On Dec. 10, 1901 the first Nobel Prizes were awarded to honor exceptional achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. In 1969 a Prize for economic sciences was added. Alfred Nobel, a scientist and pacifist, established the awards with funding from his estate. You can read biographical information about Nobel and the text of his will from the Nobel Prize web site.
The web site lists the 2010 and previous years’ Nobel Prizes and Laureates (“840 between 1901 and 2010”), and provides some interesting trivia, such as the youngest and oldest recipients, people who declined the Prize or received it more than once, and how many women have been honored. You can take a quiz to see how much you know about “the 2010 Nobel Prizes and the awarded discoveries” or send congratulatory messages to the 2010 winners.
Andersen Library has resources if you’d like to learn more. Search HALCAT, Harold Andersen Library’s catalog, to find books such as Champions for peace: Women winners of the Nobel Peace Prize (3rd-floor Main Collection, JZ5540 .S74 2006), The Nobel Prize in literature: A study of the criteria behind the choices (3rd-floor Main Collection, PN171 .P75 L5413 1991), Genius talk: Conversations with Nobel scientists and other luminaries (3rd-floor Main Collection, Q141 .B817 1995), and The Nobel laureates: How the world’s greatest economic minds shaped modern thought (3rd-floor Main Collection, HB87 .M337 2001).
You can search for particular Prize winners also, using HALCAT for books and article databases for articles. For example, if you’d like to learn more about Robert G. Edwards work on the development of in vitro fertilization, you could articles such as “The bumpy road to human in vitro fertilization” (Nature Medicine, Oct. 2001, vol.7:no.10, pp.1091- ). Or if you’d like to read the works of those who have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, you can find their titles in Andersen Library, e.g., Andersen Library has 15 titles by John M. Coetzee (2003 winner) including The lives of animals (3rd-floor Main Collection, HV4708 .L57 1999).
Please ask a librarian for assistance with finding materials.