Preliminary Guide to the Ronald L. Kathren Papers circa 1955-1999

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Kathren, Ronald L. Kathren, Ronald L. Sorem, Ronald Keith
Preliminary Guide to the Ronald L. Kathren papers
Date [inclusive]
circa 1955-1999
27.5 linear feet, 27 boxes.
(MASC staff use - MS 1999-21: 2-16-1-5, MS 2004-08: 2-9-18-1, MS 2005.07.2: 2-15-1-1; MS 2009-11: 2-11-10-1.)
Collection materials are in English.
Materials are in English.
This collection consists of materials related to the research of Ronald L. Kathren, a Professor of Pharmeceutical Sciences at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

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Ronald L. Kathren was a professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Washington State Univerity Tri-Cities. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1957. He received his Masters of Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1962 and continued his studies at the University of California, Berkley until 1964. Ron Kathren worked the majority of his career at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington state. Prior to his work at Hanford, Kathren was employed at the Lawerence Livermore National Laboratory of the University of California. Kathren's work has been largely in the area of applied health physics, with emphasis on radiation dosimetry and instrumentation, environmental radioactivity, and the history of radiation protection. In 1967, Kathren began his work at Hanford as an employee of Battelle-Northwest. At Battelle, Kathren joined the Joint Center for Graduate Study in Richland, which became Washington State University, Tri-Cities. In 1988, Kathren became the director of the United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries. Kathren is a diplomate of the American Board of Health Physics and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. Mr. Kathren has extensive experience in the field of health physics and has held prestigious positions on numerous health physics related committees. He was president of the Health Physics Society between 1988 and 1990. He also served as a consultant to the US Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards and Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste.

Sources: Finding Aid for the Ronald L. Kathren Collection, University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections.

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Scope and Content

This collection consists of materials related to the research of Ronald L. Kathren, a Professor of Pharmeceutical Sciences at Washington State University Tri-Cities. The collection contains articles, reports, presentations, and grant proposals by Kathren on the physiological effects on radiation, the measurement of radiation, dosimetry (the measurement of radiation in the human body), and the history of nuclear physics. These materials include manuscripts for a compilation of the works of Herbert M. Parker and The Plutonium Story, which is about the discovery of plutonium by Glenn T. Seaborg. The collection also contains Kathren's notes, meeting minutes from professional committees and conferences, and some of Kathren's professional diaries. Lastly, the collection contains copies of a movie titled  Treasure at 2500 Fathoms: Marine Manganese Nodules, by Ronald K. Sorem on several types of magnetic media.

Preliminary inventory, MS.2005.07.2:

Please note: Boxes 1-7 are restricted and require MASC staff review prior to researcher use.

Box 1. Correspondence (Kathren letterbooks for 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984); research record book (circa 1980s).

Box 2. Mixed papers, including correspondence.

Boxes 3-4. Mixed files.

Box 5. Research log books (1994-1998), Heat transfer files.

Box 6. Mixed files, including some on the Transuranium Registry.

Box 7. Correspondence (Kathren letterbooks for 1978, 1979, 1981); also Health Physics Society correspondence (1978-1980).

Box 8. United States government documents: printed records of hearings of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, 1940s-1950s.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries 2013

Terrell Library

P.O. Box 645610

Pullman, WA, 99164-5610 USA


Restrictions on Access

Most materials in this collection are open and available for research use. The exceptions are boxes 1-7 in accession MS.2005.07.02, which require MASC staff review in advance.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions apply.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the Washington State University Libraries by Ron Kathren from 1999-2009 (MS 1999-21, MS 2004-08, MS 2005-07.2, and 2009-11).

Processing Information

This is an unprocessed collection. Any arrangement reflects either a pre-existing order from the records' creators or previous custodians, or previous sorting performed by staff.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Accession MS.2005.07.2 was received intermingled with an installment of the papers of J.P. Corley (MS.2005.07.1). The original accession, MS.2005.07, was divided into two separate accessions in 2019.

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Names and Subjects

Geographic Name(s)

  • Hanford site (Wash.)

Personal Name(s)

Fmo(s) :
  • Kathren, Ronald L.


  • Radiation--Physiological effect.
  • Radiation dosimetry
  • Nuclear power plants--Designs and plans--Archives
  • Washington State University--Faculty.
  • Colleges and Universities

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