New Digital Collection From LC: World War II: “Opening Access to the Office of Scientific Research and Development”
The Second World War, while in many ways a desperate and tragic time, was also a time of immense focus on research and development worldwide. Researchers made new advances, not just in technologies related to weaponry, but in fields such as chemistry, metallurgy, optics, physics, and many others, transforming warfare in the process. In the United States, this massive research effort was coordinated by one office — the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD).
The Library’s Technical Reports Section has long held a collection of the OSRD’s declassified technical laboratory and field reports, drawings, memos, medical research results, and more. The materials are in print, with the “most important” research reports found in the hardcopy collection also having been preserved on microfilm.
In recent years the Technical Reports Section has had the microfilm copies of these reports digitized and placed in the Library’s Stacks system, where they can be viewed from dedicated terminals in the Library’s Reading Rooms. Now some of them have joined our Digital Collections, as a new digital collection, becoming freely accessible online from anywhere!
The OSRD administered their work through 25 divisions, panels and committees that were subject based, such as Chemistry, Optics, Physics, Radar, and Transportation. Because of the number and size of the collections under each of the groups, we will be migrating them into the new digital collection one or two at a time.
We are starting with material from two of the OSRD’s many administrative divisions, Division 12: Transportation and Division 16: Optics & Camouflage. Information on topics such as amphibious vehicle studies, DUKW design, bridge, ponton and ferry designs and much more, can be found in reports in Division 12 (Transportation). The Optics/ Camouflage (Division 16) collection includes reports on topics such as aerial photography, camouflage applications, periscopes and other optical instruments.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.