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About this collection

Collections of National Bureau of Standards and the National Institute of Standards and Technology campuses, various buildings, and laboratories.

Gaithersburg Campus

Images of the Gaithersburg, Maryland, campus of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The campus was dedicated in 1966. This collection contains photographs from construction of the Gaithersburg campus, the Gaithersburg Dedication Symposium, and photographs of the Newton Apple Tree.

Boulder Campus

Images of the Boulder, Colorado campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The campus was dedicated in 1954. This collection contains photographs from the First Annual Science Fair held at the laboratories of in Boulder, Colorado on April 28, 1956. More than 1,300 visitors viewed more than 200 exhibits by Colorado junior and senior high school students.

Washington, DC, Campus, circa 1905-1966

This collection consists of images documenting the former campus of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS). The photographs include aerial and exterior views of the NBS buildings located on Connecticut Ave. and Van Ness St. circa 1919-1952. Construction on the DC campus began around 1903 when NBS offices in downtown Washington moved to what was at the time a remote location on a stretch of Connecticut Ave. It includes aerial images of the former NBS Washington D.C. campus.

Washington, DC, NBS Library

This collection contains photographs of the library at the former site of the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, DC – including circulation and reference service areas, journal shelves, study tables, the reading area and selected periodicals area, and the card catalog.

Pittsburgh Laboratory Exteriors

An NBS field laboratory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where cements, lime, steel, and other structural materials were tested.

Campus Aerial Views

This digital collection includes aerial images of both the former NBS Washington D.C. campus and the newer campus at Gaithersburg, Maryland. The images originally came from the Gaithersburg Campus, Aerial Views Photographic Collection and Buildings on Old Campus, Aerial Views Photographic Collection. These images are restricted to on-campus viewing. 

Automated Manufacturing Research Facility

The idea to create the Automated Manufacturing Research Facility (AMRF) was born in 1979 as NBS scientists realized the significance to American industry of a factory in which every part could be made automatically, with no rejects and little scrap. The concept had several components: careful analysis of the manufacturing process to reduce errors in materials treatment to acceptable levels; generation of manufacturing protocols involving robotics and humans within a generic system; and development of interfacing methods to permit the use of optimum efficiency in the choice of equipment, control computers, and software. In 1981 the AMRF received both congressional funding as a new NBS initiative and financial support from a U.S. Navy program in manufacturing technology. Together, these funds allowed construction of the facility as an adjunct to the NBS Instrument Shop.

High Voltage Laboratory

In 1938, Congress approved funds for the construction of a new high voltage laboratory building on the campus of the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, DC. This collection contains early images of that laboratory, completed in 1940, at a cost of $315,000, with a 2 million-volt generator for high voltage work and a 1,400,000-volt generator for X-ray studies.

Hydraulics Laboratory

This collection contains images of the National Hydraulic Laboratory at the former National Bureau of Standards Campus (NBS) in Washington, DC. In 1930, Congress authorized the construction of the National Hydraulic Laboratory. The mission of the laboratory was to make determinations of fundamental data useful in hydraulic research and engineering, including laboratory research relating to the behavior and control of river and harbor waters, the study of hydraulic structures and water flow, and the development and testing of hydraulic instruments and accessories.

Inductance and Capacitance Laboratory

In the early 1900s, this lab had hundreds of mica and paper condensers to study and find which were the best performers as standards of capacity.  Two large air condensers were constructed in the lab as loss-free working standards used to compare against commercial condensers, which were sent to the lab.  In conjunction with new apparatus under construction, these air condensers were to make possible absolute measurement of currents and electrical pressures up to 1,000 volts. 

Instrument Shops

Staffed by experienced machinists, draftsmen, and other shops experts, the Instrument Shops designed, constructed, and repaired high-precision instruments and auxiliary equipment for the use of National Bureau of Standards (NBS) scientists. The photographs in this collection date from near the founding of NBS in 1901 to the late 1970s.

NIST User Facilities Brochure

This collection contains images and graphics from an October 1988 brochure highlighting user research facilities at NIST. The photographs show researchers using the Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Facility and the Large-Scale Structures Testing Facility, along with images of the instruments used in many of the facilities including the Acoustic Anechoic Chamber in the Sound Building.

Radioactivity Measurement Laboratory

Images related to the NBS' research in radium. NBS served hospitals and physicians by analyzing their radium salts against the international standard. Research began at NBS in December, 1913 when a vial containing 20.28 milligrams of pure radium arrived from abroad.  It was a certified equivalent to the International Radium Standard at Sevres, and a cover communication described its comparison with another quantity of radium salts prepared at Vienna and accepted as a second standard.  


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