The Texas Medical Center Library’s McGovern Historical Center has created a new family of collections under the umbrella of “Radiation Effects and Events.” The McGovern archivists began this project in cooperation with Dr. Armin Weinberg at Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. William “Jack” Schull, who died June 20, 2017.
Dr. Schull was Professor Emeritus of Human Genetics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Along with Dr. Weinberg, Dr. Schull was instrumental in creating this new radiation effects archive. This new collecting area builds on Dr. Schull’s life-long effort to preserve and make accessible “Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission” collections. In addition, Dr. Weinberg brings to the project his vast experience working with radiation effects connected to the nuclear testing and disaster sites in the former Soviet Union. The Radiation Effects and Events collection also will encompass other areas where ionized radiation has affected our world.
Since the late 1980s, the Texas Medical Center Library’s McGovern Historical Center has collected the papers of the people who participated in the work of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, which studied the effects of ionized radiation on the survivors of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Working together, scientists, historians, public-health officials, librarians and archivists have preserved and made publicly accessible collections of personal papers from many ABCC participants, including William “Jack” Schull, Grant Taylor, Carl Tessmer, and many others. That collection now consists of 20 individual collections measuring a total of 200 linear feet of boxes.
The establishment of an archive related to the events at Chernobyl, Ukraine; Kurchatov, Kazakhstan and other places will enable future advocates, scientists, researchers and scholars an opportunity to study the purposes and accomplishments of the institutions and people involved. Without this effort to preserve the material, the records may be scattered and hidden or, worse, destroyed.
Selected Documents and Images from RE&E Archive, MS211 Armin Weinberg, PhD papers
The following documents pertain to the Department of Energy grant proposal submitted by Dr. Weinberg and his colleagues to begin a collaborative study of health effects related to the Chernobyl accident: