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Lanouette/Szilard Papers
MSS 0659  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Restrictions
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Lanouette/Szilard Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0659
    Physical Description: 5 Linear feet (7 archives boxes, 11 card file boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1920-2006
    Abstract: Papers relating to writer and public policy analyst William Lanouette's research for Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb, published in 1994 with Szilard's brother Bela Silard as co-author. Research materials are mostly photocopies of correspondence, clippings, patent documents, and other materials related to Szilard's life and work. The collection also contains 180 audio cassette tapes of interviews with friends, colleagues, and coworkers of Szilard.


    Audiocassette recordings in boxes 8 through 18 in the INTERVIEWS ON CASSETTE TAPE series are restricted. Researchers must request user copies be produced. Also, the collection contains some photocopies of originals held by other institutions. Should users want reproductions of these documents, they must contact the owning institution.


    William Lanouette is a writer and public policy analyst whose main focus has been nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. He has written for The Atlantic, The Economist, and The Washinton Post, and has served as the Washington correspondent for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. From 1991-2006 he served as a senior analyst for energy and science issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
    Published in 1994, Genius in the Shadows was Lanouette's first book.

    Scope and Contents

    The Lanouette/Szilard Papers document Lanouette's research for the book Genius in the Shadows, a biography on physicist Leo Szilard's life and works. The collection is arranged in three series: 1) SUBJECT FILES, 2) WRITINGS BY LANOUETTE, and 3) INTERVIEWS ON CASSETTE TAPE.
    Series 1: SUBJECT FILES
    The SUBJECT FILES series holds the majority of Lanouette's research materials and dates from 1920 to 2006. It is arranged in four subseries: A) Leo Szilard, B) Translations of Leo Szilard Letters to Gertrude Weiss Szilard, C) Patents, and D) Other Subjects.
    A) The Leo Szilard subseries contains materials relating directly to Szilard including biographical information, writings, speeches, and clippings collected by Lanouette.
    B) The Translations of Leo Szilard Letters to Gertrud Weiss Szilard subseries contains Josef Ernst's English translations of Szilard's German letters dated 1937-1959 to his wife, Gertrud Weiss Szilard. Collection MSS 650, Leo Szilard Letters to Gertrud Weiss Szilard, at the UCSD Mandeville Special Collections Library, contains some, though not all, of the original letters in German.
    C) The Patents subseries contains applications, agreements, and correspondence on patents sought by Szilard and Einstein.
    D) The Other Subjects subseries is arranged alphabetically by subject name. Materials were used in Lanouette's research and include newspaper clippings, interview transcripts, Lanouette's notes, and some correspondence. Research topics include Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Henry Kissinger, and Robert Oppenheimer.
    The WRITINGS BY LANOUETTE series contains photocopies, some annotated, of Lanouette's articles relating to Szilard and the Manhattan Project. The articles date 1992-2006 and are arranged alphabetically by title in one folder.
    The INTERVIEWS ON CASSETTE TAPE series comprises 180 audio cassette tapes of interviews with 117 friends, colleagues, and coworkers of Szilard. The interviews were conducted by Lanouette between 1982 and 1988, with the majority dating after 1985. The series is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee. In the cases where there was more than one person interviewed on a single tape, the tape was filed under the name Lanouette listed first.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2004-2012.

    Preferred Citation

    Lanouette/Szilard Papers, MSS 659. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Nuclear physics
    Atomic bomb -- United States
    Szilard, Leo
    Manhattan Project (U.S.)
    Lanouette, William -- Archives