Since its establishment in 1957, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) History Program consistently sought to maintain a level of excellence in its publications that meets all scholarly standards and yet is accessible to the general public. At the same time, DOE partnered with program offices and field sites to provide historical products that are useful and fill specific departmental needs.

In this effort, DOE produced a broad range of prize-winning monographs, shorter histories, articles, chronologies, and other publications. Some of these are available online. Others are available at major libraries or in academic journals.

Outside of these publications on departmental history, DOE also publishes other reports in fulfillment of its other responsibilities. These include reports required by Executive Order 13287, "Preserve America."


  • The Manhattan Project: Making the Atomic Bomb (PDF, links to 2010 edition) — written by F. G. Gosling.
    DOE/MA-0002 Revised. Ninth printing. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, 2010. 115 pp., with 38 pp. photo gallery).
    Out of print, PDF version only.
  • The New World, 1939-1946. A History of the Atomic Energy Commission, Volume 1 (PDF) — written by Richard G. Hewlett and Oscar E. Anderson, Jr. 
    A "nuts and bolts" history of the Manhattan Project detailing origins, policies, and processes of the project. Based on a broad array of sources, some still classified. Initially published in 1962, this text remains the best reference work available on the Manhattan project.
    Reprint, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. 766 pp.
    Available at major libraries.
  • The Manhattan Project: An Interactive History — Project Director: Terrence R. Fehner.
    A comprehensive overview of the Manhattan Project, the finished website will contain five main topical areas — events, people, places, processes, and science — which will be further divided into subsections, each with an introductory page and as many as a dozen or more sub-pages. When completed, the website will total some 120,000 words and over 250 pages. The Manhattan Project: An Interactive History is hosted on the Manhattan Project Resources site in collaboration with the DOE Office of Classification
    The update to this partially completed version will be available in 2016.
  • Manhattan District History - Project Directors: Terrence R. Fehner and Fletcher Whitworth.
    A multi-volume classified history commissioned by General Leslie Groves at the end of the war that assembled a vast amount of information in a systematic, readily available form and included extensive annotations, statistical tables, charts, engineering drawings, maps, and photographs. All thirty-six volumes of the Manhattan District History, declassified and declassified with redactions, are being made available full-text online.
    The Manhattan District History is part of  The Manhattan Project: Resources, a web-based, joint collaboration between the DOE History Program and the Office of Classification.


  • A History of the Atomic Energy Commission  (PDF) — written by Alice L. Buck.
    Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, July 1983. 41 pp.
    Out of print, PDF version only.
  • Atmospheric Nuclear Weapons Testing, 1951-1963. Battlefield of the Cold War: The Nevada Test Site (PDF) — written by Terrence R. Fehner and F.G. Gosling.
    DOE/MA-0003. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, 2006. 244 pp.
    Out of print, PDF version only.
  • Origins of the Nevada Test Site (PDF) — written by Terrence R. Fehner and F.G. Gosling.
    DOE/MA-0518. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, 2000. 95 pp.
    Out of print, PDF version only.
  • Atomic Shield, 1947-1952. A History of the Atomic Energy Commission, Volume II (PDF) - written by Richard G. Hewlett and Francis Duncan.
    History of the initial years of the AEC under the Truman administration. Details startup, development, and policies of the new agency, as well as major issues like expansion of the nuclear weapons complex, development of thermonuclear weapons, and beginnings of programming for peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
    Reprint, University of California Press, 1990. 718 pp. 
    Available at major libraries.
  • Atoms for Peace and War: The Eisenhower Administration and the Atomic Energy Commission. A History of the Atomic Energy Commission, Volume III (PDF) — written by Richard G. Hewlett and Jack M. Holl.
    Examines nuclear policy issues at the top level of government, focusing especially on inter-relationship between Eisenhower administration and AEC. Issues include expansion of the nuclear arsenal, nuclear weapons testing and negotiations to end testing, Oppenheimer's security hearing, origins of "Atoms for Peace," and development of civilian nuclear power.
    Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. 696 pp. 
    Available at major libraries.
  • Nuclear Navy, 1946-1962 (PDF) — written by Richard G. Hewlett and Francis Duncan.
    Traces growth of U.S. Navy's nuclear fleet from its beginnings to 1962 when 27 submarines and three surface ships were in operation. Focuses on Admiral Hyman G. Rickover as the driving force who convinced the Navy and AEC to support the project and who then shepherded it to success.
    Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974. 477 pp. 
    Available at major libraries.
  • Rickover and the Nuclear Navy: The Discipline of Technology (PDF) — written by Francis Duncan.
    An "inside overview" of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover's nuclear propulsion program from 1958 into the 1970s. Less a history than a series of essays on topics like the Thresher, surface ships, the Multilateral Force, and Shippingport.
    Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1989. 374 pp. 
    Available at major libraries.




  • Department of Energy, 1977-1994: A Summary History (PDF) — written by Terrence R. Fehner and Jack M. Holl. 
    DOE/HR-0098. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, 1994. 142 pp. History Office publication.
    Available from DOE History Program,
  • Coming in From the Cold: Regulating U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Facilities, 1942-1996 — written by Terrence R. Fehner and F. G. Gosling.
    Discusses influence of environmental laws such as Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as well as the end of the Cold War. Argues that DOE has historically stronger safety than environmental record.
    Environmental History 1:2 (April 1996): 5-33. History Office publication. Traces evolution of the agency from self-regulation to increased outside regulation.
    Environmental History is available at major libraries.
  • Dial Painters Project: Argonne National Laboratory's Documentation of Radium Hazards to Workers — written by F. G. Gosling.
    Brief history of gradual recognition that radium posed a hazard to workers in the dial-painting trade. Examines scientific research concerning the radium hazard, standards implemented to protect workers, role of Argonne National Laboratory, and how Atomic Energy Commission's plutonium protection standards derived from radium hazard data.
    Labor's Heritage 4:2 (1992): 64-77. 
    Labor Heritage is available at major libraries.
  • Closing the Circle: The Department of Energy and Environmental Management, 1942-1994 (PDF) — written by F. G. Gosling and Terrence R. Fehner.
    Overview examines origin and historical development of environmental issues like waste management, waste repositories, cleanup of the complex, and application of federal environmental laws. Waste sections currently being updated and expanded as part of forthcoming broader volume.
    Draft manuscript. 1994. 166 pp. 
    Out of print, PDF version only.
  • History Briefs: Critical Issues for the Department of Energy — written by F. G. Gosling, Terrence R. Fehner, and Marie Hallion.
    Revised version of briefing book prepared for incoming Secretary Peña. Topical chapters examine history of significant DOE issues: institutional origins, internal organization, nuclear weapons complex, headquarters-field relations, energy policy, civilian and defense nuclear waste repositories, and science and the national labs.
    Draft manuscript. February 1997. 120 pp + appendices. 
    Out of print.

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