The CERN History Project emerged from a proposal made in the CERN Committee of Council in 1979 to record the history of the laboratory as long as witnesses of its creation, in particular its founders, were alive.
Following this proposal, a CERN History Advisory Committee was established with the mandate to set up a Study Team of European Science Historians, to be financed outside the CERN budget from voluntary contributions by several Member Countries, and to support and advise on this study.
As a result of this project, three volumes of the History of CERN have been published (some of the chapters are available online as Studies in CERN history.)
The first volume deals with the setting up of CERN in 1954, and contains case studies of the development and policy decisions in Britain, France, Germany and Italy.
The second volume covers the building and running of the laboratory until about 1965 and also explains the learning process of doing physics with big accelerators.
The third volume deals with the following fifteen years but excludes the decision to build LEP (Large Electron Positron collider). It differs from Volumes I and II in that the chapters on physics and engineering at CERN have been written by scientists, rather than historians.
History of CERN Volumes I and II by A. Hermann, J. Krige, U. Mersits and D.Pestre; Amsterdam, North Holland Publishers.
- Vol. I: Launching the European Organization for Nuclear Research. (1987, 622pp.)
- Vol. II: Building and Running the Laboratory. (1990, 902pp.)
"History of CERN Volume III" J. Krige, Editor; Amsterdam, North Holland Publishers.
- Vol. III: (1996, 674pp.) ***