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Samuel R. Natelson Collection

Identifier: GB04-014

Scope and Content

Arranged in its original order, the Samuel R. Natelson Collection contains the papers, photographs, audio recordings and a video recording of Samuel R. Natelson. The collection consists of publications relating to neo-natal and pediatric medicine and biographical information, related to a biography of Natelson written by Amadeo J. Pesce. Biographical materials include two transcripts of an oral history by Natelson (with accompanying CD-ROMs), tributes to Natelson written after his death, and the typescript of an informal biography written by Pesce. Also of interest is a copy of “The Learned Aged and the Young”, a collection of stories and poems written by Natelson for his children. A VHS videotape “Dr. Natelson’s Tape Copy” is preserved in this collection as well.


  • Creation: 1947-2003


Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials and the collection is open to the public.

Copyright Information

The Science History Institute holds copyright to the Samuel R. Natelson Collection. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Background Note

Samuel R. Natelson was an American clinical chemist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 28, 1909, to a Jewish family. He attended City College of New York and received his B.S. in 1928. Upon receiving his Ph.D. from New York University in 1931, he did a variety of consulting work while also teaching at Girls Commercial High School in Brooklyn, New York. His consultation work included working with several pediatricians at the Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn on determining the causes of newborn infant mortality rates. This marked his introduction to clinical chemistry, and he became a founding member of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, known as the AACC.

In 1949, Natelson was recruited to set up a Pediatric Research Laboratory at the Rockford Memorial Hospital in Rockford, Illinois. Natelson’s title was Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry. The work Natelson and his colleagues did at Rockford resulted in The Immature Infant published in 1953, which was ill received by his contemporaries in neonatology. Only later would the findings put forth in The Immature Infant be accepted and Natelson and his colleagues vindicated. In the 1960s, Natelson served as a consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, helping analyze the effects of weightlessness on astronauts’ blood. Natelson was later director of laboratories at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.

Upon his retirement in 1979, Natelson moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where he taught as Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tennessee School of Veterinary Medicine. He died in Houston, Texas on March 31, 2001 and, before his death, he was the last surviving founding member of the AACC.


Samuel R. Natelson Collection, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Oral History Interview with Samuel R. Natelson, Science History Institute Oral Histories, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pesce, Amadeo J. Samuel Natelson: Genius, Heretic, Savior. 2003


0.44 Linear Feet (1 Box)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of writings and oral history materials by and about Samuel R. Natelson which were compiled by Amadeo J. Pesce. Natelson was a prominent American clinical chemist and a founding member of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.

Acquisition Information

The Samuel R. Natelson Collection was donated to the Science History Institute (formerly known as the Chemical Heritage Foundation) in 2004 by Amadeo J. Pesce.

Digitized Materials

Selected materials from this collection have been digitized and are available online in our Digital Collections:

Related Materials

There are no other known archival collections created by Samuel R. Natelson preserved at the date of processing.

Processing Information

The Samuel R. Natelson Collection was processed by Andrew Mangravite in February 2017. This finding aid was revised by Birch Mezzaroba in February 2022.

Samuel R. Natelson Collection
Finding aid created by Andrew Mangravite and encoded into EAD by Birch Mezzaroba.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2022: Finding aid revised by Birch Mezzaroba
  • 2024: Digitized materials note added.

Repository Details

Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19106 United States
215.873.5265 (Fax)