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Leo Szilard Papers
MSS 32  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Papers of a nuclear physicist, biologist, and advocate of global arms control. The majority of the materials in the Szilard papers date from the late 1930s to the early 1960s -- the period following Szilard's move to the U.S. Materials dating from earlier years include patents, personal documents, and a number of letters. The collection best documents Szilard's work on the atomic bomb and his efforts on behalf of arms control and world cooperation. Prominent correspondents include Enrico Fermi, J. William Fulbright, Otto Hahn, Hubert Humphrey, Frederic Joliot-Curie, Linus Pauling, Michael Polanyi, Jonas Salk, Edward Teller, Harold C. Urey, and Eugene P. Wigner. Also included are copies of correspondence with Albert Einstein. The accessions processed in 2000 compliment the first accession and contain further correspondence with prominent individuals, including Leslie Groves, Frederic Joliot-Curie, John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, and Max von Laue. Also included are letters (1936-1960), in German, from Szilard to Gertrude Weiss Szilard, his wife, and annotated drafts of the letter written with Albert Einstein to President Roosevelt disclosing developments in nuclear fission. The papers include recent articles on Szilard, documentation and memorabilia from programs and celebrations of his life and work, and materials related to Gertrude Weiss Szilard.
Background
Leo Szilard is best known for his pioneering work in nuclear physics, his participation in the Manhattan Project during World War II, and his opposition to the nuclear arms race in the postwar era.
Extent
47.3 Linear feet (112 archives boxes, 1 records carton, 2 card file boxes, 18 oversize folders)
Restrictions
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Availability
The audio-visual materials in the collection are restricted; patrons must request user copies be produced. Fragile documents have been restricted for preservation reasons; photocopies can be found in place of these originals.