Digital Collections

741 items

The Center for Oral History at the Science History Institute is dedicated to creating a collection of comprehensive, professionally edited interviews with remarkable figures in chemistry, chemical engineering, life sciences, and related fields. With interviews dating back to 1979, our oral histories offer unique insights into the history of science.

Born on this day in history

Baker, William O. (William Oliver)
Born July 15, 1915

This interview with William O. Baker begins with a discussion of Baker's childhood on Maryland's Eastern Shore, where...

Shapiro, Irving S.
Born July 15, 1916

Irving Shapiro begins this interview by discussing his parents' backgrounds and the influence of his father's...


While individual oral histories can contribute to specific research goals and agendas, the strength of an oral history collection relies on the ability of individual oral histories to “speak” to each other. Learning about patterns of relationships and activities through the study of collective histories reveals much more about the scientific process and its products than any one oral history could do on its own.


Oral History of the Toxic Substances Control Act

Through oral history interviews with individuals involved in the process of writing and negotiating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), we gain their perspective on the law, its impact, and whether or not it will continue to be effective in the 21st century.


Mass Spectrometry Oral History Project

These oral histories record the human dimensions related to the growth of mass spectrometry in academic, industrial, and governmental laboratories during the 20th century.


Nanotechnology Oral History Project

This oral history series is an important resource for the history of nanotechnology, documenting the lives and careers of key scientists and engineers who shaped and contributed to the contemporary practice of science and technology.


REACH Ambler Oral History Project

Resources for Education and Action for Community Health in Ambler (REACH Ambler) brings into focus the history of Ambler, Pennsylvania, a town long affected by exposure to asbestos from the former Keasbey and Mattison asbestos plant. The oral histories conducted with local residents, community activists, and EPA officials for this project inform the exhibits, online resources, and related public programs all aimed at fostering an understanding of different perspectives on risk, health, and the environment.

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