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Thomas L. Lentz collection on the history of cell biology and anatomy at Yale

Call Number: Ms Coll 57

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a brief autobiography, curriculum vitae, annual reports of accomplishments at Yale, and reprints of his articles; Lentz's histories of the Department of Cell Biology and of histology at Yale; published materials on the Department of Cell Biology; two volumes of photographs of faculty and students; and extensive material on the microbiology/histology course with laboratory exercises that Lentz taught, including lectures, laboratory manuals, and images. Of special interest are two microscope slide kits of the types loaned to students who were taking the laboratory course from the 1930s to about 2003.


  • 1899-2015


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Thomas L. Lentz, 2015. Some materials donated earlier.


Organized into four series: 1. Thomas L. Lentz biographical materials and publications. 2. Microscopic anatomy and histology teaching materials. 3. Historical materials on the Department of Anatomy and the Department of Cell Biology. 4.Photographs -- Department of Cell Biology.

Related Materials

Thomas L. Lentz's collection of microscopes and historical glass microscope slides has been donated to the Scientific Instrument Collection at the Peabody Museum at Yale.


10 boxes ( All are small flat boxes of varying sizes..)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Thomas L. Lentz served as professor of cell biology and associate dean of admissions at Yale School of Medicine. The collection contains autobiographical material on Dr. Lentz, his histories of cell biology and of histology at Yale, and reprints of his articles. Also included are teaching materials for Lentz's laboratory course on histology, published materials related to the Department of Cell Biology, and photographs of faculty members and students.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas L. Lentz was born in 1939 in Toledo, Ohio, attended Cornell University for three years where he majored in zoology and became interested in the study of hydra, and then entered Yale School of Medicine in 1960. In his first year of medical school, he joined the laboratory of cell biologist Russell J. Barnett who encouraged him to continue the study of hydra using techniques of cell biology, especially electron microscopy. Lentz decided he was more interested in research than medical practice, and chose not do a residency after graduating from medical school. Instead he joined the Department of Anatomy in 1964 as an instructor and rose through the ranks to become Professor of Cell Biology in 1985. His chief research interests were in neurobiology and cell biology. Lentz published three scientific books, as well as two books related to his hometown of Killington. He taught medical school courses in Microscopic Anatomy, later called Cell Biology, which included laboratory exercises. In 1968, Lentz became a member of the Committee on Admissions of the Medical School, and in 1972 chair of the committee. His title eventually became Associate Dean of Admissions. Under his tenure, the number of women and African-Americans admitted to the medical school greatly increased. After his retirement in 2006, he developed his interest in history.

Thomas L. Lentz collection on the history of cell biology and anatomy at Yale
Toby A. Appel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Medical Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Repository

Yale University
333 Cedar St.
New Haven CT 06520-8014 US
203-785-5636 (Fax)

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