D. Carleton (Daniel Carleton) Gajdusek correspondence, 1934-1988


Date: 1934-1988 | Size: 7 Linear feet, Ca. 1500 items


This collection is composed chiefly of professional correspondence with 117 individuals, and includes biographical information about scientists in the fields of epidemiology, public health, communicable diseases, and health science policy.

Background note

A pediatrician and virologist trained at the University of Rochester and Harvard Medical School, Carleton Gajdusek became interested in epidemiological issues in "exotic and isolated populations" early in the 1950s, and while working as a visiting investigator at the Walter and Eliza Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne he had his first introduction to a neurological disorder, kuru, that was endemic among the Neolithic Fore of New Guinea. In an exemplary study, Gajudusek determined that kuru was not hereditary, as previously supposed, but was an infectious disease transmitted through the ritualistic consumption of the brains of deceased relatives. He was recognized for his achievements with the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Collection Information

Physical description

Ca. 1500 items, 7 linear feet.


Restrictions on Access:

Researchers must have written permission from D. Carleton Gajdusek to use this collection.


Presented by D. Carleton Gajdusek and accessioned, 1988 (1988 540ms).

Related material

Gajdusek's journals are noted separately at: D. Carleton (Daniel Carleton) Gajdusek Journals (B G13j).

Indexing Terms


  • Epidemiology.
  • Medicine.
  • Public health.