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Collection Overview

Smyth, Henry De Wolf, 1898 - Correspondence
Henry De Wolf Smyth Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


Consists of selected material by and about Henry De Wolf Smyth, the American physicist and diplomat who figured prominently in the development of atomic energy, the Manhattan Project, and the production of the atomic bomb.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of selected material by and about Henry De Wolf Smyth. Included are two small address books, correspondence with his cousin Edward T. Creighton, a photocopy of Smyth's autobiography (29 pp.), material related to Smyth's memorial service and eulogies from his friends, report cards from Lawrenceville School and Princeton University, a copy of a speech delivered at a symposium at Jadwin Gym (Princeton University), photographs of Smyth at different stages of life, and The "Smyth Report," an offprint of the Princeton University Library Chronicle about Smyth's book by the same title. Also included is a small pin commemorating the "A-Bomb" and the "Manhattan Project."

Collection Creator Biography:

Smyth, Henry De Wolf, 1898 - Correspondence

Henry De Wolf Smyth graduated with the Princeton Class of 1918. He is best known as author of the "Smyth Report" (1945), the official government report on the development of the atomic bomb. Smyth had a long and varied career as a physicist, diplomat, instructor, policy maker, and administrator. At Princeton University Smyth was named assistant professor in 1925, associate professor in 1929, and professor in 1936; and in 1935, he was named chairman of the Physics Department. Taking leave from his position, Smyth began work on the Uranium committee of the National Defense Research Committee in 1940, serving as a consultant on the Manhattan Project from 1943 to 1945. Although he returned to Princeton after the war, Smyth left academia to become Commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) from 1949 to 1954, and subsequently served as U.S. Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), from 1961 to 1970.

Collection History


Gift of Mrs. Ellen Camp on June 3, 2009 (AM2009-126).


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Dina Britain on June 16, 2009. Finding aid written by Elizabeth Mulvey on June 16, 2009. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager '2015 in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Henry De Wolf Smyth Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1