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Telford H. Work Papers 1938-1990
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Collection Scope and Content Note


Administrative material, correspondence, research files, reports, publications, audiovisual material, pathology slides, and personal items (33.5 l.f.; 1938-1990) document Telford H. Work's international research career in arboviruses, especially West Nile and Yellow fever. Topics documented include his education at Stanford University Medical School, his U.S Naval service, and his career with the Rockefeller Foundation, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and UCLA. His work in tropical medicine lead to the isolation of several viruses, how they are transmitted and by what vectors, and the better understanding of arthropod-borne viruses. The bulk of the material in the collection relates to his research projects for the Rockefeller Foundation, the CDC, and UCLA.

There are several series that might be of significant interest to researchers. The personal series (Series 1) provide some insight about his career motivations, education, his passion for nature and photography, and career highlights. Series 3-6 document the institutions for which he worked during his career and where he made his greatest discoveries. Much of his research carried over from institution to institution, so many of the same topics and research projects can be found in each of these series. For his Rockefeller Foundation career, information about the origins and management of the Virus Research Centre in Pune, India where Work isolated the Kyasanur Forest Disease and his work in Egypt on isolating the West Nile virus can be found in the Correspondence, Rockefeller Foundation, and Pathology Slides series. Much of the actual research activities information is limited to the Rockefeller Foundation series.

Work returned to the U.S. as head of the CDC's Virology Section during the 1960's and focused on tropical diseases as found within the US. His research on various strains of encephalitis is located in Series 5. He completed his active career as professor and department head of the Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of California at Los Angeles. Much of the materials in Series 6 continue to reflect his research activities and less so for his teaching work.

Work's passion for research and nature is combined in his hobby as a photographer and film-maker. Throughout his research and travel he created films in support of his research findings as well as serving as travelogues. The majority of these films were separated to the Historical Audiovisual Collection.

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