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COLLECTION Identifier: RG M-SD08, Series 00256

Harvard Medical School. Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. Harvard University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Related to Medicine and Public Health scientific papers and departmental minutes

Overview

The Scientific Papers and Departmental Minutes of the Harvard University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Related to Medicine and Public Health, 1905-1967 (inclusive), 1940-1960 (bulk), are a product of the administrative, research, and publishing activities of the University Laboratory and its predecessor, the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Chemistry, Boston, Massachusetts. The bulk of the records consist of departmental meeting minutes and bound scientific paper reprints published in connection with the University Laboratory and the Harvard Medical School Departments of Physical Chemistry and Biological Chemistry.

Dates

  • 1905-1967 (inclusive),
  • Majority of material found within 1940-1960 .

Creator

Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.

The Records are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to consult Public Services for further information concerning retrieval of material.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in the collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting any third-party copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish. For more information on the Center's use, publication, and reproduction policies, view our Reproductions and Use Policy.

Extent

5.9 cubic feet ( (7 records center cartons))
The Scientific Papers and Departmental Minutes of the Harvard University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Related to Medicine and Public Health, 1905-1967 (inclusive), 1940-1960 (bulk), are a product of the administrative, research, and publishing activities of the University Laboratory and its predecessor, the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Chemistry, Boston, Massachusetts. The bulk of the records consist of departmental meeting minutes and bound scientific paper reprints published in connection with the University Laboratory and the Harvard Medical School Departments of Physical Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, including two bound copies of the scientific papers of Edwin J. Cohn published between 1916 and 1925 and one bound copy of the scientific papers of Lawrence J. Henderson published between 1878 and 1942. Meeting minutes and scientific paper reprints primarily concern protein chemistry, the formed elements of the blood, and blood plasma fractionation. Records also contain: collected pamphlets published by the University Laboratory concerning departmental history, policies, and events; meeting minutes and bulletins of the National Research Council Committees on Blood Substitutes, Blood and Related Problems, and Blood and Blood Derivatives; meeting minutes and administrative correspondence of the Commission on Plasma Fractionation and Related Processes, Boston, Massachusetts; and collected scientific paper reprints published in connection with the Protein Foundation (and its successor, the Blood Research Institute), Boston, Massachusetts. Scientific papers represent the work of numerous department members, including Edwin J. Cohn (1892-1953), John T. Edsall (1902-2002), John L. Oncley (1910-2004), and Charles Janeway (1909-1981), as well as George Richards Minot (1885-1950) and William Parry Murphy (1892-1987), who were not affiliated with the department but engaged in complementary research activities.

Records are entirely in English.

Historical Notes

The Harvard University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Related to Medicine and Public Health was established in 1950 under the direction of Edwin J. Cohn (1892-1953), Higgins University Professor, to advance the study of physical and biological chemistry across Harvard University campuses in Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, Massachusetts. The University Laboratory superseded the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Chemistry, which was founded in 1920. While located at the Harvard Medical School campus, the Laboratory was not affiliated with any particular school or department of the University, but cooperated with those departments with similar research objectives. Cohn was joined in the University Laboratory by his colleagues from the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Chemistry: John T. Edsall (1902-2002), Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry; John L. Oncley (1910-2004), Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry; and Walter L. Hughes, Jr. (1915-2009), Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry.

The University Laboratory continued the research of the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Chemistry, focusing primarily on protein chemistry, the formed elements of the blood, blood plasma fractionation (the process of separating out individual proteins found in blood plasma), and plasma preservation. Beginning in World War II, the department worked closely with the American Red Cross in efforts toward blood plasma fractionation, preservation, and substitution to facilitate more effective blood transfusions and prevent shock in injured soldiers. To this end, Laboratory members Edwin J. Cohn, Charles A. Janeway, and John L. Oncley served on National Research Council committees, including the Committee on Blood and Blood Derivatives, the Subcommittee on Blood and Related Problems, and the Subcommittee on Blood Substitutes. The department also collaborated locally with the Blood Research Institute (previously the Protein Foundation), Boston, Massachusetts, and the Commission on Plasma Fractionation and Related Processes, Boston, Massachusetts, in its research on blood plasma fractionation.

The Harvard University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Related to Medicine and Public Health was later incorporated into the Harvard Medical School Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, itself a product of the merger of the Department of Physical Chemistry and the Department of Pharmacology in 1987. The Department currently specializes in the use, development, and teaching of fundamental principles in biochemical, biophysical, molecular, and structural biology.

Arrangement

Records are arranged alpha-chronologically by subject or title, as per the original arrangement.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

  1. Accession number 2011-058. CBR Institute for Biomedical Research. 2011 January.
  2. Accession number 2008-042. CBR Institute for Biomedical Research. 2008.

Related Papers in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Center for the History of Medicine

  1. Papers of Edwin Joseph Cohn. H MS c375.
Related Records in the Harvard University Archives
  1. Proposals regarding the Protein Foundation and the Commission on Plasma Fractionation. UAI20.954.
  2. Records of the University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Related to Medicine and Public Health. UAV 688.2229 hd, UAV 688.2454 hd.

Separations

Two Fenwal blood packs were transferred to the Warren Anatomical Museum (Warren Museum catalog number 20276.1).

Resources about the Harvard University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Related to Medicine and Public Health.

  • University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Related to Medicine and Public Health. Cambridge: Harvard Printing Office, 1950.

Processing Information

Processed by Amber LaFountain, 2012 November.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the records, and created a finding aid to improve access. Items were rehoused and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals when available; titles supplied by the processing staff appear in brackets only on the physical folders.
Link to catalog
Title
Harvard University. Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Related to Medicine and Public Health. Scientific papers and departmental minutes, 1905-1967 (inclusive), 1940-1960 (bulk): Finding Aid.
Author
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Sponsor
Processing of the Scientific Papers and Departmental Minutes of the Harvard University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry Related to Medicine and Public Health was funded by the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine's Charles S. Minot Fund for Hematology.
EAD ID
med00174

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

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