A History of Images", 1957-1987


American Institute of Physics Niels Bohr Library & Archives

One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740


Encoding Information

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Amanda Nelson in 2013. Any revisions made to this finding aid occurred as part of the editing and encoding process.

Series I: United States Atomic Energy Commission booklets

Box 1 Folder 1 Accelerators, 1967
Folder 2 Animals in Atomic Research, 1967
Folder 3 The Atom and the Ocean, 1968
Folder 4 Atomic Energy and Your World, 1970
Folder 5 Atomic Energy Basics, 1970
Folder 6 Atomic Energy Commission: its Organization and Functions, 1962
Folder 7 Atomic Energy in Use, 1966
Folder 8 Atomic Fuel, 1967
Folder 9 Atomic Pioneers - Book 1: From Ancient Greece to the 19th Century, 1970
Folder 10 Atomic Pioneers - Book 2: From the Mid-19th to the Early 20th Century, 1971
Folder 11 Atomic Pioneers - Book 3: From the Late 19th to the Mid-20th Century, 1973
Folder 12 Atomic Power Safety, 1964
Folder 13 Atoms at the Science Fair, 1968
Folder 14 Atoms in Agriculture, 1963
Folder 15 Atoms, Nature, and Man, 1966
Folder 16 A Bibliography of Basic Books on Atomic Energy, 1971
Folder 17 Breeder Reactors, 1971
Folder 18 Careers in Atomic Energy, 1967
Folder 19 The Chemistry of the Noble Gases, 1967
Folder 20 Controlled Nuclear Fusion, 1968
Folder 21 Cryogenics: the Uncommon Cold, 1967
Folder 22 Direct Conversion of Energy, 1964
Folder 23 The Electron, 1972
Folder 24 Experiments with Radiation on Seeds: Number 1, undated
Folder 25 Fallout from Nuclear Tests, 1963
Folder 26 The First Reactor, undated
Folder 27 Food Preservation by Irradiation, 1964
Folder 28 The Genetic Effects of Radiation, 1966
Folder 29 Index to the Understanding the Atom Series, 1967, 1978
Folder 30 Lasers, 1969
Folder 31 Lost Worlds: Nuclear Science and Archeology, 1973
Folder 32 Magnetism and Some Interesting Magnets, undated
Folder 33 Microstructure of Matter, 1967, 1968
Folder 34 The Mysterious Box: Nuclear Science and Art, 1974
Folder 35 The Mystery of Matter, 1970
Folder 36 The Natural Radiation Environment, 1968
Folder 37 Nature's Invisible Rays, 1973
Folder 38 Neutron Activation Analysis, 1963
Folder 39 The New Force of Atomic Energy: its Development and Use, undated
Folder 40 Nondestructive Testing, 1967
Folder 41 Nuclear Clocks, 1968
Folder 42 Nuclear Energy for Desalting, 1966
Folder 43 Nuclear Energy in Space Exploration, undated
Folder 44 Nuclear Milestones - Volume 1: Builders and Discoverers, 1971
Folder 45 Nuclear Power and the Environment, 1969, 1976
Folder 46 Nuclear Power and Merchant Shipping, 1967
Folder 47 Nuclear Power Plants, 1966, 1969
Folder 48 Nuclear Propulsion for Space, 1967
Folder 49 Nuclear Reactors, 1964
Folder 50 Nuclear Reactors for Space Power, 1971
Folder 51 Nuclear Terms: A Glossary, 1967
Folder 52 Our Atomic World, 1964
Folder 53 Plowshare, 1969
Folder 54 Plutonium, 1968
Folder 55 Power from Isotopes, undated
Folder 56 Power from Radioisotopes, 1966, 1971
Box 2 Folder 1 Power Reactors in Small Packages, 1964
Folder 2 Preserving Food with Atomic Energy, 1970
Folder 3 Progress Beyond Plutonium, 1970
Folder 4 Radioactive Wastes, 1967
Folder 5 Radioisotope Experiments in High School Biology, 1966
Folder 6 Radioisotopes and Life Processes, 1966
Folder 7 Radioisotopes in Industry, 1965
Folder 8 Radioisotopes in Medicine, 1966
Folder 9 Rare Earths: The Fraternal Fifteen, 1967
Folder 10 Reading Resources in Atomic Energy, 1968
Folder 11 Research Reactors, 1967
Folder 12 Science and Our Society, 1966
Folder 13 Secrets of the Past: Nuclear Energy Applications in Art and Archaeology, 1972
Folder 14 SNAP: Nuclear Space Reactors, 1967
Folder 15 Sources of Nuclear Fuel, 1968
Folder 16 Space Radiation, 1968
Folder 17 Spectroscopy, 1968
Folder 18 Technical Books and Monographs, 1965
Folder 19 Teleoperators: Man's Machine Partners, 1972
Folder 20 Thorium and the Third Fuel, 1970
Folder 21 United States Atomic Energy Commission (USAEC): What it is, What it does, 1967
Folder 22 What Can You Expect from Atomic-Irradiated Seeds?, undated
Folder 23 What's Available in the Atomic Energy Literature - 6th revision, 1960
Folder 24 What's Available in the Atomic Energy Literature - 10th revision, 1965
Folder 25 What's Available in the Atomic Energy Literature - 11th revision, 1966
Folder 26 Whole Body Counters, 1968
Folder 27 Your Body and Radiation, 1967

Series II: United States Energy Research and Development Administration booklets

Box 2 Folder 28 The Atomic Fingerprint: Neutron Activation Analysis, 1972
Folder 29 Atoms on the Move: Transporting Nuclear Material, 1975
Folder 30 Breeder Backgrounders, 1976
Folder 31 Computers, 1973
Folder 32 Creating Energy Choices for the Future, 1975
Folder 33 The Economics of America's Energy Future, 1975
Folder 34 Electricity and Man, 1974
Folder 35 The Elusive Neutrino, 1969
Folder 36 Energy and the Environment, 1975
Folder 37 Energy Storage, 1975
Folder 38 Energy Technology, 1975
Folder 39 Fusion Energy, 1980
Folder 40 Geothermal Energy, 1975
Folder 41 High Level Radioactive Waste: Safe Storage and Ultimate Disposal, 1975
Folder 42 Inner Space: The Structure of the Atom, 1972
Folder 43 Oil, 1977
Folder 44 Solar Energy, 1976
Folder 45 Stamps Tell the Story of Nuclear Energy, 1975
Folder 46 Worlds Within Worlds: The Story of Nuclear Energy: Volume 1 - Atomic Weights, Energy, Electricity, 1972
Folder 47 Worlds Within Worlds: The Story of Nuclear Energy: Volume 2 - Mass and Energy, the Neutron, the Structure of the Nucleus, 1972
Folder 48 Worlds Within Worlds: The Story of Nuclear Energy: Volume 3 - Nuclear Fission, Nuclear Fusion, Beyond Fusion, 1972

Series III: United States Department of Energy booklets

Box 2 Folder 49 Atoms to Electricity, 1987
Folder 50 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Shipping High-Level Nuclear Wastes, 1978
Folder 51 Professional Energy Careers, 1979

Series IV: Other Agency booklets

Box 2 Folder 52 The American Assembly - Atoms for Power: United States Policy in Atomic Energy Development, 1957
Folder 53 General Electric - Reactor Operating Physics, 1963
Folder 54 International Atomic Energy Agency - Publications in the Nuclear Sciences, 1965, 1965
Folder 55 Lawrence Radiation Laboratory - Discovery and Synthesis of the Chemical Elements: A Brief History, 1969
Folder 56 Unknown - Background Information on Atomic Power Safety (in Japanese), undated