Welcome to Oak Ridge Public Library Department of Energy Photograph Collection
The Library is fortunate to have a collection of photographs taken by Edward Wescott during his years as principal Atomic Energy Commission photographer. These photographs depict life in early Oak Ridge, which was especially remembered for the mud, the lines, and the security gates. The collection consists of over 1, 000 photographs which are grouped into the categories: Aerial, Army, Bond Drives, Business, Churches, Construction, Daily Life, Early Settlers, Elections, Housing, Medical, Meetings, Miscellaneous, Recreation, Roads, Schools, Security, Services, Shopping, Signs and Billboards, Special Events, Transportation, VIPs, World War II, K-25, K-27, S-50, X-10, and Y-12.
The collection and a corresponding database were given to the Library in 1989 by Frank Hoffman, Department of Energy photographer, before the original photographs and negatives were transferred to the National Archives.
Most of the photographs date from 1943-1949. Dates are uncertain for the Early Settlers group of images. If a definite year was not known, photographs from this group are dated “Before 1943.”
Some images are captioned on the front with building names, locations or dates. Most of the photographs are stamped on the back with identifiers such as MED (Manhattan Engineer District), PRO (Public Relations Office) or ORO (Oak Ridge Operations) and a number. Some images have handwritten information on the back.
Many titles and other identifying information were taken from the corresponding database. It is assumed that the vast majority of these images were created by Westcott, although he is credited as the photographer only if his name is printed on the back as “James E. Westcott.”