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Finding aid prepared by KC, 1963; SV, 2006
© 2006 University of Chicago Library
Slotin, Louis Memorial Fund. Records
.25 ft (1 box)
Special Collections Research Center
Slotin, born in Canada in 1912, earned his PhD in Chemistry in 1936. Slotin died at Los Alamos in 1946 after being exposed to radiation in a laboratory accident. Following his death, the Louis A. Slotin Memorial Fund was established to raise money to finance lectures in the sciences at the University of Chicago. The collection contains correspondence, donor lists, lists of speakers, and some biographical material about Slotin. The collection also contains two or three letters concerning the disposition of Slotin's personal library, as well as other material pertaining to his work.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Slotin, Louis Memorial Fund. Records[ Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
Louis Slotin was born in Winnepeg, Canada, on December 1, 1912. From 1927 to 1933 he attended the University of Manitoba, in Winnepeg, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honors in the fields of Physics and Chemistry in 1932. In the following year he received a Master of Science degree from the same school in physical Chemistry and Physics. For three years of his residency at the University of Manitoba he served as a student assistant. From 1933 to 1936 Slotin studied Physical Chemistry at London, receiving his Doctor of Science degree in 1936. In the years 1935-36 he was Demonstrator in Physical Chemistry for King's College.
Slotin spent the six months after his graduation examining and testing the "Drumm alkaline battery" as a special investigator for the Great Southern Railways, Irish Free State, Dublin. He worked on the construction of the cyclotron at the University of Chicago from 1937 to 1939, and after this began a series of sojourns in various institutions for cyclotron research and for the study of atomic energy. He was involved in the Manhattan District Project, spending time at the Metallurgical Laboratory, at Indiana University working on the cyclotron there, at Oak Ridge, and at Los Alamos. While at Los Alamos, on May 21, 1946, he was in an accident involving fissionable material which resulted in his death nine days later, on Memorial Day. His accident, and the resulting radiation poisoning, present medical science with an opportunity to study this little understood phenomenon at close quarters.
In the main, the collection consists of letters circulated for the purpose of soliciting money for a Louis A. Slotin Memorial Fund (and of replies to these letters), the Fund to be used to finance lectures in the sciences at the University of Chicago. There are also reports on the size and progress of the Fund. The collection also contains two or three letters concerning the disposition of Slotin's personal library, as well as other material pertaining to his work.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965
Slotin, Louis A
Louis A. Slotin Memorial Fund
A brief biography, newspaper articles concerning Slotin's death, and telegrams informing friends of his death
Letters concerning disposition of the Slotin library and other materials pertaining to his work; note from the New York Times thanking Professor Allison for some information
Working and final lists of donors to the Slotin Fund, amounts of the donations; Lists of speakers brought to University by the Fund
Correspondence about the Fund; August 9, 1946 - August 31, 1946
Correspondence about the Fund; September 1, 1946 - February 27, 1947
Correspondence about the Fund; March 3, 1947 - April 12, 1962; Undated letters and schedules of speakers brought to University by the Fund