Thomas Matney, PhD papers

Identity elements

Reference code

MS 146

Level of description



Thomas Matney, PhD papers


  • 1929-2011 (Creation)


10.5 cubic foot (13 boxes)

Name of creator

Biographical history

“Dr. Thomas S. Matney was a Houston philanthropist and emeritus professor of genetics and environmental science at The University of Texas Health Science Center and M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Professor Matney made important contributions to scientific understanding of cancer-causing agents and the genetic mechanisms that underlie the development of cancer. His wide-ranging philanthropic and service activities enhanced the well-being of hundreds of Houston-area children and families.

Thomas Stull Matney was born on September 21, 1928, in Kansas City, Missouri. His family moved to Texas when he was 10 years old. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in biology and chemistry from Trinity University in San Antonio, and the Ph.D. degree in bacteriology from the University of Texas at Austin.

In the 1950s, Matney served as Captain and later civilian Medical Bacteriologist in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps in Fort Detrick, Maryland where he developed protections for chemical and biological weaponry. Dr. Matney moved to Houston to join the Biology Department of the M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in September of 1962. He became the first associate dean of the newly formed UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He was also a member of M. D. Anderson Steering Committee for Alumni and Faculty.

Dr. Matney was a generous supporter of the University and mentor to many graduate students. He personally financially supported students studying at the UT-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He established endowments of The Thomas Stull Matney Professorship in Cancer Genetics and The Thomas Stull Matney Professorship in Environmental and Genetic Sciences, both to support scientific excellence and service to graduate education.

He was married to Glenda Matney nee Oglesby until her death in 1990 and had three children with her. He remarried Nancy Lee Matney.

Dr. Matney's community service activities focused primarily on the well-being of at-risk children. He served as a consultant to the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department about problems concerned with violence prevention in children. He was a Trustee and raised millions of dollars for Hospitality Apartments, which provides affordable housing for those undergoing long term medical treatment in Houston.

Dr. Matney was a past president of Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, in Houston. He was also a Past President of the Houston Chapter of National Train Passenger Association as well as other national and local rail road organizations.

Dr. Matney died at the age of 82 on November 28, 2010 after an extended illness.” (1)

  1. “Thomas Matney Obituary,” Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX) December 5, 2010

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Thomas Matney papers, MS 146, includes materials from 1926 through 2011 relating to Dr. Matney’s research in genetics, Dr. Matney’s teaching materials, and his research as a community activist into the support and well being of at-risk children. Dr. Matney was the first associate dean of the newly formed UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences as well as a professor of genetics and environmental science and a student advisor. Professor Matney made important contributions to scientific understanding of cancer-causing agents and the genetic mechanisms that underlie the development of cancer.

This collection contains eleven series: I. Personal Papers; II. Administrative Papers III. Business Correspondence; IV. Publications; V. Research; VI. School and Community Research Projects; VII. Teaching Materials; VIII. Student Files; IX. Travel; X. Realia and Ephemera; and XI. Audiovisual Materials. This collection contains much of the research conducted by Dr. Matney as well as his teaching materials. One of the highlights of this collection is the research proposals and papers from Dr. Matney's time with the Atomic Energy Commission along with a letter from Dr. Schull of the RERF to Dr. Matney when he was ill. Another highlight of the collection is the Temperature Gradient Plate, a device invented by Dr. Matney.

The materials in this collection are in good condition with some minor tears and brittle paper. Mrs. Nancy Matney donated Dr. Matney’s collection of personal and business correspondence, photographs, newspaper articles, pamphlets, diplomas, awards, artwork, a scrapbook, yearbooks, journal articles, abstracts, contracts, applications, research notes and notebooks, lecture notes, audiovisual material, ephemera, and realia to the John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center in January 2011. The collection is 10.5 cubic feet (thirteen boxes) and is collection 146.

System of arrangement

This collection is arranged into the following series.
Series I: Personal Papers; 1929-2010
Series II: Administrative Papers; 1948-2010
Series III: Business Correspondence; 1963-2007
Series IV: Publications; 1934-2009
Series V: Research; 1933-2003
Series VI: School and Community Research Projects; 1969-2000
Series VII: Teaching Materials; 1976-2007
Series VIII: Student Files; 1963-2005
Series IX: Travel; 1979-1982
Series X: Realia and Ephemera; 1962-2011
Series XI: Audiovisual Materials; 1980-2010

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

The collection is open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Languages of the material

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history


Immediate source of acquisition

Mrs. Nancy Lee Matney donated her late husband's papers and other materials to the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library in January 2011.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


No accruals are expected for this collection.

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related materials include the Thomas S. Matney Oral History Interview, a part of the Making Cancer Voices History Collection at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Research Medical Library. Consult an archivist for more information.

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Thomas Matney, PhD papers; MS 146; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.
  • Processing information: The original arrangement of the collection was kept as much as possible.

Alternative identifier(s)



Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard).

Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding aid prepared by Emily Scott, 2010.

Archivist's note

Finding aid encoded by Philip L. Montgomery on January 05, 2011

Access points

Place access points

Accession area