During the mid- to late-1970s, the American Institute of Physics sponsored a project to conduct oral history interviews documenting the recent history of astrophysics, eventually accumulating over 400 hours of fully transcribed and edited audio tapes. The project organizers placed a particular emphasis on documenting the various subdisciplines of cosmology and astronomical spectroscopy.
The History of Modern Astrophysics Collection is an important resource for the history of astrophysics in the latter half of the twentieth century. The collection is arranged in two series, the first consisting of transcripts of 52 interviews of 46 astrophysicists recorded between 1976 and 1979 by members of the Center for the History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics. The second series consists of 65 reels of microfilm of significant sets of correspondence for individual astrophysicists. The original oral history tape recordings are housed at AIP.