Elof Carlson Collection
Scope and Content
The Elof Carlson Collection is comprised of personal and professional material accrued by Dr. Carlson primarily during his professional academic career from 1958-2000. Professionally, Dr. Carlson was a professor, a geneticist, and a historian of genetics and the materials reflect these interests. The collection includes course notebooks, lecture notes and teaching files, scientific papers, correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, clippings, and material related to Dr. Carlson’s seminal biography Genes, Radiation and Society about his mentor, Dr. Hermann Muller. Hermann J. Muller (1890-1967) was a Nobel Prize winning geneticist who first showed that exposure to radiation would produce mutations in living organisms. Elof Carlson was his student at the University of Indiana and they became lifelong friends.
Elof Axel Carlson Papers
- Biographical Material, 1960s-1999
- Ephemera, 1981-1996
- Articles, 1963-2001
- Photographs, ca. 1930s
- Subject Files, 1957-1997
- Manuscripts, 1965-1999
- Reprints, 1897-1987
- Diaries, 1963-1997
- Laboratory Notebooks, 1995-1985
- Audio Visual, 2003-2004
Muller Biography Materials
- Muller Research Files: Source Documents on Hermann J. Muller's Life and Muller Biography Materials, 1949, 1981-1982
- Muller Manuscript Drafts: Documents on the Writing of Muller Biography, 1981
- Carlson, Elof Axel (Person)
Language of Materials
Some restrictions apply, see Archivist for details. Access is given only by appointment, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Archival materials must remain in the archival reading area. Item duplication is to be done by archivists. Fees are applied to copies made. Digital photography is permitted by users. Due to the very fragile nature of some materials in this collection, some are available through photocopies; others must be used under the supervision of an archivist.
Elof Axel Carlson was born July 15, 1931 in Brooklyn, New York. He received his B.A. in 1953 from New York University and his Ph.D in Zoology in 1958 from Indiana University where he studied under Hermann J. Muller. He became a lecturer in the Biology Department at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada from 1958-1960 and then both Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology, University of California, Los Angeles (1960-1968). In 1968, he joined the Biology Department of the State University of New York at Stony Brook as full professor, later becoming Distinguished Teaching Professor in 1974. He retired from Stony Brook to become a full time writer in 2000.
54 Boxes (53 0.4 archival boxes, 1 0.8 flat box) ; 22.5 linear feet
The Elof Carlson Collection documents the professional career of Dr. Elof Axel Carlson as a university level professor through his retirement to become a writer. Professionally, Dr. Carlson is best known for his biography of Nobel prize winning scientist Dr. Hermann J. Muller. The breadth and scope of the collection range from scientific research and laboratory notebooks to humorous essays on modern society.
The material is organized into two record groups: The Elof Axel Carlson Papers and Muller Biography Material: Genes, Radiation and Society. While the second record group is comprised solely of Dr. Carlson’s research relating to his book about Dr. Muller, it must be noted that Dr. Muller figures prominently in Dr. Carlson’s other works as a reference, a mentor, and a subject.
The material was received in an organized state with a general sense of arrangement. Like material was grouped together by the previous processing archivist on the related Hermann J. Muller Collection to assist researchers. The majority of folders arrived with titles and in good condition.
The collection was donated by Elof Carlson. It was received in 2003, accessioned, and partially processed at CSHL Library and Archives in 2005 and 2008. A third processing was completed in November-December 2011. The finding aid was updated and completed by Em Longan, July 2021.
- Abnormalities, Human.
- Agent Orange
- American Philosophical Society
- Carlson, Elof Axel
- Chromosome Abnormalities--genetics.
- Cleft palate
- Color blindness
- Danforth Foundation (Saint Louis, Mo.)
- Desnick, Robert J.
- Down syndrome
- Dugdale, R. L. (Richard Louis), 1841-1883
- Flavell, R. A. (Richard A.)
- Genetics, Human.
- Human embryo--Abnormalities--Genetic aspects
- Human embryo--Abnormalities--Treatment--Moral and ethical aspects
- Indiana University
- Indianapolis (Ind.)
- Intellectual disability
- Intersex Conditions
- Juke family
- Klinefelter’s syndrome
- Laboratory explorations in biology
- Left- and right-handedness
- Morgan, Thomas Hunt, 1866-1945
- Muller, Dorothea (1909-1986)
- Muller, H. J. (Hermann Joseph), 1890-1967
- Nobel Prize winners.
- Nobel Prizes.
- Optiz, John M.
- Queen's University (Kingston, Ont.)
- Radiation—Genetic Effects
- Slobodkin, Lawrence B.
- State University of New York
- Stony Brook (N.Y.)
- Stony Brook University
- Turner's syndrome
- University of California, Los Angeles
- Van der Kloot, William G.
- Whittaker, J. Richard
- Woods Hole (Mass.)
- Woods Hole, Mass. Marine Biological Laboratory
- Elof Carlson Collection
- Finding Aid Prepared by Amy Driscoll. Updated and completed in July 2021 by Em Longan
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- 11 May 2022: Replaced harmful language subject heading with 'Intellectual disability.'