Louise Cavagnaro papers

Identity elements

Reference code

MS 243

Level of description



Louise Cavagnaro papers


  • 1948-1992 (Creation)


0.25 cubic feet (1 box)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Louise Cavagnaro joined the Atomic Bomb Causality Commission (ABCC) in 1946, and was the Commission's first American nurse. She served as Director of Nursing in Hiroshima, Japan, and established the program that trained local nurses. She also set up an Employee Health System and a pharmacy, and was involved in various other administrative activities, such as choosing equipment and supplies for Hijyama.

Before joining the ABCC, Cavagnaro had served as an operating room nurse in World War II. Afterwards she received a masters degree in Hospital Administration from Columbia University. In 1953 she began a long career as an administrator and faculty member at Johns Hopkins. She was involved in the desegregation of the hospital, as she recorded in "A History of Segregation and Desegregation at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions" (1992).

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection consists of photographs, clippings, publications, a thesis review, and correspondence relating to the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC). Most of the materials date from 1948 to 1962, although some items are undated. Cavagnaro's review of "War Guilt and Medical Research" is from 1992. Collection materials generally originated in Japan or discuss conditions there.

System of arrangement

Beyond groupings of certain items within folders, no original order was apparent and no order has been imposed on this collection.

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
  • Japanese

Scripts of the material

  • Katakana or Hiragana
  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history


The materials in this collection had been kept in the MHC Reference Files under Louise Cavagnaro's name. After a review of Reference Files in 2021, certain materials were removed to create this archival collection.

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Louise Cavagnaro, 1985, 1997.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Louise Cavagnaro Collection, Chesney Archives, Johns Hopkins, https://medicalarchives.jhmi.edu/collection/louise-cavagnaro-collection/

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Louise Cavagnaro papers, MS 243; McGovern Research Center, Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.

Alternative identifier(s)



Description control element

Rules or conventions

Describing Archives: A Content Standard 2021

Sources used

Archivist's note

Matt Richardson, October 2021

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Accession area