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LANL unable to release history report

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By Roger Snodgrass

A Los Alamos National Laboratory librarian was unable to release a 30-year-old report on the early history of computing, Steven Aftergood, who directs the Project on Government Secrecy, reported Monday.

“I got an inquiry from a graduate student who was trying to locate a copy of the report for academic purposes,” Aftergood said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “The subject matter seemed intrinsically interesting. It wasn’t some isolated detail in nuclear physics, but rather a broad sweep of technological history.”

He said he found references to the report, “Computing at LASL (Los Alamos Science Laboratory) in the 1940s and 1950s,” but the document itself was not readily available.

“So I naturally turned to the Los Alamos research library,” he said, where he found “a polite but disappointing response.”

The library was unable to provide a copy of the document.

He was, however, able to obtain a copy independently, which was added to the project’s collection of Los Alamos documents.


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