Bell Labs Puts 60 Years of Journals Online


Bell Labs is probably the most storied technological research center in the world. The list of innovations that came from the outpost is amazing. The transistor, the silicon photovoltaic solar cell, and the CCD all were developed at Bell Labs. And that's just the big stuff. Tons of small improvements to existing devices also flew out of the labs. For example, Labs' staffer Louis Lanzerotti proved how dangerous magnetic storms could be to the nation's electrical grid.

Now, you can read 60 years of technical journals, thanks to Alcatel-Lucent. The full text of every article published between 1922 and 1983 is available online. Now, I'm not going to lie to you: this is not riveting reading for the lay person. Most of these papers have none of the countercultural oddity of Manfred Clynes' paper on cyborgs, for example. But it's still a treasure trove and a gift to the future to have all these papers accessible. I'd love to see more research parks (say, PARC) create similar archives.

Note: I'm not sure exactly when the whole archive went up, but I think it must have been very recently. It was pointed out to me by Bernhard Schulte via Twitter.