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Exhibits and Displays

Resources for creating library exhibits

Collection Suggestions

General SuDoc areas for Civil Defense:

FCD 1.1-1.24
D 119.8/8
FS 5.45

FEM 1.2:R

HS 5.108:
Pr 43

Building the Bombs: A History of the Nuclear Weapons Complex
by Department of Energy
Published: 2012
SuDoc: E 1.2:B 86/9/2012

Facts about fallout protection.
by Department of Defense, Office of Civil Defense
Published" 1961
SuDoc: LinkD 13.10:18

Farmers' bulletin. no.2107 rev 1958
by United States. Department of Agriculture.
Published 1958
Sudoc: A1.9:

The Manhattan Project : making the atomic bomb
by  F.G. Gosling.
United States. Department of Energy. Office of History and Heritage Resources
Published: 2010

Manhattan Project sites newsletter
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, Denver Service Center
Published: 2006-
Sudoc: I 29.58/4:M 31


Civil Defense Museum
This site was created by a dedicated Civil Defense enthusiast who has collected artifacts and done significant research. He has been very willing to provide permission to share images from his site.


Nevada Test Site
"The Nevada Test Site (NTS), 65 miles north of Las Vegas, was one of the most significant nuclear weapons test sites in the United States. Nuclear testing, both atmospheric and underground, occurred here between 1951 and 1992. After World War II, the U.S. government established the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to monitor the peacetime development of atomic science and technology. The 1950s became a period of rapid expansion for U.S atomic weapons. Fear of the Soviet Union increasing their atomic weapons, and the belief that building up nuclear arms could help establish U.S. power, contributed to this rapid expansion."


National Archives and Records Center: Docs Teach
Primary Source materials on Civil Defense.


Library of Congress
Link: "Learn about civil defense on the US homefront in World War I and World War II. "

Notes: Check your local historical societies and public libraries for emergency plans, images and other content.

This is a great exhibit for oral histories.


Content: Online resources

Fallout shelter in industrial and commercial buildings / Office of Civil Defense.
by United States. Office of Civil Defense.
Published 1967
Link: HathiTrust

Designing shelter in new buildings : a manual for architects on the preliminary designing of shielding from fallout gamma radiation in normally functioning spaces in new buildings / by Albert Knott.
by Knott, Albert.
Published 1967
Link: HathiTrust

Industrial architecture : fallout shelters.
Published 1963
Link: HathiTrust

Protection in the nuclear age (link is external)
Defense Civil Preparedness Agency
Published: 1977  
Link: HathiTrust

Aboveground Home Fallout Shelter
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Published: 1983
Link: HathiTrust

Belowground Home Fallout Shelter*
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Published: 1983
Link: HathiTrust
SuDoc:  FEM 1.8/3:12-1/2

*You can print out the plans for this shelter and create your own model.

Duck and Cover: Civil Defense in North Dakota
A guide from the North Dakota State University. Images attributed to sources and may be covered by copyright. Please contact the rights holder for permission to use individual images. Materials for this exhibit are available for loan. Contact susanne.caro@ndsu for more information.

Photographs and Pamphlets about Nuclear Fallout

National Archives Educational Resources

Public Domain Images of nuclear tests

Nevada National Security Site (NNSS): Atmospheric Tests
When using images from this collection please attribute: Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office



Duck and Cover
by Federal Civil Defense Administration
Publication date:
Link: Internet Archive
Usage: Public Domain 

"Duck and Cover was a social guidance film produced in 1951 by the United States federal government's Civil Defense branch shortly after the Soviet Union began nuclear testing. Written by Raymond J. Mauer and directed by Anthony Rizzo of Archer Productions and made with the help of schoolchildren from New York City and Astoria, New York, it was shown in schools as the cornerstone of the government's "duck and cover" public awareness campaign. The movie states that nuclear war could happen at any time without warning, and U.S. citizens should keep this constantly in mind and be ever ready. "-Internet Archive

Fallout: When And How To Protect Yourself
by  U.S. Office Of Civil Defense
Publication date: 1959
Link: Internet Archive
Usage: Public Domain 

Illustrates the cause and effects of radioactive fallout. Describes preparations which should be made to safeguard lives and protect food and water supplies. An animated film.

This is not a Test

by Fredric Gadette
Publication date:
Link: Internet Archive
Usage: Public Domain 

A dramatization of a nuclear attack. A number of cars are stopped on a desert road in California and learn that a nuclear missile attack is imminent. Reactions vary as they try to determine what to do to survive. Some adult content and situations.

Printable materials/ handouts

The basics

Keywords: Civil Defense, Cold War, emergency preparedness, nuclear, disasters, emergency planning