Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

RS 17/1/5
Ames Laboratory Oral History Collection, 2007


Descriptive summary

creator:  
title: Ames Laboratory Oral History Collection
dates: 2007
extent: 0.42 linear feet (1 document box)
collection number: RS 17/1/5
repository: University Archives, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.

 

Administrative information

access: Open for research
publication rights: Consult Head, Special Collections Department
preferred citation: Ames Laboratory Oral History Collection, RS 17/1/5, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.

 

Historical note

The Ames Laboratory began as a chemical research and development program at Iowa State College (University) to assist the World War II Manhattan Project. The program developed an entirely new technology for the conversion of uranium ore to high-purity uranium metal and then used that technology to produce more than 2 million pounds by the end of the war. In 1947, the United States Atomic Energy Commission officially established the Ames Laboratory as a National Laboratory. It is currently a United States Department of Energy research facility operated by Iowa State University. The Laboratory and University share facilities, functions, graduate students, and faculty/principle investigators.

After World War II, the Ames Laboratory specialized in rare metals and methods of achieving chemical transformation without the production of toxic waste. The Laboratory has expanded its scope beyond materials research, including research in photosynthesis, hazardous waste analysis, computer programming, quasicrystals, and nontraditional materials. Recent research programs include Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences; Biorenewable Resources (formerly the Fossil Energy Section); Condensed Matter Physics; Environmental & Protection Sciences (formerly Environmental Technology Development); Materials Chemistry; Metallurgy & Ceramics; Molecular Processes; Nondestructive Evaluation; and Physical and Biological Chemistry.

The mission statement for the Laboratory states, "The Ames Laboratory effectively focuses diverse fundamental and applied research strengths upon issues of national concern, cultivates tomorrow's research talent, and develops and transfers technologies to improve industrial competitiveness and enhance U.S. economic security. At the forefront of current materials research, high-performance computing, and environmental science and management efforts, the Laboratory seeks solutions to energy-related problems through the exploration of physics, chemistry, engineering, applied mathematics and materials sciences. All operations are conducted so as to maintain the health and safety of all workers, and with a genuine concern for the environment." (1998)

 

Collection description

The collection (2007) contains oral history interviews conducted by Susan Futrell, independent scholar and writer. The interviewees include a number of individuals who worked at the Ames Laboratory in the latter half of the 20th century. A few interviews have been transcribed; the others are available in audio format.

For related collections see the Karl Gschneidner Papers (RS 11/12/52), the Frank H. Spedding Papers (RS 17/1/11), and the Harley Wilhelm Papers (RS 17/1/53).

 

Organization

The collection is listed in alphabetical order by interviewee.

 

Container list

Box

Folder

Title

Dates

1

1

Baenziger, Norman: Transcript, summary, and 4 audio CDs (218 minutes)

2007

1

2

Barton, Tom: 1 audio CD (50 minutes)

2007

1

3

Carlson, Virginia: Transcript, summary, and 1 audio CD (70 minutes)

2007

1

4

Cummings, Jack: 1 audio CD (53 minutes)

2007

1

16

Dreeszen, Emmet: 1 audio CD (80 minutes)

2007

1

5

Fisher, Ray: Transcript, summary, and 1 audio CD (125 minutes)

2007

1

6

Gschneidner, Karl: 2 audio CDs (96 minutes)

2007

1

7

Johnson, Ardis: Transcript, summary, and 1 audio CD (80 minutes)

2007

1

8

Powell, Jack: Transcript, summary, and 2 audio CDs (143 minutes)

2007

1

9

Provow, Douglas: 2 audio CDs (84 minutes)

2007

1

10

Schmidt, Frederick: 1 audio CD (69 minutes)

2007

1

11

Smith, John: 1 audio CD (73 minutes)

2007

1

12

Staggs, Robert: Transcript, summary, and 2 audio CDs (132 minutes)

2007

1

13

Struss, Roland: 3 audio CDs (99 minutes)

2007

1

14

Talbert, Willard:  Transcript, summary, and 1 audio CD (75 minutes)

2007

1

15

Wilhelm Family: 2 audio CDs (100 minutes)

2007