Skip to Main Content

History of Los Alamos National Laboratory

Resources on the past, present, and future of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.


Logo for the National Security Research Center

LANL News (Los Alamos Reporter)

Loading ...

Research Library Resources

Any links labeled LANL means the item cannot be requested by the public. Materials in the lower level of the library can be used in the building but cannot be checked out by the public. A Worldcat link means the book is available at libraries outside of Los Alamos National Laboratory and can be requested through your own local library.
  • Hoddeson, Henriksen, et al. (1993). Critical assembly : A technical history of Los Alamos during the Oppenheimer years, 1943-1945. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Jette, E. (1977). Inside Box 1663. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory. (2001). The Laboratory in a changing world (Vol. LALP-01-65). [LANL Catalog]
  • Lyon, F., Evans, J., & Los Alamos Historical Society. (1984). Los Alamos, the first forty years. Los Alamos, N.M.: Los Alamos Historical Society. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Markusen, & Markusen, Ann R. (1995). Coming in from the cold : The future of Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Shroyer, J. (1998). The secret mesa : Inside Los Alamos National Laboratory. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]

For a list of LANL history books curated by lab historian Alan Carr, see the 15 of the best books about the Lab's history, via the internal LANL website. Links to request them are below:

  1. Bird, Kai & Sherwin, Martin J. (2006). American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  2. Committee for the Compilation...(1981). Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Physical, Medical, and Social Effects of the Atomic Bombings. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  3. Conant, Jennet (2005). 109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  4. Groves, Leslie (1962). Now it can be told: the story of the Manhattan project. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  5. Hacker, Barton C. (1987) The dragon's tail : radiation safety in the Manhattan Project, 1942-1946. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  6. Hawkins, David, et al. (1983) Project Y: The Los Alamos Story. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  7. Hewlett, Richard G. & Anderson, Oscar E. (1962) The New World, 1939/1946. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  8. Hoddeson, Lillian. (1993) Critical Assembly: A Technical History of Los Alamos during the Oppenheimer Years, 1943-1945. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  9. Jones, Vincent C. (1985) Manhattan, the Army and the Atomic Bomb. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  10. Kunteka, James W. (2015) The General and the Genius: Groves and Oppenheimer — The Unlikely Partnership That Built the Atom Bomb. [Not in the LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  11. Norris, Robert S. (2002) Racing for the Bomb: General Leslie R. Groves, The Manhattan Project’s Indispensable Man. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  12. Rhodes, Richard. (1986) The Making of the Atomic Bomb. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  13. Serber, Robert. (1992) The Los Alamos Primer: The First Lectures on How to Build an Atomic Bomb. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  14. Smyth, Henry De Wolf. (1945) Atomic energy for military purposes : the official report on the development of the atomic bomb under the auspices of the United States government, 1940-1945. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  15. Szasz, Ferenc Morton. (1984) The Day the Sun Rose Twice: The Story of the Trinity Site Nuclear Explosion, July 16, 1945. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]

Header for Los Alamos Research Online, LANL's public institutional repository.Reports can be accessed using their report numbers at either at Los Alamos Authors (internal lab use only) or Los Alamos Research Online (for external users), unless marked otherwise.

Environmental reports can be accessed at the Electronic Public Reading Room.

  • Cooper, Schecker, Cooper, Necia Grant, Schecker, J. A., & Los Alamos National Laboratory. (2003). Celebrating 60 Years. LA-UR-03-5704.
  • Hammel, E., & Los Alamos National Laboratory. (1997). Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory Energy-related History, Research, Managerial Reorganization Proposals, Actions Taken, and Results : 1945-1979. LA-13072-H.
  • JRB Associates, & United States. Defense Nuclear Agency. (1982). Project Trinity, 1945-1946., DNA-6028F ; JRB 2-816-03-423-00. [HathiTrust]
  • Loaiza, D. ; Gehman, D. End of an era for the Los Alamos Critical Experiments Facility: History of critical assemblies and experiments (1946-2004). LA-14306-H.
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory. (1983). The First Forty Years. LALP-83-6. Available via request in the LANL library catalog.
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory. (1983). Los Alamos Science. Number 7 (Winter/Spring 1983), The Evolution of the Laboratory. LA-UR-83-0475.
  • Montalvo, Maryrose. The Women of Wartime Los Alamos and their Legacies. LA-UR-13-22012.


Videos available on external sources:

See more Trinity-related media at our Trinity Test resource guide:

Any links labeled LANL means the item cannot be requested by the public. Materials in the lower level of the library can be used in the building but cannot be checked out by the public. A Worldcat link means the book is available at libraries outside of Los Alamos National Laboratory and can be requested through your own local library.

  • Badash, Hirschfelder, et al. (1980). Reminiscences of Los Alamos, 1943-1945  [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Cowan, G., & Los Alamos National Laboratory. (2010). Manhattan Project to the Santa Fe Institute : The memoirs of George A. Cowan. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Feynman, R., & Feynman, Michelle. (2005). Perfectly reasonable deviations from the beaten track : The collected letters of Richard P. Feynman. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Froman, D., et al. (1980). Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory : Darol K. Froman : An interview.  [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Hull, M., & Bianco, A. (2005). Rider of the pale horse : A memoir of Los Alamos and beyond. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Joseph, T. (2009). Historic photos of the Manhattan Project. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Library of Congress. (1974). J. Robert Oppenheimer; : [a register of his papers in the Library of Congress].  [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory, & University of California. (2006). Science in the National Interest : Photographs Celebrating Six Decades of Excellence. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Manley, J., Norberg, et al. (1980). Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory : John H. Manley : An interview. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Mason, K. (1995). Children of Los Alamos : An oral history of the town where the atomic age began. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Szilard, L., Weart, S., & Szilard, Gertrud Weiss. (1978). Leo Szilard, his version of the facts : Selected recollections and correspondence [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]
  • Underhill, R., et al. (1979). Robert M. Underhill : Contract negotiations for the University of California : An interview. [LANL Catalog] [Worldcat]

Library Leadership Timeline (1943 - current time):

A timeline of the history of LANL's Research Library.

The History of the LANL Research Library:

Non-Library Sources

These newspapers have covered LANL in the past and continue to do so on a regular enough basis to be considered a source of historical/primary LANL history.

KRQE News 13, KOAT 7 and KOB 4 are New Mexico news stations based in Albuquerque.

Los Alamos National Laboratory external publications include:

  • 1663 magazine. Described as "the most significant research initiatives and accomplishments of the Laboratory delivered to a diverse audience".
  • @TheBradbury, a newsletter from the Bradbury Science Museum that "highlights news and events at the Bradbury Science Museum [and] information on the Lab’s best research and innovations".
  • National Security Science, a magazine that showcases LANL's work on nuclear weapons and for national and global security.

A full list can be found at the Laboratory's publications page.

Lab-wide official social media accounts:

LANL official groups/related groups on social media (Twitter unless otherwise noted):

Former lab directors:

A hand holding a phone in front of Fuller Lodge.Los Alamos National Laboratory currently maintains an app called The Secret City: Project Y, which allows the user to explore the town of Los Alamos through the lens of the Manhattan Project. It is a virtual historical tour of the town, and is available through the Apple app store and Google Play.

LANL had an app for its 75 year anniversary. This app detailed the lab's history for users.  It is currently not available online for download.

The LANL app's official description: Take a look back at some of the milestones and major achievements in LANL’s storied history with the LANL 75th Anniversary app. Learn more about what the Laboratory is doing now to protect our nation and promote world stability. Discover the scientific breakthroughs LANL has made in high performance computing, space, energy, materials, health, medicine, and more.

Groups and Organizations:

Articles and Websites:


Library Chat

Managed by Triad National Security, LLC for the US Department of Energy's NNSA. Copyright Triad National Security, LLC. All Rights Reserved.