Read The Essay | Go to NLM Digital Collections | Watch on YouTube

DATE: 1965

LENGTH: 68 min

CATEGORY: Research and Documentation, Color, Silent

CREATOR: Telford H. Work


The pair of films titled Space, Bears, Ticks, Tulips and Fevers, Ticks and Caviar are informal records of a month-long mission to explore and evaluate research into outbreaks of four hemorrhagic fevers across the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Despite Cold War tensions in the political realm, exchange agreements in place between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. allowed for joint research in the health sciences. The Soviet group was organized by Mikhail Chumakov, the renowned Soviet microbiologist and virologist best known for his work on the mass production of the polio vaccine. The American contingent was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Telford Work represented the CDC and was joined epidemiologists, virologists and parasitologists from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Naval Medical Research Unit, and the National Institutes of Health….Read The Essay

Supplementary Materials

Stills from Fevers, Ticks, and Caviar

Other Films Featured in the Essay “The Films of Virologist Telford Work”

In the Collections of the National Library of Medicine

NLM Historical Audiovisuals Collection

For a list of all cataloged Telford Work films in the collection visit the NLM LocatorPlus Catalog. Catalog records include holdings information and links to digitized films in NLM Digital Collections when available. Titles not available in NLM Digital Collections can be requested for viewing on-demand. Contact the Historical Audiovisuals curator via the NLM Support Center.

NLM Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collections

History of Medicine Finding Aids is the central access point, provided by the Archives and Modern Manuscripts, Prints and Photographs, and Historical Audiovisuals collections, for information and descriptions of archival collections at the National Library of Medicine. Explore the complete Finding Aid to the Telford H. Work Papers.

The following images are selections from the Telford H. Work Papers, Series 14: Photographs, 1940s–1970s.


Related Resources from the National Library of Medicine

Medicine on Screen

Also on Medicine on Screen is an essay “An Epidemiological Expedition Into the Interior of Africa” by Paul Theerman, PhD, that discusses another film by Work, Reconnaissance for Yellow Fever in the Nuba Mountains, Southern Sudan, 1954 in the NLM Collections. NLM also holds a silent version, Yellow Fever in the Sudan, that provided the footage for Reconnaissance for Yellow Fever.

Circulating Now

Learn more about collections related to virology on Circulating Now, specifically, see NLM Collections Tour: Epidemics and NLM Collections Tour: Vaccines.


For trusted, current health information explore the MedlinePlus health topic on viral infections.  Learn about current research and education in virology in the MedlinePlus Magazine article “The Montana Wild Virus Hunt.”

External Resources

Articles and Websites

“Telford H. Work: A Tribute,” by Charles H. Calisher, Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 1996, accessed via The Biodiversity Library, cited in PubMed

Debunking COVID-19 Myths” from the Mayo Clinic

Virology at NIH

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. Learn more about the NIAID Laboratory of Virology.

More Medicine on Screen

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