Library news

CERN library event

The schools help to:

  • Establish the scientific presence of African Universities on the Internet
  • Provide scientific and educational content
  • Extend contacts to other fields of science and further partners
  • Provide training in setting up and operating institutional e-repositories

Objectives of the school are to become familiar with all principles related to open access and open knowledge, and also with practical solutions for setting up and running digital libraries.

Programme will cover the following topics:

  • Installation and configuration of an open source digital library
  • Introduction to web technologies
  • Introduction to information retrieval (IR)
  • Open access principles
  • Operation of institutional repositories
  • Maintenance and upgrade of digital libraries

More information:

CERN library event

The CERN Bookshop is going to be present at the 4th edition of TEDxCERN. Visit the bookstand!

Books by and recommended by the speakers will be available:

  • The future of the brain / Gary Marcus and Jeremy Freeman (eds.)
  • Powerless science? Science and politics in a toxic world / Soraya Boudia and Nathalie Jas (eds.)
  • Technoscience and environmental justice / Gwen Ottinger and Benjamin R. Cohen (eds.)
  • Kluge : the haphazard construction of the human mind / Gary Marcus
  • Guitar zero : the science of becoming musical at any age / Gary Marcus

and many more!

CERN library event

The Association of International Librarians and Information Specialists (AILIS), the Zentralbibliothek Zürich, and the CERN Scientific Information Service will be pleased to have you join us for our next Library Science Talk.

Ruben Verborgh, of Ghent University, will speak on the topic "Linked Data and Sustainable Publication."

The talk will take place at 15:30 on Monday, 5 December at CERN. Registration is required.

CERN library event

The Association of International Librarians and Information Specialists (AILIS), the Zentralbibliothek Zürich, and the CERN Scientific Information Service will be pleased to have you join us for our next Library Science Talk.

Courtney Mumma, of the Internet Archive, will speak on the topic "Cooperative Collection Building at the Internet Archive."

The talk will take place at 15:30 on Monday, 12 September at ITU. Registration is required.

CERN library event

Tasneem Zehra Husain is a string theorist and the first Pakistani woman to obtain a PhD in this field. She is very active in advocating education in Pakistan: she helped setting up a Science and Engineering School in her home town Lahore, conducts educational workshops for science teachers, and also contributed to anthologies of science writing for adults and kids.

ATLAS Outreach and Peter Jenni, together with the CERN Diversity Office invited Tasneem Husain to spend a week of interactive encounters around science at CERN during the first week of October (For the full program please click here). One event during this week will be a book presentation organized by the CERN Library and Diversity Office where Ms Husain will give some insight into the genesis of her book, her favourite passages and a Q&A session with the audience afterwards.


Husain’s first novel, “Only the Longest Threads” reimagines the stories of great breakthroughs and discoveries in physics from Newton’s classical mechanics to the Higgs Boson from the viewpoint of fictional characters. These tales promise to be great reads for both lay audiences and to those who have a more advanced understanding of physics.

The book can be purchased during the event or at the CERN Library (bldg. 52, 1st floor) and borrowed from the library.

Coffee will be served after the event.

Registration is now open. Please register below.

Archival historical image
August 1968 - CERN’s new telephone exchange

Dialling zero for an outside line could get frustrating in 1965. With just 17 lines serving 1,000 CERN extensions, callers faced long waits – and if the overloaded battery failed no-one got through at all. Phone traffic had increased by 70% between 1963 and 1965, complaints were frequent and the exchange staff were feeling overloaded too.


No more lines, extensions or operators’ desks could be added to existing exchange, so a new one was commissioned. Stop-gap measures until it was ready in August 1968 included pleas for patience and strict rationing of the only 140 new internal phone numbers remaining at CERN.

Archival historical image
July 1968 – The 55th Tour de France comes to CERN

CERN’s internal magazine carried detailed instructions about closed roads, blocked entrances, and suggested detours. Staff were invited to respect the parking ban and to obey police instructions, but plenty of them took the opportunity to pile outside and watch as well. On 19 July 1968 the Tour de France came right past CERN’s main entrance!


CERN staff joined fans lining the route to encourage riders on Stage 20, which took the riders 242.5 km from Sallanches to Besançon, over the Faucille pass in the nearby Jura mountains. This was the last year that the Tour ran on a national team format; stage 20 was won by Jozef Huysmans (Belgium A), who finished 32nd overall when the race ended two days later.


CERN library event

Dear colleagues,

The international Thorium Energy Committee (iThEC) and the CERN Library have the pleasure to invite you to the presentation of the Proceedings of ThEC13: "Thorium Energy for the World".

The presentation is organized on the occasion of the publication by Springer of the ThEC13 Conference proceedings. The Thorium Energy Conference (ThEC13) was organized jointly by the international Thorium Energy Committee (iThEC), an association based in Geneva, and the International Thorium Energy Organisation (IThEO). The Conference gathered some of the world’s leading experts on thorium technologies to review the possibility of destroying nuclear waste in the short term, and replacing the uranium fuel cycle in nuclear systems with the thorium fuel cycle in the long term. The latter would provide abundant, reliable and safe energy with no CO2 production, no air pollution, and minimal waste production. The ThEC13 proceedings are a source of reference on the use of thorium for energy generation. They offer detailed technical reviews of the status of thorium energy technologies, from basic R&D to industrial developments.

The full table of contents of the book is available at and anyone with a CERN account may access the full proceedings online from the Springer Web site:


Archival historical image
June 1957 - The P.A.U.L.I. and its uses

In June 1957, V. F. Weisskopf proudly announced acquisition of an instrument with unique possibilities - an intricate mechanism for testing complicated physics theories and producing new ideas. But it required careful handling! Inexperienced operators testing a theory would often see no reaction at first, or just hear faint noises reminiscent of German expressions such as “Ganz dumm” and “Sind sie noch immer da?” It was rather bulky, almost spherical in shape, and very much dependent on the correct fuel supply. Weisskopf said that, for reasons not yet fully understood, nobody had been able to make the machine work before noon.


In fact, Wolfgang Pauli had been acquired as a professor at the ETH Zürich in 1928, but a footnote explained that the paper had been classified since 1932, and partial publication was only now permitted since the U.S.S.R. had succeeded in building a similar gadget with a radius 1.5 times larger than the original model.


You can read the full report here (p.9) along with other fascinating articles in the spoof Revues of Unclear Physics, published at the University of Birmingham to celebrate the 50th birthday of R. E. Peierls.

Archival historical image
May 1963 – Fast ejection of protons from the PS

This remarkable photo, used on the cover of the May 1963 CERN Courier, captures the passage of protons extracted from CERN’s Proton Synchrotron (PS).


Initially, the PS had operated with internal targets, but when a beam of higher intensity was needed the fast ejection system was developed to eject the beam towards external targets. During the afternoon of Sunday 12 May 1963 the PS became the source of the world's first beam of 25 GeV protons to travel freely in air.


This photo was taken the following day by members of CERN’s Public Information Office. They placed blocks of plastic scintillator along the path of the beam and set up a camera to record the effect. As expected, the scintillators glowed brightly as the beam passed through them.


You can read more in the May and June 1963 editions of the CERN Courier, and there are more photos here.


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