Beginning with the Manhattan Project, the massive scientific and
technological effort that produced the first atomic bombs, nuclear issues have
had a profound effect on every aspect of society. Those issues have influenced
the evolution of science and technology, domestic politics and international
relations in many countries, as well as the arts and humanities.
The Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues is a web-based collection of
annotated references to resources that offer a broad, balanced perspective on
current and historical nuclear issues. The references trace the development of
nuclear science, the Manhattan Project, which produced the first atomic bombs,
the Cold War arms race, and the post-Cold War world of proliferation and
terrorism, as well as nuclear power. The materials referenced include books, articles, videos, and
websites. Each annotation is vetted to assure accuracy and indexed to
Purpose and Distinctive Features
The goal of the library is to provide references for the study of the Manhattan
Project and its consequences to a broad audience. The library strengthens the
quality of education by connecting different disciplines, issues, and ideas
involving nuclear issues as well as providing resources for specific
disciplines. It integrates the indexed references into a structured collection
that allows users to examine nuclear issues from many perspectives. The
indexing system and searching tools facilitate the exploration of these
materials for general readers, educators, and specialists alike. A clear,
intuitive user interface facilitates navigation of the library. Users can
assemble a personal bibliography for output to a file or printer.
Unique Bibliographic Features
Although nuclear issues are the subject of many excellent websites, many of them
provide limited references for people wishing to pursue the subject in depth or
from different points of view. In general, those resources have not focused on
annotating and organizing the references they cite. They have also provided
little guidance on the suitability of references for specific requirements. The
Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues provides those features. The scope of
its references is also broader than current print bibliographies, which tend to
focus on a single issue or discipline.
The library is useful in organizing classes, seminars, and projects, as well as
providing objective assistance to individuals seeking to increase their
knowledge. It is suitable for use with introductory high school and college
courses in many disciplines, more focused upper level college and graduate
courses, courses and seminars that focus specifically on nuclear issues, as
well as in informal, continuing education. The library is recommended by the
National Science Teachers Association and is referenced by over 100
Materials to be annotated are selected by Dr. Frank Settle and members of the
National Advisory Board. The annotations are then carefully prepared by trained
college students, edited by Ms. Judy Strang and reviewed by appropriate
members of the National Advisory Board. That procedure assures high quality,
informative annotations. Each annotation is also indexed by Dr. Settle to
facilitate access. Those processes assure that the library fulfills its primary
objectives of providing reliable, accessible annotations.
Inclusion of References
The selection of references for the library by Dr. Settle and the National
Advisory Board reflects their philosophies and experiences. The collection
contains some references whose content has become dated by progress in science
and technology or by disclosures of previously inaccessible documents. Those
references are included because they provide historical continuity,
representing the state of knowledge and thought of their time. For those
references, the editorial team has made an effort to indicate in the
annotations that material is dated. An effort has been made to include
references that represent different, substantiated points of view on nuclear
Permission to Use Materials from the Library
The Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues is registered with
|The Alsos library is a component of the National Science Foundation’s National Science Digital Library
which supports education and research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
||The Alsos library is a member of Nuclear Pathways, a group of related sites which provide information on a broad range of nuclear issues.
||The library is located at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia.
The library has been funded by the National Science Digital Library program of the National Science Foundation,
grants #0434253, 026152, and 0085657.
It has also received support from The Lenfest Foundation and Mr. Gerry Lenfest.
Washington and Lee University hosts the library and has provided support through
the R. E. Lee Summer Scholars Program.