Interested in learning more about Hanford's history?
Here are some recommendations for books, movies, websites, and other assorted resources. They were chosen by our archivist, who would welcome any suggestions to add to the list! It is certainly not an exhaustive list, and instead is a starting point for Hanford's fascinating history.
- Adams, Melvin R. Atomic Geography: A Personal History of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Pullman: Washington State University Press, 2016.
- Brown, Kate. Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters. New York: Oxford University Press. 2013. 406 pp.
- Findlay, John M. and Bruce Hevly. Atomic Frontier Days: Hanford and the American West. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011. 384 pp. ISBN 978-0-295-99097-2.
--See also the very useful bibliographic essay at the end of this work, p.352-360.
- Gerber, Michele Stenehjem. On the Home Front: The Cold War Legacy of the Hanford Nuclear Site. 3rd Ed. Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 2007.
- Hevly, Bruce and John M. Findlay (eds.). The Atomic West. Seattle: The University of Washington Press.
- Power, Max S. America's Nuclear Wastelands: Politics, Accountability, and Power. Pullman: Washington State University Press, 2012.
- Rhodes, Richard. The Making of the Atomic Bomb. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1986. 928 pp.
Hanford Cultural and Historic Resources Program. Hanford Site Historic District: History of the Plutonium Production Facilities, 1943-1990. Columbus: Battelle Press, 2003.
- National Research Council (U.S.), and Committee on the Review of the Hanford Site’s Environmental Remediation Science and Technology Plan. Science and Technology for Environmental Cleanup at Hanford. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2001.
- Smyth, Henry D. Atomic Energy for Military Purposes – A General Account of the Scientific Research and Technical Development That Went into the Making of the Atomic Bombs. http://www.atomicarchive.com/Docs/SmythReport/
- Stannard, J. Newell. Radioactivity and Health: A History. Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Health and Environmental Research, 1988.
- Stone, Robert S., Ed. Industrial Medicine on the Plutonium Project. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1951.
- Hein, Teri. Atomic Farmgirl: Growing Up Right in the Wrong Place. New York: Mariner Books, 2003. 273 pp.
- Flennicken, Kathleen. Plume: Poems. Seattle : University of Washington Press, 2012. 70 pp.
- Sanger, SL and Craig Wollner. Working on the Bomb: An Oral History of WWII Hanford. Portland, OR : Portland State University, Continuing Education Press, 1995. 264 pp.
- Williams, Hill. Made in Hanford: The Bomb that Changed the World. Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2011. 206 pp.
Zwinger, Susan, and Stamford D Smith. The Hanford Reach: A Land of Contrasts. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2004.
Articles and Book Chapters
- Bauman, Robert. “Jim Crow in the Tri-Cities, 1943-1950.” The Pacific Northwest Quarterly 96, no. 3 (2005): 124–31.
- Bauman, Robert. “Teaching Hanford History in the Classroom and in the Field.” The Public Historian 29, no. 4 (2007): 45–55.
- Carlisle, Rodney P. “Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Nuclear Reactors: Engineering Success, Public Relations Failure.” Technology and Culture 38, no. 4 (1997): 920–41. doi:10.2307/3106954.
Harvey, David. “Defense of the Hanford Site during the Early Years of the Cold War.” The Pacific Northwest Quarterly 95, no. 2 (2004): 82–90.
- Hevly, Bruce William. “‘Where the Old West Greets the New’: Linking Hanford, the Tri-Cities, and the Columbia Basin in Photographs.” The Pacific Northwest Quarterly 101, no. 2 (2010): 87–99.
- Hoddeson, Lillian. “The Discovery of Spontaneous Fission in Plutonium during World War II.” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 23, no. 2 (1993): 279–300. doi:10.2307/27757700.
- Houndshell, David A. "Du Pont and the Management of Large-Scale Research and Development," in Big Science: Growth of Large-Scale Research, ed. Peter Galison and Bruve Hevly. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press), 236-61.
- Robbins, Lynn A. “The Participation of Sahaptin-Speaking Native Americans in the Hanford Site Cultural Resource Management Plan.” Environmental History Review 14, no. 1/2 (1990): 117–28.
- Seidel, Robert W. “The National Laboratories of the Atomic Energy Commission in the Early Cold War.” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 32, no. 1 (2001): 145–62. doi:10.1525/hsps.2001.32.1.145.
Taylor, Bryan C., and Brian Freer. “Containing the Nuclear Past: The Politics of History and Heritage at the Hanford Plutonium Works.” Journal of Organizational Change Management 15, no. 6 (2002): 563–88. doi:10.1108/09534810210449523.
- Groves, Leslie R. Manhattan District History (https://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan_district.jsp)
- Groves, Leslie R. Now It Can be Told. New York and Evanston: Harper and Row, 1962.
- Seaborg, Glennt T. The Plutonium Story, The Journals of Professor Glenn T. Seaborg 1939-1946. (Edited and Annotated by Ronald L. Kathren, Jerry B. Gough, and Gary T. Benefiel). Columbus and Richland: Battelle Press, 1994.
Environmental History of Hanford
Anderson, Roger. “Environmental, Safety and Health Issues at U.S. Nuclear Weapons Production Facilities, 1946-1988.” Environmental Review: ER 13, no. 3/4 (1989): 69–92. doi:10.2307/3984391.
- Fehner, Terrence R., and F. G. Gosling. “Coming in from the Cold: Regulating U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Facilities, 1942-96.” Environmental History 1, no. 2 (1996): 5–33.
- Gephart, R. E. Hanford: A Conversation about Nuclear Waste and Cleanup. Columbus, Ohio: Battelle Press, 2003.
Gephart, R. E, and Regina E Lundgren. Hanford Tank Cleanup: A Guide to Understanding the Technical Issues. Columbus [Ohio]: Battelle Press, 1998.
- Gray, R. H., R. E. Jaquish, P. J. Mitchell, and W. H. Rickard. “Environmental Monitoring at Hanford, Washington, USA: A Brief Site History and Summary of Recent Results.” Environmental Management 13, no. 5 (September 1989): 563–72. doi:10.1007/BF01874962.
Grossman, Daniel. “Hanford and Its Early Radioactive Atmospheric Releases.” The Pacific Northwest Quarterly 85, no. 1 (1994): 6–14.
Reinhardt, Bob H. “Drowned Towns in the Cold War West: Small Communities and Federal Water Projects.” Western Historical Quarterly 42, no. 2 (2011): 149–72. doi:10.2307/westhistquar.42.2.0149.
- Rothschild, Rachel. “Environmental Awareness in the Atomic Age: Radioecologists and Nuclear Technology.” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 43, no. 4 (2013): 492–530. doi:10.1525/hsns.2013.43.4.492.
- Stacy, Ian. “Roads to Ruin on the Atomic Frontier: Environmental Decision Making at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, 1942–1952.” Environmental History 15, no. 3 (2010): 415–48.
Stenehjem, Michele A. “Pathways of Radioactive Contamination: Beginning the History, Public Enquiry, and Policy Study of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.” Environmental Review: ER 13, no. 3/4 (1989): 95–112. doi:10.2307/3984392.
Wills, John. “‘Welcome to the Atomic Park’: American Nuclear Landscapes and the ‘Unnaturally Natural.’” Environment and History 7, no. 4 (2001): 449–72.
- Atomic Heritage Foundation - A great resource including oral histories from the community and audio tours for visiting the Hanford site.
- Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog - Includes links to resources for teachers, students, and researchers on nuclear history
- Manhattan Project National Historical Park (National Park Service)
- Hanford.gov (US Department of Energy)
- Environmental Protection Agency: Hanford
- African American Community Cultural & Educational Society (AACCES)
- B Reactor Museum Association
- East Benton County Historical Society & Museum
- Franklin County Historical Society & Museum
- Hanford Reach Interpretive Center
- Herbert M. Parker Foundation
- Nez Perce Tribal Website
- Northwest Public Television
- Richland Public Library
- Tamástslikt Cultural Institute (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla)
- Wanapum Heritage Center
- White Bluffs Quilt Museum
- Yakama National Museum
"Arid Lands is a documentary feature about the land and people of the Columbia River Basin in southeastern Washington state. Sixty years ago, the Hanford nuclear site produced plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, and today the area is the focus of the largest environmental cleanup in history. It is a landscape of incredible contradictions. Coyotes roam among decommissioned nuclear reactors, salmon spawn in the middle of golf courses, wine grapes grow in the sagebrush, and federal cleanup dollars spur rapid urban expansion.
Arid Lands takes us into a world of sports fishermen, tattoo artists, housing developers, ecologists, and radiation scientists living and working in the area. It tells the story of how people changed the landscape over time, and how the landscape affected their lives."
Produced by the US Department of Energy
"This is the Emmy Award-winning first chapter of The Hanford Story, a multimedia presentation that provides an overview of the Hanford Site—its history, today's cleanup activities, and a glimpse into the possibilities of future uses of the 586-square-mile government site in southeast Washington State. "
Produced by the City of Richland
"A historical look at the developement of the Hanford Engineering Works Project. The top secret WWII project that changed the face of Richland and the world forever."
Hosted by the Washington State University Libraries
"This was a silent video about the development of the Hanford Site in Washington state, which appears to have been produced by the U.S. government at or near the end of World War II. This is part one of three; all three comprise about a 90 minute presentation."