Library news

Archival historical image

Future Nobel laureate Wolfgang Pauli was a little over six-and-a-half years old when this photo was taken in December 1906. His biographer Charles Enz notes that that young Wolfi contracted all the usual childhood diseases and, to use the typically Viennese expression, es war ihm immer fad – he always felt bored.


By the age of four he was already adept in the art of contradicting his elders that would later help him to reshape modern physics. On being told during one of his walks through Vienna, ‘Now we are walking over the Danube Canal', he replied firmly, ‘No, Aunt Erna, this is the Wien Canal, which flows into the Danube Canal.’

Library news

Publishers and information providers are progressively strengthening authentication on their servers by introducing secure http. And as you have noticed, the current system doesn’t work anymore for some resources such as APS Journals.

There is therefore a new authentication procedure to access online resources made available by the Library from outside CERN. As a consequence, from now on, URLs of online resources (=articles, ebooks, databases) made available by the Library must, for remote access, be prefixed by:

URLs of resources listed on the CERN Document Server or on the Library web site are currently being modified to make sure the prefix is automatically added.

If you access the online resources listed above directly from a Google search or any other web site, you must add the prefix: to the url of the resource.

As an example, to access this article:

You need to modify the url as follows:

To simplify access, we advise you to install a bookmarklet (working on all browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer - javascript must be enabled). All instructions on how to install this Bookmarklet are available on this page

Please note that:

  • Inside CERN, the access works as usual.
  • This service works for CERN Computer account only.
  • The access will only work if the CERN Library has a subscription to the resource. Please check the availability on the CERN document server or on the Library resources webpage
  • No authentification is needed for Open Access resources
  • The current Proxy system remains active for the time being, but is not maintained anymore.

In case of any problem or to provide feedback, please contact:

CERN Courier Bookshelf
December 2017
Archival historical image

Chief engineer Bernard Poulten received this drawing from his colleagues at CERN’s Isotope Separator On-Line DEvice fifty-one years ago. In deference to the well-known legend and opera, it was inscribed ‘To Tristan from Isolde (project), 3.11.1966’. (You can see the full drawing here.) Clearing out some old papers recently, he and his family very kindly decided to send the drawing back to CERN… where it arrived just in time for ISOLDE’s anniversary celebrations!


ISOLDE, CERN’s longest-running experimental facility, produced its first radioactive beam 50 years ago. Past and present staff tell the story, with the help of some early film clips here.

CERN Courier Bookshelf
November 2017
Archival historical image

On 10 October 1964 representatives of CERN’s Member States came to see for themselves the progress made during the laboratory’s first decade and to hear about plans for the future. On 30 October Director-General Victor Weisskopf invited all staff for a glass of wine to celebrate, and declared 2 November an official holiday.


You can read the official speeches here, or you can read R. W. Penney’s ‘unscientific recollections’ in the CERN Courier.  Penney preferred speak of an eleventh anniversary, since he said CERN really took off in September 1953, when the various groups began to centralise in Geneva. The Meyrin site was still a ploughed field, so they worked where they could; he summed up life in the early days as ‘exhilarating’ and ‘exhausting’.

CERN Courier Bookshelf
October 2017
CERN Courier Bookshelf
September 2017
CERN library event

A crisis looms over the scientific enterprise. Not a day passes without news of retractions, failed replications, fraudulent peer reviews, or misinformed science-based policies. The social implications are enormous, yet this crisis has remained largely uncharted until now.

In Science on the Verge, luminaries in the field of post-normal science and scientific governance focus attention on worrying fault-lines in the use of science for policy-making, and the dramatic crisis within science itself. This provocative new volume in The Rightful Place of Science also explores the concepts that need to be unlearned, and the skills that must be relearned and enhanced, if we are to restore the legitimacy and integrity of science.

The book will be presented by one of the contributors, Mario Giampietro, ICREA Research Professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).

"The rightful place of science: science on the verge", by Alice Benessia et al.,  Arizona State Univ., 2016, ISBN 9780692596388


Archival historical image

A new group set up at CERN in the 1970s had rather different objectives to those of the rest of the laboratory. Their main task was to build a 3.6 metre telescope to be sent to Chile, following signature of a collaboration agreement between the ESO and CERN on 16 September 1970.


The first meeting of the coordinating committee two years later reviewed progress and confirmed that ESO’s Sky Atlas Laboratory was also welcome to continue their work of mapping the southern sky at CERN. The groups relocated to the ESO’s new premises at Garching, Germany, in 1980. See the committee report, read the press release and Professor Blaauw’s article in the August 1970 CERN Courier, or enjoy some more photos of the teams at work.


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