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Please note: We require 7 days notice to retrieve this collection as part, or all of it, is held off-campus.

Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Nuclear Age
Nuclear Age television documentary series
1948, 1961-1968, [1979], [1985]-1989
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
19 boxes and 12 VHS (Vertical Helix Scan) videotapes (0.19 cubic metres)


Name of creator(s)

Central Independent Television and WGBH Boston.

Administrative / Biographical history

The Nuclear Age is a twelve part television documentary series on the history of nuclear strategy, from the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938 and the Allied development of the atomic bomb, 1942-1945, to the last years of the Cold War, 1987-1989, made jointly by Central Independent Television and WGBH Boston in 1989. The series was transmitted on Central Independent Television between Jan-Mar 1989.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented to the Centre by Central Independent Television in four accessions, Apr 1989-Mar 1991.

Content & structure

Scope and content

The Nuclear Age archive consists of typescript transmission scripts, interview transcripts and videotapes concerning the development of nuclear technology and strategy from 1938 to 1989. It includes twelve typescript transmission scripts and VHS (Vertical Helix Scan) videotapes for episodes 1-12, Jan-Mar 1989, and 267 typescript transcripts of interviews with 195 individuals, prominent in the political, diplomatic, scientific and military aspects of the development and deployment of nuclear technology, from the USA, USSR, UK, Federal Republic of Germany, Israel, Japan, India, Pakistan and the People's Republic of China, 1938-1989, notably including Professor Georgiy Arkadevich Arbatov, Soviet Academy of Sciences, 1974-[1989]; Professor Hans Albrecht Bethe, Professor of Theoretical Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA, 1937-1975; Dr Norris Edwin Bradbury, Director, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, New Mexico, USA, 1945-1970; Dr Harold Brown, Director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California, Livermore, California, USA, 1960-1961; Zbigniew (Kasimierz) Brzezinski, US National Security Advisor, 1977-1981; James Earl 'Jimmy' Carter, US President, 1977-1981; Rt Hon Denis Winston Healey, Secretary of State for Defence, 1964-1970; Rt Hon Michael Ray Dibdin Heseltine, Secretary of State for Defence, 1983-1986; Dr Henry (Alfred) Kissinger, US Secretary of State, 1973-1977; Andrei Afanasevich Kokoshin, First Deputy Minister of Defence, Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR), 1992-1997; Robert Strange McNamara, US Secretary of Defense, 1961-1968; Professor Philip Morrison, Physicist, Metallurgy Laboratory, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1943-1944; Paul Henry Nitze, Head of the US INF (Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces) negotiations, 1981-1984; Rt Hon Sir John (William Frederic) Nott, Secretary of State for Defence, 1981-1983; Professor Sir Rudolf (Ernst) Peierls, Professor of Mathematics and Physics, University of Bern, Switzerland, 1937-1963; Professor Isidor Isaac Rabi, Professor of Physics, Columbia University, New York, USA, 1937-1967; Lt Gen Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Prime Minister, 1974-1977; Professor Joseph Rotblat, Director of Research in Nuclear Physics, University of Liverpool, 1945-1949; (David) Dean Rusk, US Secretary of State, 1961-1969; James Rodney Schlesinger, US Secretary of Defense, 1973-1975; Helmut (Heinrich Waldemar) Schmidt, Chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany, 1974-1982; Professor Edward Teller, Director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California, USA, 1960-1975; Cyrus Roberts Vance, US Secretary of State, 1977-1980; Professor Evgeny Pavlovich Velikhov, Soviet Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy, 1961-1984, and Professor of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University, 1973-1986; Caspar Willard Weinberger, US Secretary of Defense, 1981-1987; Professor Victor Frederick Weisskopf, Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1946-1960; Professor Freiherr Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Head of Department, Max Planck Institute for Physics, Göttingen, Federal Republic of Germany, 1946-1957; Rt Hon George Kenneth Hotson Younger, Secretary of State for Defence, 1986-1989; Solly Zuckerman, Baron Zuckerman of Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, Chief Science Adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence, 1960-1966, and Chief Science Adviser to HM Government, 1964-1971.

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged in sections as outlined above, with the interview transcripts arranged in alphabetical order by country of residence.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Language/scripts of material

Mostly English, but with some French, Russian and German.

Finding aids

Summary guide entry and detailed catalogue available online and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals
King's College London College Archives

Description control

Archivist's Note

Sources: Who's Who, Who's Who in America, The International Who's Who, Who's Who in Russia since 1900 by Martin McCauley (Routledge, London, 1997), The Soviet Union: a biographical dictionary edited by Archie Brown (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1990). Compiled by Iain Mutch.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

Sep 2000


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  • Arms control
  • Arms race
  • Collectivism
  • Communism
  • Defence
  • Disarmament
  • East West relations
  • Glasnost
  • Government
  • Government policy
  • Internal politics
  • International relations
  • International security
  • Nuclear physics
  • Peace
  • Physics
  • Political conflicts
  • Political crises
  • Political doctrines
  • Political leadership
  • Political science
  • Politicians
  • Politics
  • State security

Personal names

  • Arbatov, Georgiy Arkadevich, fl 1974-1889, Soviet Academy of Sciences
  • Bethe, Hans Albrecht, fl 1937-1975, Professor of Theoretical Physics, Cornell University
  • Bradbury, Norris Edwin, fl 1945-1970, Director, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
  • Brown, Harold, fl 1960-1961, Director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Brzezinski, Zbigniew (Kasimierz), b 1928, US National Security Advisor
  • Carter, James Earl, b 1924, US President
  • Healey, Denis Winston, b 1917, Baron Healey of Riddlesden, politician
  • Heseltine, Michael Ray Dibdin, b 1933, Baron Heseltine, politician
  • Kissinger, Henry Alfred, b 1923, US Secretary of State
  • Kokoshin, Andrei Afanasevich, fl 1992-2004, First Deputy Minister of Defence, Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic
  • McNamara, Robert Strange, b 1916, US Secretary of Defense
  • Morrison, Philip, fl 1943-1944, physicist
  • Nitze, Paul Henry, b 1907, US defence official
  • Nott, Sir, John William Frederick, b 1932, politician
  • Peierls, Rudolph Ernst, 1907-1995, physicist
  • Rabi, Isidor, 1898-1988, physicist
  • Rabin, Yitzhak, 1922-1995, Israeli statesman
  • Rotblat, Joseph, b 1908, physicist
  • Rusk, David Dean, 1909-1994, US Secretary of State
  • Schlesinger, James Rodney, b 1929, US Secretary of Defense
  • Schmidt, Helmut Heinrich Waldemar, b 1918, German statesman
  • Teller, Edward, 1908-2003, physicist
  • Vance, Cyrus Roberts, 1917-2002, US Secretary of State
  • Velikhov, Evgeny Pavlovich, fl 1961-1986, physicist
  • Weinberger, Caspar Willard, b 1917, US Secretary of Defense
  • Weisskopf, Victor Frederick, fl 1946-1960, physicist
  • Weizs├Ącker, Carl Friedrich von, b 1912, physicist
  • Younger, George Kenneth Hotson, 1931-2003, 4th Viscount Younger of Leckie, politician
  • Zuckerman, Solly, 1904-1993, Baron Zuckerman, scientist

Corporate names

  • Central Independent Television
  • WGBH Boston


  • China, East Asia
  • Germany FR
  • India, South Asia
  • Israel, Middle East
  • Japan, East Asia
  • London, England
  • Pakistan, South Asia
  • USA, North America
  • USSR, Eastern Europe

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