Manhattan Project Resources

The Department of Energy traces its origins to World War II and the Manhattan Project effort to build the first atomic bomb. As the direct descendent of the Manhattan Engineer District, the organization set up by the Army Corps of Engineers to develop and build the bomb, the Department continues to own and manage the Federal properties at most of the major Manhattan Project sites, including Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico.

The Manhattan Project: Resources is a joint collaboration between the Department of Energy’s Office of Classification and Office of History and Heritage Resources. This effort 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
    The intent of this website history is to provide an informative, easy to read and navigate, comprehensive overview of the Manhattan Project. Five main topical areas–Events, People, Places, Processes, and Science–are further divided into sub-sections, each with an introductory page and as many as a dozen or more sub-pages. The site is interactive in the sense that it is designed with the flexibility to meet the needs of a variety of users. When completed, The Manhattan Project will total some 120,000 words and over 250 pages and 500 images. The site is being implemented incrementally, with the Events and Resources sections the first parts to go online.

  2. Manhattan District History

    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. 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, and photographs. Only a handful of copies of the history were prepared.

    The Office of Classification and the Office of History and Heritage Resources, in collaboration with the Department’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information, have made the full-text of the entire thirty-six volume Manhattan District History available on this website. Some of the volumes were unclassified. Some have been declassified in full. Other volumes have been declassified with redactions, i.e., still classified terms, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs are removed and the remaining unclassified parts made available to the public. All the volumes have been posted.