University of Chicago Library

Guide to the William Bloom Papers 1932-1963

© 2009 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Bloom, William. Papers




0.2 linear feet (2 folders)


Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


William Bloom, pathologist and scientist. The William Bloom Papers consist of two folders, the first containing correspondence and articles from 1932 to 1963. The second holds Bloom’s 1938 work, The Lymphoid-Macrophage System, a project additionally published as several chapters in Hal Downey’s Handbook of Hematology of the same year.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Bloom, William. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

William Bloom was born on September 15, 1899 in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended the Friends School and Baltimore City College. He received an A.B. (1918) and M.D. (1923) from Johns Hopkins University. Bloom was awarded an honorary doctor’s degree from the Jagellonian University of Cracow, Poland in 1964.

Bloom briefly served in the U.S. Army during WWI. He became the associate pathologist at Michael Reese Hospital from 1923 to 1925. In 1926 Bloom came to the University of Chicago as the Smith Foundation Fellow in Anatomy. He became an Assistant Professor in 1929, Associate Professor in 1933, and Professor in 1941. He served as Chairman of the Department of Anatomy from 1941 to 1946, and in 1957 was names the Charles H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Anatomy and in the Committee on Biophysics. Bloom became emeritus in 1965, retiring in 1969.

Bloom was one of nine University of Chicago faculty to become one of the “Starred Men of Science” in 1944. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Anatomists (1946-1950), and served as its vice president (1952-1954). His professional memberships also included in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Experimental Pathologists, the American Society for Cell Biology, and was founding member of the International Society for Cell Biology. Bloom received the Distinguished Service Award by the University of Chicago in 1968.

Bloom undertook the production of the Textbook of Histology (1930) after Alexander Maximow died in 1928. He wrote several classic chapters on blood formation in Hal Downey’s Handbook of Hematology (1938). His Histopathology of Irradiation (1948) was published by the Atomic Energy Commission.

Bloom is well-known for his research on cells of connective tissue and their interrelationships; the ionizing radiation on cells and tissues; and the development of clinical hematology. He developed apparatus for pinpointing small parts of cells, including chromosomes, with beams of ionizing or ultra-violet radiations. In addition to his clinical work, Bloom was instrumental in revising the medical curriculum at the University of Chicago in the 1930s. Bloom performed tests for the Committee on Medical Research on the effect of vesciant war gases on animals and people during WWII. He was also part of the Manhattan Project, where he studied the effects of radiation on cells.

Bloom married Margaret Abt on June 28, 1928.

William Bloom died on May 11, 1972.

Scope Note

The William Bloom Papers consist of two folders. The first folder contains correspondence and articles from 1932 to 1963. There are three letters from 1932 and three articles from various years: “Irradiation of Parts of Individual Cells” (1953) and two copies of “Electron Microscopy of Chromosomal Transformation in Mitosis in Salamanders” (1963). The second folder contains, in book form, Bloom’s The Lymphoid-Macrophage System (1938), a work also published as several chapters in Hal Downey’s Handbook of Hematology (1938).

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Box 1   Folder 1

Correspondence and articles

  • Clifford Dobell to William Bloom, November 25, 1932
  • William Bloom to Clifford Dobell, November 3, 1932
  • William Bloom to James B. Bennett, November 8, 1932
  • "Irradiation of Parts of Individual Cells," offprint, 1953
  • "Electron Microscopy of Chromosomal Transformation in Mitosis in Salamanders," preprint, 1963
  • "Electron Microscopy of Chromosomal Transformation in Mitosis in Salamanders,"offprint, 1963
Box 1   Folder 2


  • The Lymphoid-Macrophage System, 1938