Radiological book collection donated by former professor to WSU Tri-Cities

Ronald and Susan Kathren Radiological and affiliated sciences collection

Radiological book collection donated by former professor to WSU Tri-Cities

By Elinor Lake, intern, WSU Tri-Cities communications

RICHLAND, Wash. – Former professor and long-time WSU Tri-Cities donor Ronald Kathren and his wife Susan have donated a huge collection of radiological books to WSU Tri-Cities.

Several books as part of the Ronald and Susan Kathren Radiological and Affiliated Sciences Collection at WSU Tri-Cities.

The 3,400-item collection of books, valued at more than $250,000, details subjects from radiation biophysics, to toxicological profiles for ionizing radiation, to how radioactivity impacts health.

Ronald Kathren said he wanted to donate the collection to WSU Tri-Cities because it would serve as a research resource to students, faculty and professionals in radiological, engineering and other related industries. It also serves as a useful historical collection, he said.

Kathren taught radiological and environmental sciences at WSU Tri-Cities and served as the director of the U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries at WSU. He currently serves on the Herbert M. Parker Foundation board, a partner of WSU, which is committed to educating the public on radiological sciences. The Parker Foundation also hosts two lectures a year to provide renowned professionals of the radiological sciences an educational platform.

The collection is incredibly valuable to WSU Tri-Cities as a resource, as the university has many research and professional ties to the Hanford Site, in the radiological cleanup effort of the site and generally in the study of how radiation impacts health and other areas, said Karly Bailey, development coordinator for the WSU Foundation.

“The collection contains unique materials relating to studies of radiological effects, including works by such scientific luminaries as Marie Curie, Ernest Rutherford, as well as the library of the radium dial painter studies,” he said. “As such it will be of value to students and researchers in medicine, physics, environmental sciences and especially the Hanford History Project. Looking down the road, I see many scholarly publications that would benefit from it.”

Kathren is a graduate of UCLA and the University of Pittsburgh, is board certified in both health physics and environmental engineering and is a past president of the Health Physics Society and the American Academy of Health Physics.



Steve Bisch, WSU Tri-Cities library circulation supervisor, 509-372-7313,