The Frank J. Hartman papers provide an insightful view into the changes atomic energy brought to society. Hartman, who owned two companies dealing with radium, clearly saw the product’s value, but he also recognized the potential dangers and the damage that could result from the improper usage, storage and disposal of these materials. This collection will be extremely valuable to a researcher interested in Frank J. Hartman, the radium industry, sales and recovery of radium, atomic energy in Canada, the history of the discovery of radium and the Curie family, and how atomic energy affected the United States.
This collection is arranged into eight series: “Correspondence;” “Scrapbooks, Diaries and Notes;” “Research files;” “Promotional materials and equipment lists;” “Curie family information;” “Interviews;” “Photographs;” and “Publications.” For all but the “Photographs” and “Publications” series, some level of processing was performed by the Holy Family College Archives. Except where absolutely necessary, this general order was maintained in an attempt to preserve any original order that may have existed.
The “Correspondence” series is organized alphabetically. This series was processed prior to transfer to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the original archivist extracted certain correspondence and placed it in folders by the correspondent's name. The remainder of the correspondence was grouped by letters of the alphabet, but individual correspondents were not named. It is unknown if certain correspondents were extracted for a particular reason, and therefore this arrangement has been preserved. Researchers looking for a particular correspondent who is not named, should check for files labeled “Miscellaneous correspondence.” Almost all of the correspondence files in this collection contain materials other than correspondence, such as news clippings and other assorted documents.
“Scrapbooks, Diaries and Notes” contains a scrapbook regarding his business and the radium industry, Hartman’s Radium Diary from 1942 to 1956, and notes on meetings, presentations, radioactive materials and his business. The scrapbook has been disbound and it appears that photocopies were made of the originals at some point. The front page of Hartman's Radium Diary states, "Memorandums of radium work which could not be trusted to anyone but myself; due to the hazards and risks involved. Radium losses and recoveries at hospitals in Philadelphia and vicinity." Researchers interested in the radium used in the medical field as well as recovery of radium will find the Radium Diary to be extremely valuable. This diary is totally unique and will provide information that is not available elsewhere.
The “Research Files,” series consists of Hartman’s research files on topics that were clearly important to him personally and in the field. This series contains material that overlaps, to a degree, with both the “Correspondence” series and the “Publications” series. This series is arranged in alphabetical order, essentially in the order as it was received from the Holy Family College Archives.
The “Promotional materials and equipment lists,” were collected by Hartman, probably as a result of his business and his representation of other companies. Hartman owned Radium Services and Hartman Laboratories and represented both Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd. and Eldorado Mining and Refining, Ltd. This series contains ads, brochures and booklets on medical equipment, laboratory equipment and other products, and statistics.
Hartman’s fascination with the Curie family is evident throughout the collection. He collected information on Eve, Irene and Marie and this material can be found in the “Curie family information” series. The majority of the material is biographical and contains newspaper articles and obituaries. There are also images of the Curie family in the "Photographs" series.
Several interviews with Hartman were conducted and these are located in “Interviews.” Interviews were held by John Villforth, Erma Perry, and Richard Hand. For both the Perry and Hand interviews, audio is available in the collection. Transcripts (some handwritten) are available for all of the interviews. This series is arranged chronologically.
The “Photograph” series contains four subseries with photographs of “Frank Hartman;” “Scientists;” “Radiation Theory and Phenomenon;” and “Lantern slides.” There are two folders of photographs of Frank Hartman with colleagues, and the remainder of the series consists of photographs of scientists and radiation theory and phenomenon. Within the “Scientists,” the Curie family is the most documented, with excellent photographs, mostly of Marie. The vast majority of these photographs appear to be reprints. Photographs of the Curie family can also be found in “Lantern slides” as well as the "Curie family information" series. The “Lantern Slides” subseries also contains several images of Frank Hartman and many images of radiation theory and phenomenon.
The final series in the Frank Hartman papers is “Publications,” which is organized into nine subseries. The subseries are: “Frank Hartman;” “Atomic Energy, General;” “Atomic Energy in Canada;” “Commerce;” “Copper;” “Defense and nuclear accidents;” “Public health;” and “Miscellaneous.” These publications are a tangible documentation of how atomic energy affected nearly every aspect of society. Within each category, the publications are arranged chronologically. The “Miscellaneous” publications are items that are not very easily identified with any of the subject matter in the remainder of the collection.