Archive of Physicist Interviews Launched

The American Institute of Physics’ Niels Bohr Library and Archives has launched an online database of historical interviews with 20th century physicists. Most of the interviews are written, but there are some audio clips available as well. The archive is available as an alphabetical listing of physicists interviewed at

There are more than 3,000 hours of audio recordings from 1,500 physicists and astronomers included in this catalog, with most of the interviews transcribed. The listing, which runs from Jules Aarons to Herbert F York, includes the birth (and death, if applicable) date of the interviewee as well as the date of the interview. If a person has multiple interviews, they’re listed multiple times.

Click on an interview listing and you’ll get some reprint information, sometimes some background information on the physicist themselves, and then the transcript of the interview. What surprised me about the interviews is how wide-ranging they are. There was science in them, of course, but there was a also a lot of family, activism, and personal notes. It’s sort of like micro-perspectives of history through the eyes of physicists. Great reading.

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