Anna Elizabeth Dvorak is a historian of science who focuses on science in early Cold War policy. She recently completed her PhD dissertation on Leo Szilard’s fact and fiction here at OSU. Processing the Gil Zigler Papers was her last project as SCARC’s Lead Student Archivist.
I recently finished processing the Gil Zigler Papers, and as this is my final project for SCARC it is bittersweet. But it was also the perfect collection to end on: Zigler’s collection combines my expertise with the reason I love working in an archive, the people. I have spent the past seven years working on a masters and doctorate in the history of science focusing on nuclear history, only to be convinced that my true passion lies in working the archive not as a researcher but as an archivist. Being a historian archivist allows me to share my passion for research over and over again with each patron that comes in. And by watching patrons get excited with each new find, I too get excited about the work I have the privilege to do at SCARC.
Because Gil’s daughter works on campus, she was able to come visit. It’s always amazing to meet the donors of collections we have the opportunity to work with here at SCARC. These donors are often the family members or friends who had the honor of knowing the person while they were still alive and can add so much personality to the pieces of paper we collect together in folders and boxes. It is even more so when the donors are relatives and share a deep understanding and appreciation for archives. Gil’s daughter was SO excited about the collections we have and to hear how her dad’s papers fit in with our other collections.
Zigler was a nuclear engineer specialized in reactor safety and monitoring. The collection is comprised of items collected during his education at the United States Air Force’s Institute of Technology and career as a reactor diagnostic engineer, spanning from 1962-2014. The collection includes scientific publications, reference materials, notes, and memorabilia from his career. The collection highlights his expertise through his participation at the Three Mile Island reactor incident and documents he collected in that role. Much of the collection addresses the field of reactor safety in its various applications and aspects.
The Zigler Papers have found a home among our other nuclear history and history of science collections and greatly enrich our holdings. Zigler has an extensive chronology through newspaper clippings of the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, including his role to help shut down the damaged reactor unit. The bulk of the items consist of articles and other published items by individuals, including Zigler, or organizations, like Babcock & Wilcox or the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
We are honored to announce this new collection on the fifth anniversary of Gil Zigler’s death, October 12, 2014.