Bradbury Science Museum launches online archives with Manhattan Project science and history

Images provide a glimpse of the workforce, technology and events that led to the development of the first atomic bombs at Los Alamos

May 18, 2020

The History Gallery at the Bradbury Science Museum traces the Laboratory’s history during the Atomic Age via interactive exhibits.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., May 18, 2020—The Bradbury Science Museum premiered its online artifacts collection with images of groundbreaking science and history of the Manhattan Project, which developed the world’s first atomic bombs at Los Alamos Laboratory that helped to end World War II.

“People can now virtually experience a part of the museum never seen before as well as some of our gallery exhibits,” said Wendy Strohmeyer, collections specialist at the Bradbury Science Museum, which interprets the Laboratory’s history during the Atomic Age of the Manhattan Project. “The online site provides a combination of objects, archives and photos that may help people gain surprising insights into an important time in our nation's history. We hope people find this resource interesting and informative.”

Around 100 online records include official correspondence, an iconic speed camera that documented the research and science at the Laboratory, radio broadcast transcripts and a mineral called trinitite created from the explosion during the Trinity Test in 1945 near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Families of former Laboratory employees donated some of the memos and letters that are part of the online archives. “We count on donations to build our collections,” said Strohmeyer. “These family heirlooms can help us understand and exhibit the history of our community.”

People can request images from the online collection and museums can borrow items from the catalog for their exhibits. “Online access helps to reach a much wider audience,” said Strohmeyer.

The online database will be updated with more records from the Manhattan Project and other collections such as supercomputing, space exploration and underground testing.

It will also include the Laboratory’s current research, science and engineering achievements that are showcased via interactive exhibits at the Museum.

Funding: Manhattan Project National Historical Park partially funded the project.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.