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About Atomic Energy Newsletter (AEN)

The only comprehensive collection in digital searchable format

Atomic Energy Newsletter Compilation © 2016

March 1, 1949, Vol. 1 No. 1, through May 23, 1961, Vol. 23 No. 10

Although various issues of Atomic Energy Newsletter can be found in a number of libraries hardcopy and on microfilm, this is the first and only comprehensive collection of the resource in digital searchable format.

The newsletter covered all non-classified aspects of civilian and military activity connected with nuclear power development.  Its information sources included Construction Daily, Engineering News Record, major newspapers and local newspapers in towns surrounding centers of activity (e.g. Richland, WA; Arco, ID; Oak Ridge, TN; Albuquerque and Los Alamos, NM).

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Its subscription list included industrial firms, hospitals, universities, medical libraries, the AEC in France, the United States AEC, the British Ministry of Supply, and the Union Miniere of Belgium.

Subscription solicitations were mailed to foreign embassies in the U.S.  It was cited as an original source in issues of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist and The Soviet Journal of Atomic Energy. The initial 1949 subscription mailing included a solicitation addressed directly to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, prompting the FBI to open an investigation and subscribe. Following the report in early 1950 of an unusual newsletter inquiry into a contract bid received by Los Alamos Laboratory, editor Robert M. Sherman was interviewed by FBI Special Agent Lawrence W. Spillane  (who had recently worked on the Rosenberg and Hiss cases). The newsletter was cleared of any violation of the Atomic Energy Act, the FBI case was closed and publication continued until 1961. [FBI File – Click Here]

The PDF files presented here are a sample of scanned original copies.  The complete compilation contains every published issue – 320, four to six page issues – nearly 1,600 pages searchable pages in all. The files comprise a database of concisely written, highly focused historical news, not only illuminating the first 12 years of non-classified activity surrounding commercial nuclear power development but also providing a window into the related business, political and social environment of mid-20th century United States.

From the Introductory February 14, 1949

“The NEWSLETTER is the result of the request of Detroit Edison Company President and general manager James W. Parker, chairman of the United States AEC Industrial Advisory Group, for greater atomic information for industry. In the Advisory Group’s report of December 15, 1948, it asked for help to enable industry to identity the opportunities that atomic energy holds for it. ATOMIC ENERGY NEWSLETTER was specifically designed for that role. The Groups also asked for “much additional technical and semi-technical knowledge about the whole field of atomic energy”.

Now, just two months later, ATOMIC ENERGY NEWSLETTER is furnishing American industry this information and showing it how to find the opportunities in the atomic energy field.”

Atomic Energy Newsletter

Download Original Press Release, February 14, 1949

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Four to Five Page Issues

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Oak Ridge is Mentioned

1949 – 1961

Years in Active Publication

1949 – 1961

Why Buy Me A Cup of Coffee?

You get the content for free. There are no ads. The newsletter itself is almost 1,600 pages scanned in OCR quality, giving you, at your fingertips, 12 years of early nuclear age (1949-1961) reporting.

You won’t find this content compiled in total anywhere else.

The website is easy to use, entertaining, and tries to show respect for those who might be interested in the subject.

Assembling this was a labor of love, and it took years, including contacting the Library of Congress and the FBI, filling in missing issues, and finding a professional website developer who shared my vision for presentation (and actually had the skills to match).

It’s been fun, and I’d like to keep it going. If you find the content useful, I’ve saved you time and money. If you find it entertaining, I’m happy about that. In either case, tell others! I’ll probably never recoup my initial costs, but keeping it going still costs money. Which is why I’m asking.