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Nuclear History in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Historical primary sources on nuclear history and atomic energy

Eugene Starr Papers, 1911-1988

The Eugene Starr Papers, 1911-1988:

Series 3: Nuclear Power: A member of the Manhattan Project and later a consultant to the Atomic Energy Commission, Eugene Starr was closely acquainted with the development of nuclear power from its inception. The materials in Series 3 reflect this life-long interest, and specifically detail his contacts with nuclear power interests in the Pacific Northwest. Starr was selected to be one of twenty scientific observers at Operation Crossroads in 1946, and his papers include a folder of correspondence, ephemera, and other papers related to his attendance at and impressions of that event.

Eugene Starr enjoyed a widespread reputation as a distinguished scientist and engineer. A 1923 graduate of Oregon Agricultural College, he achieved international recognition for his work in the fields of electrical engineering and nuclear physics. In 1958 Starr was awarded the Department of the Interior's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, for his work with the Bonneville Power Administration.

Radiation Center Records, 1969-2000

The Radiation Center Records are comprised of materials generated between 1953 and 2008 documenting the creation and operation of the Oregon State University Radiation Center. The collection contains administrative correspondence; records of the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Center's facilities and equipment; documentation of research conducted by the Radiation Center on behalf of OSU and other academic institutions, the U.S. Army, Oregon law enforcement agencies, and corporate partners; and records of the Center's day-to-day operations including detailed annual reports and records from several advisory groups.


Nuclear Power, Reactors, and Engineering

The collections in SCARC support a wide range of inquiries in nuclear power, engineering, and reactor technology.
Suggested library catalog keywords and subject headings include: nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear engineering, shield*, reactor*.

A list of related items in the History of Atomic Energy Collection, including uncataloged items, is here.

Leonard M. Maki Nuclear Power Collection, 1936-1975

Leonard M. Maki Nuclear Power Collection, 1936-1975: The Leonard M. Maki Nuclear Power Collection consists of books and archival materials related to the development of nuclear power systems in the twentieth century. Of particular note is a collection of documents, dating to the 1960s, which detail ideas and prototypes for nuclear power systems designed to operate in outer space. This collection would be of potential interest to those researching the history of nuclear power and engineering, applications of nuclear technology in space, and nuclear reactor design.

Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers: Peace Series

Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, Series 12, Peace: This section has been partitioned into eight thematic sub-sections that illustrate Linus Pauling's work and impact in topics of peace and humanism.

Materials include:

  • materials from hundreds of national and international activist groups working against nuclear testing and warfare, including SANE
  • correspondence and other materials related to several national and international petitions calling for an end to nuclear testing and nuclear war
  • correspondence, articles, and research materials related to the effects of radioactive fallout, radiation hazards, and nuclear waste and contamination
  • materials on civil defense and fallout shelters, including government publications, articles, pamphlets, and manuals
  • articles, typescripts, pamphlets, manuscripts, clippings, and booklets related to all aspects of nuclear issues

In reference to nuclear energy and nuclear power, Series 7: The Debate over Nuclear Fallout and Contamination contains numerous relevant items.

Nuclear Science Technical Reports Collection, 1946-1979:



The Nuclear Science Technical Reports Collection, 1946-1979 includes papers issued by a variety of both government and government-contracted organizations focused on the research, application and development of nuclear energy and reactor design.

Hanford Site Forty-Year Environmental Data Collection, 1943-1986


The Hanford Site Forty-Year Environmental Data Collection, 1943-1986 contains a series of government documents and internal technical reports the focus of which is environmental monitoring at the Hanford Site, a nuclear production complex in southeast Washington that was constructed beginning in 1943 and fully decommissioned in 1987. Included among the collection's environmental monitoring reports are documents related to effluent releases into the environment, both planned and unplanned.

How OSU Grew Nuclear Science Oral History Collection, 2009-2010



The How OSU Grew Nuclear Science Oral History Collection, 2009-2010 consists of interviews of Oregon State University faculty and alumni in the Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics Department that were conducted as part of the 50th anniversary of the graduate program in 2009.

Paul J. Persiani Papers

The Paul J. Persiani Papers document the career of Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) physicist Paul J. Persiani. The collection includes research data related to neutron radiation, reactor development, and fuel analysis; administrative files, photographs, and memorabilia from Persiani's time at ANL; records of his participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START); publications, lectures, and teaching materials generated by Persiani; and reference materials including conference proceedings and scientific publications.