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Recent PBS program features archival material from George F. Smith Library of the Health Sciences

January 21, 2014
A handwritten list of some of the women who died in the 'Radium Girls' incident, from Smith Library's Special Collections.

A handwritten list of some of the women who died in the 'Radium Girls' incident, from Smith Library's Special Collections.

On January 7th, “The Poisoner’s Handbook” premiered on PBS’s American Experience. Based on Deborah Blum’s book, the program depicts the rise of forensic science in New York City in the 1910s-20s under Charles Norris and Alexander Gettler. The George F Smith Library of the Health Sciences is proud to have contributed materials to make this program program possible.

A segment on radium, in the program’s second half, features several images from Smith Library's Special Collections, including Harrison Martland performing an autopsy, and Martland’s handwritten list of some of the deceased Radium Girls. Other New Jersey segments in the program included reports on arsenic poisoning in Newark, and tetra-ethyl lead poisoning in Elizabeth.

The “Rutgers University Libraries – George F Smith Library of the Health Sciences” is listed in the credits of the show under the section “Archival materials courtesy of…”

'The Poisoner's Handbook' is available online (along with many additional features) at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/poisoners/ and will be rebroadcast on local PBS stations.