DOE History

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The Department of Energy has one of the richest and most diverse histories in the Federal Government. Although only in existence since 1977, the Department traces its lineage to the Manhattan Project effort to develop the atomic bomb during World War II and to the various energy-related programs that previously had been dispersed throughout various Federal agencies.


The Department has made available to researchers and the general public a rich variety of materials and information:

A Brief History of the Department of Energy

A short summary of the two major programmatic traditions that coalesced with the formation of the DOE, at a particularly momentous time in US history.

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Historical Resources

Find information on historical publications, museums and exhibits, DOE labs and field sites, and researching DOE records.

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Secretaries of Energy

Find information about all of the DOE secretaries, past and present.

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DOE History Timeline

Provides a chronology of DOE history and its predecessor agencies and includes links to reports, speeches, press releases, and other documentation.

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Manhattan Project Historical Resources

Find links to DOE histories of the Manhattan Project, site histories, Manhattan Project records, and exhibits.

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Manhattan Project National Historical Park

Learn about the background of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the authorizing legislation, park implementation news, and watch a video about the park.

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Questions about the history of the Department of Energy or one of its predecessor agencies should be directed to the Office of History and Heritage Resources at .