Stop by the DCA display cases in Tisch Library (near the entrance to the Tower Café) and check out our recently-unveiled fall exhibits: Selections from the Atomic Veterans Collection and Whimsy in the Stacks: A glimpse into the mind of Myron J. Files. The exhibits highlight materials from two very different collections, giving viewers an idea of the diversity of documents available for consultation in the reading room at Tufts DCA.
Selections from the Atomic Veterans Collection contains correspondence, publications, and photographs from the Atomic Veterans Collection, donated to Tufts by Sandra Kane Marlow, an activist affiliated with the National Association of Atomic Veterans (NAAV) and a founder of the Center for Atomic Radiation Studies in Boston. Sandra Marlow, a librarian from New Bedford, fought for government acknowledgement and compensation of United States veterans that participated in atmospheric and underwater nuclear weapons tests and nuclear cleanup from 1945 until the Nuclear Test Ban in 1962. The exhibit is intended to highlight the research potential of this thought-provoking collection.
On the lighter side, Whimsy in the Stacks: A glimpse into the mind of Myron J. Files, provides a peek into one of DCA’s more humorous collections. Myron Files (1892-1984), a faculty member in the English Department at Tufts from 1914 to 1954, left the Archives two small boxes of his late correspondence and annotated sketches. His collection, rife with fantasy and philosophical musings, introduces a cast of personal friends and familiar Tufts characters. We hope that Files, the ever-unassuming comedian, will compel you to chuckle, or at least crack a smile.
These exhibits will be on display until January 2012. Please feel free to visit Tufts DCA on Level G in Tisch Library for more information on the featured collections!
The environmental and health consequences of radiation released after explosions at several Japanese reactors in Japan will be felt for generations to come in Japan, the region, and the globe. This photograph from May 1962 is probably from the Dominic I atomic tests on Christmas Island.
It is part of the Atomic Veterans Collection at DCA which, given the events in Japan, contains highly relevant material. The collection documents long-term human and environmental costs of radiation regarding atomic tests, waste disposal and nuclear energy, it traces health effects and law suits for compensation. The collection includes correspondence, secondary print and audio-visual material, interviews with atomic veterans, and photographs. It was donated to DCA by Sandra Kane Marlow in honor of Colonel Nicholas Kane, the founder of The National Association of Atomic Veterancs (NAAV), and all atomic veterans. Ms. Marlow was affiliated with NAAV and founded the Center for Atomic Radiation Studies in Boston.
Since 1979, NAAV has been assisting veterans in obtaining government recognition and Department of Veterans’ Affairs health care and financial assistance. Atomic veterans include over a million US servicemen and civilian personnel who, participating in and witnessing detonations at various Pacific and Nevada test sites, were exposed to ionizing radiation beginning with the Trinity Blast of July 16, 1945 at Alamogordo, New Mexico and ending with the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963. Most detonations emitted considerably more radiation than the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. US government agencies and departments wanted to learn about the effects of atomic and nuclear weapons and how they affected the immediate performance of military personnel and equipment. Troops, ships, and equipment were placed from several hundred yards to several miles from the center of each detonation. On many occasions military personnel performed maneuvers in and around ground zeros without protective clothing or respiratory devices.
Since the test ban of 1963, there has been no government sponsored medical surveillance of test participants, nor any effort to locate these individuals to warn them of potential health risks. The few individuals located through NAAV’s efforts have been found to have unusually high incidents of various types of cancer and other associated diseases and health problems with their children