This is a website tied to an exhibition based on a book inspired by historical treasures.

It is a collaboration between The New York Public Library and Parsons the New School for Design. Fourteen Parsons students and their teacher, Lauren Redniss (the book's author), worked with the NYPL to create this interactive, online exhibit in conjunction with the exhibition of Radioactive taking place at the Library on 42 Street and 5th Avenue. Our site features an unusual navigation: think of it more as a landscape than a series of pages. Click the menu at left, or the site map below, to begin exploring.

Home Book Exhibition Documentary NYPL Video Science Love Radion CProcess Workshop

In 2008–2009, Lauren Redniss was a fellow at the Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers working on a book, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout. Radioactive combines history, science, and original artwork to tell the story of Nobel laureates Marie and Pierre Curie and a history of radioactivity. On this site, students from Parsons continue to interpret the themes of love, science, and discovery.

+ Website and Exhibition Credits +

Alternative content

Preview selected pages from RADIOACTIVE, by Lauren Redniss (Harper Collins, 2010) by clicking on page edges.
More about the author.


On view January 14-April 17, 2011
at the New York Public Library, 42nd Street and 5th Avenue New York, NY. More info


Watch the process of making of a cyanotype print in this video by Alex Stachelek. Music by Sam Eckstein.

Made at NYPL

A video by Astra Wijaya explores how the vast collections of The New York Public Library inspire new work.
Music by Mike Minella.


The Atom: Building Block of the Universe, an animation by Sean Ferguson, narration by Lauren Redniss.


Love and science intertwine in Maayan Tzuriel’s animation, The Instability of Matter, based on the drawings
in Radioactive. Chopin's Ballade No.4 performed by Martha Kato.


Raidon is an experimental game based on the book Radioactive by Lauren Redniss.

Launch Game

Raidon weaves together the images and text from Redniss's book -- including quotes from the Curies' personal papers,
and images from the NYPL Digital Gallery to create a dream-like exploration of the life of Marie Curie. Join Marie on a
quest to recall her past and to discover her future. Game Designer & Producer: Luke BrownGold. Game Designer:
Julynn Benedetti, Image Editor: Seeta Kanhai, Sound Designer: Sam Eckstein.

Alternative content

The Curiograph is interactive tool that steps the user through the cyanotype printmaking process. With re-appropriated images from
the NYPL collections and real-time weather data, the user creates a digital “cyanotype” print. Created by Julynn Benedetti and Garrett Tillman.


Explore what you might find in Marie Curie's laboratory if it was stocked with items from the NYPL's collections, as imagined in this interactive diorama by Bridgette Haley. Click around the various objects to trigger an association.