The library at Washington State University Tri-Cities has become home to a $250,000 collection of books covering radiological topics, thanks to a donation.
They include a collection of the studies of the radium dial painters. In the 1920s, young women were employed to paint radiological materials onto the faces of of clocks and watches to make them glow in the dark. About 30 percent of them developed bone cancer.
Ronald Kathren amassed the 3,400 books over a health physics career that included working at the Hanford nuclear reservation, and serving as a professor of radiological health sciences and as the director of the U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries at WSU.
"The collection contains unique materials relating to the studies of radiological effects, including works by such scientific luminaries as Marie Curie," he said.
Kathren and his wife, Susan, donated the books as a research resource to students, faculty and professionals in radiological and engineering fields and those interested in history.