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Archival description
Kastenbaum, Marvin A., Ph.D. Nagasaki, Japan Radiation
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William C. Moloney MD papers

  • MS 073
  • Collection
  • 1952-1954

William C. Moloney MD kept a personal journal, with photographs, for much of his two years in Japan with the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission. In January of 1986, Dr. Moloney donated his journal, correspondence and diary pages to the Harris County Medical Archive. He died in 1998 at the age of 91. His first contribution was a set of ten reprints representing his work with the ABCC from 1952 to 1954. Dr. Moloney's journal is a fine document, one which will be of great use to historians. It is an important record of personal impressions, thoughts and details of events. The journal gives new insights into the work of the ABCC and into the people who participated in that work. Dr. Moloney wrote in his journal from April 1952 to February 1954. The Korean War was on and there was a great deal of military activity in southern Japan. The collection is open for research. The collection consists of a handwritten journal, loose letters and reprints.

In this collection are letters, a journal and reprints. There are three letters written in May and July 1952. Two are typed and one handwritten. There are also loose pages from his diary starting on the Moloney family's departure from Boston in April 14, 1952 with the last entry dated December 11, 1952. There are references to their near disaster off Hilo on the way to Japan. The last item in this series is the jewel in the crown - Dr. Moloney's journal. The entries date from January 16, 1953 to February 27, 1954. Unfortunately there are gaps where he did not make entries. The numbered pages between 195 and 200 are missing. Dr. Moloney literally wrote from cover to cover in his journal. Glued or taped onto the journal pages are 165 black and white glossy photographs (there are 166 photographs in the journal) and a variety of other items (business cards, invitations, clippings, announcements, a golf score card, yen, postcards, driver's permits.) The typescript translation of an article from The Chugoku Press, 20 September 1953 originally placed between pages 101 and 102 has been removed and placed in envelopes. A folded map of Japan remains in the back of the journal.

The physical condition of the journal is mixed. The photographs are in good condition and the ink on the pages remains clear and crisp. The spine is broken and the pages are becoming detached. The tape and news clippings have yellowed and become brittle. The collection encompasses the years 1952-1954 and is 0.25 cubic feet (1 box).

Moloney, William Curry

Marvin A. Kastenbaum, Ph.D., papers.

  • MS 093
  • Collection
  • 1950-1997

The Marvin A. Kastenbaum, PhD, papers, MS 93, 1950-1997, contains materials related to the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC), including audio-visual materials, photographs, artifacts, personal cards, clippings, and statistical analyses compilied by the ABCC. Kastenbaum worked for 17 months as a statistician with the ABCC.

Kastenbaum's first contribution to the archive in March 1994 was a set of photographs of ABCC employees. Later, he made additional donations of artifacts, audio-visual materials and more photographs.

Kastenbaum was born in New York City on January 16, 1926. During World War II, he served with the the 124th Cavalry Regiment and later in the 613th Field Artillery Battalion. Kastenbaum was stationed in Burma, and the units he was stationed with participated in the reopening the Burma Road, a vital supply route from Burma to China.

After the war, Kastenbaum returned to his studies and graduated from the City College of New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics in 1948. He received his Master's degree in statistics from North Carolina State College in 1950 and his PhD from the same institution in 1956.

In January 1953, during a hiatus from his studies, Kastenbaum took a post as statistician in the Biostatistics Department of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in Hiroshima, Japan. While with ABCC he had occasion to review much of the medical data which had been collected by the commission between 1947 and 1954. He and Dr. William C. Moloney wrote a study of A-bomb radiation on humans. Upon completion of the final report, Marvin A. Kastenbaum decided he would make a career of medical statistics. In September of 1954 he returned to Chapel Hill to complete the requirements for his doctorate in statistics at the University of North Carolina. While there Marvin A. Kastenbaum worked as a statistician for the University's Department of Public Health.

During his 17-month affiliation with the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, Kastenbaum recorded some of his experiences on film. He donated three reels of 8 mm film to the archive in 1995. This film is a unique visual history. He filmed ABCC events in Japan, highlights from festivals, and scenes of daily life. Approximately one-third of the footage is devoted to ABCC personnel, activities and sites. The latter part of the film includes scenes of Hong Kong, Bangkok, India, Pakistan, Israel and Greece that Dr. Kastenbaum filmed after leaving Tokyo, Japan in May 1954. The collection is 1.75 cubic feet (3 boxes).

Dr. Kastenbaum's photographs have been rehoused and cataloged as single items and in sets. The bibliographic records and holdings are in machine readable format and can be found in the online catalog of the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library. The finding aids for the photographs are as follows: traditional card files and computerized bibliographic records in the online catalogs. All the photographs are black and white in a variety of sizes.

Some of the material in this collection appears to have been water damaged. This is especially apparent in box 2. Extra care should be taken when handling these materials. Notify an archivist if any of the material appears to be disintegrating.

This collection is 1.75 cubic feet (3 boxes.)

Kastenbaum, Marvin A., Ph.D.