Archives of Public Information Office (PIO) / Press and Visits Service

Identity Statement [Top]

Reference code(s)



Archives of Public Information Office (PIO) / Press and Visits Service


1953 to Present

Level of description


Extent of the unit of description

252 Boxes

• Edwin N Shaw collection - 98 boxes
• Film scripts collection - 27 boxes
• Press cuttings collection - 62 boxes
• Press releases collection - 5 boxes
• CERN Bulletin collection - 30 boxes (ongoing)
• CERN Courier collection - 30 boxes (ongoing)

Context [Top]

Name of creator

Public Information Office (PIO), Press and Visits Service, CERN

Administrative history

From the beginning of CERN a Public Relations Section was part of the Scientific and Technical Services. It was responsible for activities such as publication of press releases, organization of interviews, contacts with journalists, preparation and distribution of descriptive leaflets.

In 1957, the section was placed under the immediate supervision of the Director-General and in 1958 became known as the Public Information Office (PIO). The Office was responsible for relations with the press, the preparation of documents for journalists, the organization of visits, conferences and CERN's participation in exhibitions. The activities continued with various changes until present day.

• 1958: The pictorial photography service of the Scientific and Technical Services Division was attached directly to the PIO.

• 1959: Creation of the 'CERN Courier', a publication to keep the CERN staff informed of the organization's activities.

• 1960: The PIO became part of the Administration Division. 'CERN Courier' became quarterly. Production of the CERN film 'Matter in Question'.

• 1964: Administration Division (ADM) was discontinued. The PIO became part of the Central Services (CS) which also included the sections: General Services, Scientific Conference Secretariat, Translation and Minutes Service.

• 1965: Start of a Weekly Bulletin to keep the staff informed about official activities and the activities of the Staff Association. The 'CERN Courier' cotinues as a scientific journal.

• 1967: Production of the CERN film 'European Organization for Nuclear Research'.

• 1968: The PIO assumed responsibility for the production of the regular newsletter 'Europhysics News' in collaboration with the secretariat of the European Physical Society (EPS).

• 1970: Production of Notebooks on the Proton Synchrotron (PS) and the Synchrocyclotron (SC).

• 1971: Complete revision of the standard literature on CERN distributed to the public, due to the creation of the second Laboratory.

• 1972: Production of the CERN film 'Shadows of Bliss'. 1973: New editions of the technical notebooks on Gargamelle, the Synchrocyclotron (SC), the Proton Synchrotron (PS) and the Intersecting Storage Rings (ISR).

• 1974: Production of the CERN film 'Inside CERN'.

• 1978: The PIO was called the 'Press and Visits Service' and became part of the 'Office and Services of the Director-General'.

• 1983: Production of the CERN film 'At CERN: exploring the invisible'.

• 1984: The 'Press and Visits Service' is renamed 'Public Relations Service'.

• 1988: The Microcosm Project, a visitors centre in CERN, is approved by the Director General and construction is started.

• 1992: Creation of the 'Communication and Public Education Group (COPE)'.

• 1993: Inauguration of the Microcosm.

• 1994: Creation inside COPE of the Media and Publication Section and the Visits and Reception Section. For the 40th Anniversary, the film 'Euro Big Bang' is compiled from CERN film archives and seen on television by millions of viewers in nine European countries. Opening of the Reception Shop for the sale of CERN souvenirs.

• 1997: COPE is integrated into the Administrative Support Division (AS). Building of a new traveling CERN exhibition called 'When Energy Becomes Matter'.

• 1998: The production of the CERN Courier was outsourced to the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom.

• 2000: Creation of the Education and Technology Transfer Division (ETT). The activity of the previous COPE was assumed by the Education and Communication (EC) group.

• 2004: ETT was discontinued, Education and Communication group joined the Directorate Service Unit (DSU).

* Source: CERN Annual Reports 1954 - Present

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received from the Public Information Office (PIO) and Press and Visits Service

Content & Structure [Top]

Scope and content

The 'Film scripts' collection contains correspondence of the Public Information Office with such organizations as the 'Compagnie Lyonnaise de Cinéma' and private individuals for the distribution of CERN films. It also contains various publications about CERN, press cuttings, and the outlines and scenarios of the CERN films.

The 'Edwin Shaw files' collection contains the files of the Head of the PIO from the beginning of CERN (presumably) to 1976. These files are organized thematically and give information about the development of CERN. Most of the documents are press cuttings, reports and conference proceedings. The list below (System of arrangement) gives more detail of the subjects handled.

The 'Press cuttings' collection contains the press cuttings produced by the PIO.

The 'Press releases' collection contains the press releases collected by the PIO.

The series 'Miscellaneous' contains feature articles produced by the PIO and miscellaneous documentation originally in the Press Releases Collection.

The CERN Bulletin contains articles of general interest about activities at CERN, official news, lists of CERN seminars, and other general information.

The CERN Courier contains articles and a variety of resources for the high-energy physics community

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Nothing was destroyed


The Edwin N Shaw, Roger Anthoine files collections and the Film scripts collection are closed.

Accruals of the Press Release and Press cutting collections are expected.

Accruals of CERN Courier and CERN Bulletin/Weekly are received regularly, soon after they are produced.

System of arrangement


Heads of Public Information Office
 • Edwin N. Shaw - CERN-ARCH-PIO-01-01 to 18
 • Roger Antoine - CERN-ARCH-PIO-01-19-001 to 19-048


Film scripts collection


Press cuttings


Press releases




CERN Bulletin/Weekly


CERN Courier


Conditions of access and use [Top]

Conditions governing access

See file level description and the CERN operational circular No 3: rules applicable to archival material and archiving at CERN. In general, records on any subject that are over 30 years old, and all records of a purely scientific nature, may be consulted.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is retained by CERN, no reproduction without permission.

Language / scripts of material

Most of the material is written in English or French. Many documents are written in German or Italian.

Finding aids

Listed to file level in the CERN Archive Database.

Description control [Top]

Archivist's note

Description prepared by Estelle Beck, Marc Blunier, Sylvain Fejoz.

Date(s) of description

Geneva, the 26th October 2005, Revised 2007.

You are here