Skip to main content


Special Collections Online at UT

Richard Burton Setlow Collection

Identifier: MS-1547

  • Staff Only

This collection houses research notebooks documenting Dr. Richard Setlow's work between 1946 and 1960. In addition to Setlow's research notebooks, this collection houses one notebook of Collected Papers on Radium Poisoning by Dr. Harrison S. Martland (published 1925-1939).


  • 1929-1960 (Bulk 1946-1960)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact Special Collections.


7 Linear Feet


This collection houses research notebooks documenting Dr. Richard Setlow's work between 1946 and 1960.

Biographical/Historical Note

Richard Burton Setlow was born on January 19, 1921 in New York City. He earned his AB at Swarthmore College in 1941, his PhD at Yale University in 1947, his DSc at the University of Toronto in 1985, and his MD at the University of Essen in 1993. During his professional career, he worked as an associate professor at Yale University (1956-1961), as a biophysicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1961-1974), and as director of the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (1972-1974). He is currently working at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. Most of Setlow's research concerns the effects of radiation on the human body.

Dr. Harrison Martland (1883-1954) served for many years as the pathologist for the city of Newark, New Jersey, where he researched the effects of radioactive materials on the human body. By doing autopsies on victims of radioactive poisoning, he was able to devise methods to determine the presence of radioactive materials in the human body. His papers on the subject were republished in a single volume for use as a rule book for workers who handled radioactive substances. It was placed in a permanent exhibition of precautions against radioactive poisoning at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) cited his work in 1946 as being largely responsible for the fact that there were only two deaths due to radioactive causes during the development of the atomic bomb despite the tremendous amounts of lethal radiation produced. Dr. Martland also made the first scientific study of punch-drunkenness of prize fighters and numerous studies of the effects of various sots of bullet wounds on the human body.


Collection consists of seven boxes.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA