The Manhattan Project

Manhattan Project Voices

Voices of the Manhattan Project

J. Robert Oppenheimer"Voices of the Manhattan Project" is a joint project by the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society to create a public archive of our oral history collections of Manhattan Project veterans and their families. 

Our online collection features over 200 audio/visual interviews with Manhattan Project workers and their families, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, General Leslie R. Groves, Glenn Seaborg, Hans and Rose Bethe, George Kistiakowsky, and many more. We add new interviews every week, so check back often! 

Recent Oral Histories

Dorothy McKibbin's Interview

Dorothy McKibbin was responsible for welcoming new recruits to the Manhattan Project. Known by many as the "gatekeeper" to Los Alamos, McKibbin ran the Santa Fe office at 109 East Palace for the Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II. She checked in the many scientists who came through Santa Fe on their way to work on the development of the atomic bomb, issuing passes and briefing them about life in the Manhattan Project. In this interview, McKibbin recalls the strict security measures in place in Santa Fe and Los Alamos and also discusses Klaus Fuchs. She also speaks about day-to-day life at Santa Fe, including the women who came to work on the Manhattan Project.

J. Robert Oppenheimer's Interview

In this rare interview, J. Robert Oppenheimer talks about the organization of the Manhattan Project and some of the scientists that he helped to recruit during the earliest days of the project. Oppenheimer discusses some of the biggest challenges that scientists faced during the project, including developing a sound method for implosion and purifying plutonium. Oppie recalls his daily routine at Los Alamos, including taking his son to nursery school.

K.T. Keller's Interview

KT Keller was appointed President of the Chrysler Corporation in 1935, having served as Vice President since 1926. Keller entered the automotive field as an apprentice without any previous education in engineering or mechanics. His intelligence, hard work, and mechanical skills enabled him to advance all the way to the top of Chrysler, where he guided the company through World War II. In Part I of his interview, Keller discusses his childhood and how he became involved in the automotive industry. He also discusses Chrysler’s involvement in the war effort and recounts a visit from President Roosevelt, who took a tour of the company’s tank facility.

Kenneth Nichols' Interview - Part 1

General Kenneth David Nichols was a US Army Engineer who served as Manhattan District Engineer in the Manhattan Project, overseeing the uranium and plutonium production at Oak Ridge and Hanford. He worked underneath and alongside General Groves, and collaborated with a number of well-known scientists. He discusses what it was like to work with scientists like Eugene Wigner, Leo Szilard, Arthur Compton, and others, as well as some of the project’s conflicts among scientists. He also discusses the complex administration of the Manhattan Project, and why he get along better with scientists than General Groves did.