In new browser tabs or windows, open these three links to digital repositories containing resources related to the dropping of the atomic bomb. Browse through each repository (Truman Library Collections, Voices of the Manhattan Project, and National Security Archive), and think about how useful these repositories would be to you if you were a historian seeking to write a biography on the scientist Leo Szilard (pronounced SIL-lard) who helped develop the atomic bomb and also campaigned against its use.
As you explore each repository, try to locate the following primary sources that you might consult to write a chapter about Szilard’s campaign against dropping the atomic bomb. Each primary source is located in only one of the above repositories. Try your best to locate each source, but it is OK if you are not able to locate all three. If you are successful in your search, try skimming through the sources you find.
1. The transcription of the oral history interview with Tom Evans, a close friend of President Truman’s, discussing scientists opposition to the use of the atomic bomb
2. A petition against the use of the atomic bomb circulated by Szilard directed toward President Truman
3. An interview with Lilli Hornig, a scientist who signed Szilard’s petition against the use of the atomic bomb
In two to three sentences, respond to each question. To develop your responses, combine your experience deploying search terms to locate the three primary sources in this learning block with your own reflections on the questions posed. Regardless of whether or not you were able to find all three sources, complete all question prompts before you submit your responses. It is especially helpful for your instructor to know what search terms you did use if you weren’t able to find the primary sources so that they can provide you with the feedback you need to develop effective search terms.
1. Describe your overall experience of locating these primary sources. Was it challenging or straightforward? Did you learn anything interesting along the way?
2. Were you able to locate an interview with Tom Evans, a close friend of President Truman’s, who interacted with scientists who were trying to reach Truman with their campaign against the use of the atomic bomb? Share your search terms and a link to the primary source.
3. Were you able to locate a petition against the use of the atomic bomb circulated by Szilard directed toward President Truman? Share your search terms and a link to the primary source.
4. Were you able to locate an interview with Lilli Hornig, a scientist who signed Szilard’s petition against the use of the atomic bomb? Share your search terms and a link to the primary source.
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