This collection contains biographical materials, correspondence, programs of conferences attended and/or participated in, notes, photographs, memos, reports, proposals, itineraries, lists of contacts, minutes of committee meetings, news releases, newspaper clippings, articles and other writings by Dr. Aebersold, and notes, outlines, slide lists, abstracts, and texts of speeches given by Dr. Aebersold. The materials document Dr. Aebersold's career well from graduate student days to Atomic Energy Commission officials. A considerable amount of additional information should be available in the files of the Manhattan Project and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
Among the most important items in the papers are the 294 speeches and 100 articles and other writings by Dr. Aebersold, the 37 speeches and 180 articles he collected, and the 1,200 newspaper clippings. The speeches and articles reflect the latest thinking and reveal the broadest picture of developments even though they represent only a minute historical significance of the early activities of the Isotopes Branch and the use of isotopes in the immediate post-war period, Dr. Aebersold began to collect clippings about isotopes in earnest in 1946. Unfortunately, this extensive collection lasted only until 1949. During these three years, however, there certainly are very few aspects of isotope production, distribution, and use that are not mentioned in the clippings.
Although most of the correspondence deals with commitments to speak before various groups or with attendance at numerous conferences, some of the early letters prior to 1940 do record some of the thoughts and activities of Dr. Aebersold’s early associates at the Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley. Many congratulatory letters in 1957, when Dr. Aebersold moved from Oak Ridge to Washing, serve as a measure of his stature in the atomic energy field throughout the United States as well as South America and parts of Europe.
From time-to-time aspects of Dr. Aebersold’s character and philosophy are revealed in rather unexpected areas. That he enjoyed a good story is shown in numerous handwritten notes and a few typed introductory remarks to speeches. Unfortunately, only in a few cases did he write out the whole story. Usually, he only jotted a brief note to remind himself of a particular story. In speaking before the Knife and Fork Clubs of McAllen and Dallas, Texas on March 23 and November 16, 1948, Dr. Aebersold recalled his experiences in and reactions to the first atomic bomb test in New Mexico. These are about the only personal references to his wartime activities.