Mandeville Special Collections Library
UCSD Libraries 0175S
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-017
47.30 linear feet (112 archives boxes, 1 records carton, 2 card file boxes, 18 oversize folders)
Papers of a nuclear physicist, biologist, and advocate of global arms control. Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1898, Szilard moved to Berlin in 1919, where he studied engineering and physics and received his doctorate under Max von Laue at the University of Berlin. He migrated to England in 1933 where he made important discoveries relating to the nuclear chain-reaction. After moving to the United States in the late 1930s, he worked on the Manhattan Project and made significant contributions to the development of the atomic bomb. After World War II he concentrated on the field of biology and became one of the world's leading advocates of global cooperation and arms control. He was associated with many universities, including Oxford, Columbia, and Chicago. In 1951 he married Dr. Gertrude Weiss. In 1963 he became a fellow of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He died in San Diego, California, in 1964. 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. The papers are organized in twelve series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS, 4) SUBJECTS AND ORGANIZATIONS, 5) FINANCIAL RECORDS, 6) ADDRESSES, 7) GERTRUDE SZILARD MATERIALS, 8) PHOTOGRAPHS, 9) AUDIO MATERIALS, 10) AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIALS, 11) ARTIFACTS, and 12) NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS. Prominent correspondents include Enrico Fermi, J. William Fulbright, Otto Hahn, Hubert Humphrey, Frederic Joliot-Curie, Linus Pauling, Michael Polyani, 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. The papers are arranged in five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) WRITINGS BY LEO SZILARD, 3) ARTICLES, PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS ON SZILARD, 4) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIAL, and 5) GERTRUDE SZILARD MATERIALS.