General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Engineer District, in late 1944 commissioned a multi-volume history of the Manhattan Project called the Manhattan District History. Prepared by multiple authors under the general editorship of Gavin Hadden, a longtime civil employee of the Army Corps of Engineers, the classified history was "intended to describe, in simple terms, easily understood by the average reader, just what the Manhattan District did, and how, when, and where." The volumes record the Manhattan Project's activities and achievements in research, design, construction, operation, and administration, assembling a vast amount of information in a systematic, readily available form. The Manhattan District History contains extensive annotations, statistical tables, charts, engineering drawings, maps, photographs, and detailed indices. Only a handful of copies of the history were prepared. The Department of Energy's Office of History and Heritage Resources is custodian of one of these copies.
The history is arranged in thirty-six volumes grouped in eight books. Some of the volumes were further divided into stand-alone chapters. Several of the volumes and stand-alone chapters were never security classified. Many of the volumes and chapters were declassified at various times and were available to the public on microfilm. Approximately a third of the volumes, or parts of volumes, remain classified.
The Office of Classification and the Office of History and Heritage Resources, in collaboration with the Department's Office of Science and Technical Information, have committed to making available full-text on this OpenNet website the entire thirty-six volume Manhattan District History. Unclassified and declassified volumes will be scanned and posted as available. Classified volumes will be declassified with redactions, i.e., still classified terms, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs will be removed and the remaining unclassified parts made available to the public. The volumes will be posted incrementally as review and processing is completed.
Following is a listing of the books, volumes, and stand-alone chapters of the Manhattan District History. Links to pdf copies are provided for those volumes and chapters that currently are available.