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Stafford Leak Warren papers, 1917-1980 bulk 1943-1980
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Processing Note
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Stafford Leak Warren papers
    Collection number: 987
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 148.0 linear ft. (281 boxes, 8 cartons, 26 oversize boxes, and 1 oversize folder)
    Date: 1917-1980, bulk 1943-1980
    Abstract: Stafford Leak Warren was the director of the Atomic Energy Project at the University of Rochester and worked on the Manhattan Project. After the war, Warren came to UCLA to serve as Dean of the School of Medicine and as Vice-Chancellor of the Health Sciences. The collection consists of Warren's professional papers, documenting every major phase of his career. The bulk of the papers cover 1940 onward, including Warren's participation in the Manhattan Project and Operation Crossroads, and his subsequent involvement concerning issues and work with atomic bomb development and radiation effects.
    Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Warren, Stafford L. (Stafford Leak), 1896-1981

    Restrictions on Access

    Operation Crossroads papers and Manhattan Project papers are available for access on 35 mm positive microfilm (in boxes 303-305) in Department of Special Collections. Originals, stored in boxes 57-83, not available for consultation due to fragile condition.
    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Copyright to portions of this collection has been assigned to UCLA Library Special Collections. The library can grant permission to publish for materials to which it holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or quote must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian, Department of Special Collections.] Credit shall be given as follows: ©The Regents of the University of California on behalf of UCLA Library Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Stafford Leak Warren papers (Collection 987). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 3467198 

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    1. Gift of Mrs. Stafford Warren, 1982.
    2. Gift of Dr. Stafford L. Warren.
    3. Gift of Mrs. Jane Larson, 1987.

    Processing Information

    This collection was originally processed by Manuscripts Division staff, 2001. The January 2010 additions were processed by Kelly Besser with assistance from Rebecca Bucher and Kamarin Takahara, 2013.


    Stafford Leak Warren was born on June 19, 1896 in Maxwell City, New Mexico. In 1918, Warren earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California at Berkeley. Then in 1922, Warren received his Master of Arts in Research Medicine and simultaneously obtained his Doctors of Medicine degree from the University of California, San Francisco Medical School. From 1922-1925, Warren completed his post-doctoral work at both Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University. Then in 1926, Warren became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Rochester. Subsequently, Warren became an Associate Professor of Medicine in 1930 and remained at the University of Rochester until 1943. During his residence at the University of Rochester, Warren performed groundbreaking research on radiology and its ability to track cancer in breasts. Through his research he developed a stereoscopic technique used to detect breast cancer in women which eventually led to the invention of the mammogram.
    Before departing from the University of Rochester in 1943, Warren was briefly the university’s Director of the Atomic Energy Project. Within the same year, Warren was commissioned as a Colonel in the United States Army Medical Corps and became chief of the medical section and advisor to the director of the Manhattan Project, which dealt with the research and development of the atomic bomb during World War II. From 1943-1946, Warren worked on the safety aspects surrounding the Manhattan Project, Trinity Nuclear tests, and Operation Crossroads. During the Trinity Nuclear tests, Warren’s primary responsibility was medical research, but he also supervised the project’s health and safety programs. When Operation Crossroads began testing on the Marshall Islands to investigate the effect of nuclear weapons on warships, Warren planned and implemented procedures to evaluate, limit, and control the impact of radiation. However after these tests, Warren became aware of the radioactive contamination in the environment and warned the public about the potential dangers of the atomic bomb. In 1947, Warren was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and Legion of Merit for his service on the Manhattan Project. During 1947, Warren helped establish the University of California at Los Angeles’ new School of Medicine. Warren also served as the school’s first Dean until 1963 when he became Vice-Chancellor of Health Services from 1963-1965. During the 1960s, Warren was a Special Advisor who helped research the effects of mental retardation on behalf of U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
    After Warren’s first wife, Viola Lockhart’s death in 1968, he remarried in 1970 to Gertrude Turner Hubberty. In 1972, Warren received the Enrico Fermi Award from the Atomic Energy Commission. Warren held the position of Professor Emeritus at UCLA from 1965 until his death. Stafford Leak Warren died on July 26, 1981 in Pacific Palisades, California.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of Warren's professional papers, documenting every major phase of his career. Materials include glass slides, photographs and materials assembled in connection with Warren's research. His research included fever therapy, arthritis, and the effects of shock. The bulk of the papers cover 1940 onward, including Warren's participation in the Manhattan Project and Operation Crossroads, and his subsequent involvement concerning issues and work with atomic bomb development and radiation effects. Warren’s contribution to the Manhattan Project and Operation Crossroads produced a series of photographs of the test area and effects of the bomb such as clippings of blast waves and radiation, and a motion picture in relation to the project on microfilm.

    Processing Note

    Almost all the papers of Stafford Leak Warren were donated to the UCLA Library on April 19, 1982 by his widow, Mrs. Gertrude Warren. A small number of items, consisting mostly of government publications and materials relating to Dr. Warren's research interests at the University of Rochester and his work on mental retardation as Special Advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, were received in the 1960s, when records relating to his foundational service as Dean of the UCLA School of Medicine, were transferred to the University Archives.
    Apart from a very few items of personal memorabilia, the collection comprises Dr. Warren's professional papers and provides some documentation for every major phase of his career. Roughly half the materials consist of glass slides, photographs and other materials assembled by Dr. Warren in connection with his various research interests, which included fever therapy, arthritis and the effects of shock. Although the papers cover the years 1917 to 1980, the bulk of the materials cover 1940-1980, including his participation in the Manhattan Project and Operation Crossroads, and subsequent involvement with issues and consultant work related to his work with the atomic bomb and radiation effects.
    The existing file order at the time of transfer has been retained with few exceptions. The exceptions are as follows: Related items from the earlier transfer have been brought together with items donated in 1982. Appendix A lists current and former box numbers. Some of Dr. Warren's items found among the papers of his first wife, Viola, (also donated in 1982; UCLA Library Special Collections, collection 1322), have been placed with related material in this collection. Transfers from the Viola Warren papers are noted in the finding aid.
    The arrangement of the papers described in Sections II (Boxes 57-70) and III of the finding aid, concerning the Manhattan Project and Operation Crossroads, has been left exactly as found at the time of the 1982 transfer from Dr. Warren's campus office to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Titles and names of authors, addressees and places have been transcribed as they appear in the papers, except for Stafford Leak Warren, which is abbreviated as SLW throughout the finding aid. Except for issues of the Oakridge Journal, glass slides and motion picture film, these two series and part of Box 113 have been microfilmed both for preservation purposes and to facilitate creating copies of the originals. Appendix B lists film reel and image numbers in relation to original document reference numbers.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Prior to donation to the UCLA Library, some parts of the Warren papers, including material relating to Dr. Warren's participation in the Manhattan Engineering District and Operation Crossroads projects, had been arranged and boxed in several similarly numbered sequences. In addition, as part of the preliminary processing of the collection, a considerable amount of material originally housed in filing cabinets, was transferred as filed in the drawers into document boxes or cartons and given a temporary number to preserve filing cabinet location and internal order until it could be examined more thoroughly as part of the processing of the collection as a whole.
    As part of the processing of the collection, all boxes have now been systematically numbered with a unique and final number. Please see in-house paper finding aid for more information.

    Related Material

    Viola Lockhart Warren Papers (Collection 1322).  Available at Library Special Collections.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Manhattan Project (U.S.).
    Operation Crossroads, 1946.
    Warren, Stafford L. (Stafford Leak), 1896-1981--Archives.
    Atomic bomb--Physiological effect--Research.
    College administrators--California--Los Angeles--Archives.
    Mental retardation--Research.
    Nuclear energy--Research.
    Physicians--United States--Archives.