The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has developed and made available to the public a wide range of in-print, online, and in-person Manhattan Project historical resources. These include histories, websites, reports and document collections, and exhibits and tours.
DOE Histories of the Manhattan Project: Histories produced by the Department include The Manhattan Project, which provides a brief overview, and the longer, at 100 pages (including the 35-page "Photo Gallery") The Manhattan Project: Making of the Atomic Bomb. These non-technical, highly readable accounts are geared toward the general reader. Published in 1962, The New World, 1939-1946, was the first major Manhattan Project history. As Volume 1 of the official History of the Atomic Energy Commission series, The New World used both unclassified and still-classified source materials and revealed much that previously had not been disclosed. The New World and the U.S. Army Center of Military History's Manhattan: The Army and the Atomic Bomb released in 1985 remain the best-detailed published accounts of the Manhattan Project and are available at major libraries.
In July 2013, the Department launched The Manhattan Project: Resources, a web-based, joint collaboration between the Department’s Office of Classification and its History Program. The site is designed to disseminate information and documentation on the Manhattan Project to a broad audience including scholars, students, and the general public. The Manhattan Project: Resources consists of two parts: 1) The Manhattan Project: An Interactive History, a website history designed to provide an informative, easy-to-read, comprehensive overview of the Manhattan Project, and 2) the Manhattan District History, 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 36 volumes of the Manhattan District History, declassified and declassified with redactions, are being made available full text online.
Manhattan Project Site Histories: Additional sources for information on the Manhattan Project can be found at the following sites hosted by the Department's field sites and laboratories: the Los Alamos National Laboratory's Our History, the Y-12 National Security Complex's Y-12 History, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's history site, and Hanford's Hanford History. In conjunction with the opening of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park on November 10, 2015, the Department launched the K-25 Virtual Museum website.
Manhattan Project Images: DOE provides access to a variety of Manhattan Project images through its Flickr site.
Manhattan Project Records: The Department continues to release declassified Manhattan Project-related reports and documents on its OpenNet website. This searchable database includes bibliographical references to all documents declassified and made publicly available after October 1, 1994. Some documents can be viewed in full text. Unclassified and declassified Manhattan Project records collection can be accessed at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The core administrative records of the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) came out of Oak Ridge, Tennesee, and have been transferred to NARA's Southeast Region located in Atlanta, Georgia. Also at Atlanta are unclassified/declassified MED operational division and other Oak Ridge records. Classified MED records were sent to NARA headquarters (Archives II in College Park).
Exhibits and Public Tours: The Department supports a number of Manhattan Project-related exhibits and public tours. In 2007, the Department opened a permanent Manhattan Project exhibit as the cornerstone of the 30th-anniversary lobby renovation at the Department's Forrestal headquarters building in Washington, D.C. Major permanent Manhattan Project exhibits also are on display at the Department's American Museum of Science and Energy and Y-12 History Center in Oak Ridge and Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, New Mexico. At the Hanford site in Washington state, the Department offers public tours of the B Reactor and other historical properties on the site. At Oak Ridge, the Department's public tours visit the X-10 Graphite Reactor and drive around the perimeter of the K-25 Plant. Tours will be expanded as the new Manhattan Project park is implemented.
Learn more about the origins of the Manhattan Project and ongoing preservation work.
Learn about the background of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the authorizing legislation, park implementation news, and watch a video about the park.