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Walter A. Olszewski papers

 Collection — Box: 1-55
Identifier: 19-F-1119

Scope and Contents

This collection contains neuropathological case files and slides from 1949 to 1990.

Case files include reports such as autopsy protocols, clinical summaries, microscopic dissection reports, and brain dissection reports. They also include notes used by Dr. Olszewski when he presenting cases at meetings and for lectures.

Most slides in the collection have corresponding case files. Also included are slides from neurological surgeries, candid images, and slides organized by subject mater (diagnosis).

In this finding aid, the term "diagnosis" refers to the diagnosed cause of death.


  • 1934-1995


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The bulk of the Walter A. Olszewski papers, 1934-1995, are open for research.


Due to the personal information recorded with all case files in Series II, these folders are restricted until the information can be redacted. Please see Archivist regarding access to these restricted folders.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Dr. Walter Olszewski was born in Rome, NY around 1926. After serving in the Army Air Force during World War II, Dr. Olszewski earned his bachelors degree from Colgate University and a medical degree from University of Buffalo in 1954.

He later joined the clinical faculty of the School of Medicine at the University at Buffalo in 1963.

From 1961-1983, Dr. Olszewski worked at Buffalo General Hospital where he began building his extensive slide collection documenting neurological conditions.

Dr. Olszewski left Buffalo General Hospital in 1983 to join the staff at Buffalo Veterans Hospital. There he served as Chief of Medicine from 1984-1986. In 1989, Dr. Olszewski was made director of the Transcranial Laboratory, a position he maintained until his death in February 1995.

Historical Note: History of Neurological Research

Before medicine had advanced to include technologies like MRIs (Magnetic Radial Imaging) in 1977, the only way to study neurological conditions was to directly examine the brain and nerve cells.

In order to study these observations on a larger scale, Dr. Olszewski took comprehensive images of his subjects. These images were then able to be studied retrospectively and give greater insight into diagnosis. From these insights and related reports, neurologists like Dr. Olszewski were able to diagnose patients more accurately and offer better courses of treatment.


48 Linear Feet (25 manuscript boxes, 3 card boxes, 27 slide boxes)


Dr. Walter Olszewski was a neuropathologist and member of the clinical faculty at the UB School of Medicine. His papers include neuropathological reports and images from 1949-1990, with accompanying notes used in presenting cases.


This collection is arranged in three series: I. Professional, II. Case files, III. Slides.

Acquisition Information

The Walter A. Olszewski papers were donated by his wife, Virginia Olszewski, in May 2008.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

Merck Manuals Online Medical Library, Last accessed 27 November 2009.

Separated Material

A toolkit of medical instruments was removed to the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection at UB's Health Sciences Library.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Nathan Tallman, September 2008.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle White, January 2015.


Finding Aid for the Walter A. Olszewski papers
Finding aid prepared by Nathan Tallman.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)