John Z. Bowers, MD papers

Identity elements

Reference code

MS 242

Level of description



John Z. Bowers, MD papers


  • 1947-1983 (Creation)


0.25 cubic feet (1 box)

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Zimmerman Bowers, MD served as Deputy Director of the Biology and Medicine Division of the Atomic Energy Commission from 1947 to 1950. He had previously studied pathology under Dr. Shields Warren, and in 1949 he joined Dr. Warren in Japan studying the effects of radiation on atomic bomb survivors.

Dr. Bowers would go on to a career in medical education, including serving as Dean at the University of Utah and University of Wisconsin medical schools and President of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation.

He maintained strong relationships and interest in medicine and medical education in Asia. In the 1980s he wrote historical accounts of the ABBC and RERF.

More information about Dr. Bowers is available in the MS 242 Control Folder.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection includes photographs, manuscripts, and reprints related to Dr. John Bowers' involvement with the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC). Of particular note are 58 black-and-white photographs of Nagasaki, Japan, taken by Captain Shields Warren (MC) in 1947. There is also a photograph showing Dr. Bowers alongside Carl Tessmer reviewing plans for the ABCC laboratory-clinic in Hiroshima, and another featuring the groundbreaking of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF). A third set of photographs depicts Berlin, Germany during the Cold War.

In addition to photographs, this collection includes two manuscripts by Dr. Bowers--one on the history of the ABCC and one on RERF. Finally, there are three reprints of articles by Dr. Bowers and his colleagues.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Material is open for research.

Physical access

Materials are in good condition.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright restrictions may apply. Permission to publish from this material must be facilitated through the repository, McGovern Historical Center.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history


Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Akiko K. Bowers, Dr. Bowers' wife, in 1995.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

This collection is comprised of copies of materials in the John Z. Bowers Papers at the Rockefeller Archive Center:

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: John Z. Bowers, MD Papers; MS 242; McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.
  • Processing information: Collection moved from Reference Files to MS collections and processed by Matt Richardson, September 2021.

Alternative identifier(s)



Description control element

Rules or conventions

Description based on DACS 2021.

Sources used

Identifying information from Control Folder

Archivist's note

Matt Richardson, September 17, 2021

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