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A Labor of Love: The Birth and Evolution of the UB Museum of Radiology and Medical Physics

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Photo May 29, 6 38 06 PM

Ben Kutas and Daniel Bednarek

The Friends of the Health Sciences Library’s Spring Program took place on Thursday, May 29th, 2014 in the library in Abbott Hall.  In the first portion of the program Dr. Daniel Bednarek, UB Professor of Radiology, shared with the audience the highlights and struggles involved in the creation of the special historical collection that is the UB Museum of Radiology and Medical Physics.  The presentation was followed by a tour of the Museum conducted by Dr. Bednarek and Ben Kutas, RT.  The museum effort, led by the two men, took a major leap forward with the acquisition in 2001 of a large number of items of historical significance to radiology and clinical medicine in general from the estate of the late Dr. Edward Eschner, a former chairman of the Department of Radiology of the University at Buffalo (1957-1971). Bednarek and Kutas have continued to add to the collection with items donated by other individuals, hospitals and x-ray equipment supply companies, particularly Buffalo X-Ray Corp.  Before his death in 1991, George J. Alker, Jr., MD, UB Chair of Radiology (1985-1991), also maintained artifacts at the Erie County Medical Center with Dr. Bednarek; most were moved into storage in H Building of the old E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital and were lost in 2000 with asbestos abatement prior to demolition of the building. Following Dr. Alker’s death his widow, Mrs. June Alker, provided active and financial support for the project which was critical to keeping it alive.  Shortly after Dr. Eschner’s death in 2001, storage space was obtained for the collection in the cafeteria building of the old Meyer and in 2002 the collection was moved to larger space in UB’s vacant Acheson Hall. In April 2006, due to renovation of Acheson into Kapoor Hall, the collection was moved to Hayes Annex C. In January 2011 the Museum had to move again due to the space needs of the School of Architecture and was relocated to its current home in the lower level of the Health Sciences Library in Abbott Hall.

Inside the Museum

Inside the Museum

Items on display include original gas x-ray tubes, hand-held fluoroscopes, early generators in wooden cases, a World War II era portable military x-ray unit, an upright stereoscope, glass-plate radiographs, diathermy machines, and “violet-ray” devices. The museum also includes a library containing some of the seminal literature of the field. The mission of the museum is to preserve this collection and to provide a venue for its exhibition. For additional information or to arrange a tour of the museum, please contact:  Dr. Daniel Bednarek or Ben Kutas

Guests enjoy the post-program reception

Guests enjoy the post-program reception

For additional photos from the event go to






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