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Papers of Leo Szilard, nuclear physicist, biologist, and advocate of global arms control. Most of the material in the accession processed in 1988 dates from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, the period following Szilard's move to the United States. Materials from earlier years include patents, personal documents, and a number of letters. The collection 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 contain further correspondence with prominent individuals, including Leslie Groves, John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, Max von Laue, and letters from Szilard to Gertrud Weiss Szilard, his wife (1936-1960, in German). It also includes annotated drafts of the letter written with Albert Einstein to President Roosevelt disclosing developments in nuclear fission. The papers include recent articles on Szilard, and documentation and memorabilia from programs and celebrations of his life and work.
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.
46.9 Linear feet (111 archives boxes, 1 records carton, 2 card file boxes, 18 oversize folders)
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Original audiovisual materials in the collection are restricted; digitized surrogates may be used. Fragile documents have been restricted for preservation reasons, though photocopies and scans may be consulted.