ASRT Museum and Archives 

ASRT Museum and Archives
A Night at the Museum

The ASRT Museum and Archives celebrated its grand opening on June 26, 2015. This photo gallery captures some of the excitement from opening night.

Photo Gallery

Click on a photo for details.

Visitors' Reactions
R.T.s Celebrate Opening of ASRT Museum and Archives

The ASRT Museum and Archives is a carefully curated timeline of radiologic technology and its pioneers, tracing the profession‘s history from heavy glass plates to digital imaging, from “technician” to “technologist” and from plain film radiography to image-guided radiation therapy.

“It is the only museum in the world that tells the story of our profession and showcases the R.T.‘s role in providing quality patient care,” said former ASRT Chief Executive Officer Sal Martino, Ed.D., R.T.(R), FASRT, CAE.

On June 26, 2015, about 600 radiologic technologists and their guests were the first to tour the museum, which is housed in the ASRT office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here are a few of their reactions:

“Every radiologic technologist needs to see this,” said Chad Hensley, M.Ed., R.T.(R)(MR), a clinical coordinator at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “It is a phenomenal tribute to our profession.”

Construction of the museum and installation of the exhibits were completed over the past two years, but a place to collect and display the profession‘s history has been a goal of some ASRT members for nearly two decades.

Among them are Life Members Frances Apple, R.T.(R), FASRT, of North Carolina, and Angie Cullinan, R.T.(R), FASRT, who now lives in Florida but spent most of her working career in Philadelphia and in Rochester, New York. Both made significant contributions to the radiologic science profession — Frances as an active volunteer and former ASRT president, and Angie as an author and early researcher into mammography dose and safety.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, Frances and Angie served on a committee that helped identify, collect and preserve important artifacts from ASRT history. The items they cataloged were placed into storage or displayed in various corners of the ASRT office, but both envisioned a day when the items could be permanently featured in a dedicated exhibit space.

Frances, Angie and others were impressed by the vintage equipment on display, which includes a Picker fluoroscopy unit donated by Virginia Western Community College and the Virginia Society of Radiologic Technologists; a 1935 GE portable “suitcase model” x-ray unit donated by Guy Copeman, R.T.(R)(T); and a military field unit from World War II donated by JoAnna Scheps, R.T.(R), and Robert Scheps of Nassau County X-Ray in New York.

Many other ASRT members donated items to the collection. In fact, more than 300 artifacts are on display. But the museum isn‘t just about equipment; it‘s about people.

“Several other museums have radiology exhibits, but they focus on the equipment or the science,” explained Greg Morrison, M.A., R.T.(R), CNMT, CAE, executive director of the museum and chief operating officer of ASRT. “What makes this museum unique is it‘s about the interaction between the technology and the technologist.”

The museum also is unique for the manner in which it presents information. “We designed it to be highly interactive,” said Greg. Activities that visitors can participate in include:

  • Dressing up in replicas of vintage radiation protection apparel, including lead-lined leather aprons and “bucket” head gear.
  • Trying to beat the clock by assembling a scale-model replica of a World War II portable x-ray unit in less than eight minutes, which was the expectation for radiographers serving in medical field units in the U.S. Army.
  • Interacting with four touch tables that allow viewers to peek inside digital copies of historical books and manuscripts, learn about the profession‘s leaders and build a collage of the human body out of assorted medical images.

The surprises continue with an exhibit that looks at how medical imaging has been depicted in pop culture, ranging from the x-ray specs advertised in 1950s comic books to Dr. McCoy‘s tricorder from the original “Star Trek” television show.

The museum is a testament not only to how technology changes, but also how it changes us, said Doris Abrishami, M.A., R.T.(R), of Northridge, California. “The past will direct you to the future.”

Angie Cullinan agreed. “Preserving our profession‘s history is important, because we learn from those who came before us,” she said. “These old machines with cranks, tubes and wires look archaic now, but they were once state-of-the-art. And one day, our modern technology will look old-fashioned to future technologists.”

Contact ASRT Museum and Archives

Email [email protected] or Visit our /ASRTMuseum