Notebooks by Fermilab’s namesake housed at University of Chicago

Enrico Ferni’s original sketch of the nuclear pile is visible in the upper left. From the Enrico Fermi Collection in the University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center, Box 42, Folder 4.

Fun fact: Contrary to what some believe, famed physicist Enrico Fermi never worked at Fermilab or on any Fermilab experiment. Indeed, he died in 1954, well before the founding of what was then named the National Accelerator Laboratory, in 1967. It was renamed Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in 1974 in honor of Fermi’s great achievements in the field of particle physics.

The University of Chicago houses an extensive collection of Enrico Fermi’s notebooks, letters and notes. The collection is available for public viewing. Digitized scans of his notebooks are also available online.

You can read about Fermilab’s dedication event in the May 9, 1974, and May 16, 1974, issues of the original Fermilab employee newsletter, The Village Crier. You can also see the program and read more about the dedication ceremony at the Fermilab History and Archives Project website.