Virtual Tourism: Web Sites that Take You There

 

 

The Nuclear Legacy

Atomic Archive. A commercially-produced site providing biographies, historical documents, a glossary, information on nuclear test sites, references, a time-line, photographs, videos, maps, and personal reflections related to nuclear weaponry. An excellent introduction to the Cold War.

Fifty Years from Trinity. Drawn from a special series in the Seattle Times, this site contains 3 articles on Trinity, the Nevada test site, and Hanford, as well as some supplementary materials and an interactive quiz. Articles provide both historical and contemporary information.

Remembering Nagasaki. The Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, constructed this site. The highlight of the site are the photographs of the city in ruins taken by Yosuke Yamahata. A considerable portion of the site is dedicated to visitors' memories and impressions of the bombing.

Trinity Atomic Web Site. Nuclear Weapons: History, Technology, and Consequences. Constructed by Gregory Walker, this site is one of the most comprehensive of all. Historical and contemporary photographs, government documents, eyewitness accounts, and AEC criticality and radiation accident reports.

Missile Silo Snooping. One of the most interesting sites on the World Wide Web, this link takes visitors on a very unofficial tour of an abandoned missile site somewhere in the United States. (The exact location of this silo is not revealed.) Heavily graphic-intensive, this site takes a long time to load and may be frustrating for visitors with slow connections, but it is worth the wait.

Virtual Tour of a Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility. Informative description (complete with text and images) of this type of "disassembly" facility. Vistors should note, however, that web site (courtesy of the Henry L. Stimson Center) loads very slowly. Set up as a single long document, rather than a series of short pages, this site is more of an essay than an interactive tour.

Diefenbunker A history and virtual tour of "Canada's 'secret' bunker [which] quietly began operation in 1961. Throughout its 33 year lifetime the Diefenbunker was the Central Emergency Government quarters for Canada. Federal government budget cuts led to its being decommissioned in 1994." This site provides a nice illustrated history. Compare to the Congressional Bunker in West Virginia.


The Enola Gay Controversy

The Enola Gay Debate. Compiled by the Air Force Association, the organization largely responsible for the evisceration of the Smithsonian's Enola Gay exhibit, this site presents documents and articles related to that controversy. Web sites that once provided some balance to the AFA site have now gone offline, but if any reappear we'll put them here.


The Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall Photo Exhibit

Tenth Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. This exhibit chronicles the Berlin Wall with about 100 photos and annotations in German, French, and English.

Frederik Ramm's recollections and photos of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Ramm was a school kid on Nov. 9, 1989; he managed to catch a flight to Berlin to take in the scene with pen and lens. His site contains about 60 photos, as well as links to news articles (most in German) and other sites.


Soviet Exhibits

Library of Congress Soviet Archives Exhibit. Drawing from recently-opened Soviet archives, this excellent exhibit offers new perspectives on the history of the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1991. Topics include: Soviet domestic and foreign policy and Soviet-American relations. Clear and well-organized, the exhibit provides both an easy-to-follow tour and a hypertext outline for those who do not wish to follow the tour. Some of the primary documents (translated into English) are available on-line.

Andrei Sakharov Foundation web site has links to Sakharov's archives, related sites, the Sakharov Museum, and other information about the noted Soviet dissident.

Citizen Kurchatov is a website founded in conjunction with the excellent PBS documentary about the brilliant Soviet physicist who spearheaded the construction of the Soviet atomic bomb. The site outlines Kurchatov's complex life in the grey area between science and Stalin's totalitarian regime. Well worth exploring.

The Klaus Fuchs Site contains much biographical data about the Soviet Union's primary spy in the Manhattan Project.


Smithsonian Institution

 

 


Miscellaneous

American Red Cross Virtual Museum. Well-organized and easy to navigate, this web site sets a good example for other museums to follow. Scholars may find the historical analysis somewhat limited, but for those unfamiliar with the history of this organization, this web site is a serviceable introduction to the history of the Red Cross. Thumbnail photographs from each historical time period are found on all pages.

Leo Szilard Home Page. Biographical site of the famous physicist contains photographs, documents, and articles related to Szilard's scientific and political activities.

Todd's Atomic Homepage. Don't let its flip name fool you, this is one of the most comprehensive sites out there on nuclear science, particularly for contemporary materials.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Photos from the Brookings Institution. Many pictures of U.S. missiles, deployments, tests, and production facilities.

Coldwar.org is a website soliciting contributions for a coldwar museum. The bulk of its information appears to come from the 1998 Grolier's Encyclopaedia CD-ROM.


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