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COLLECTION Identifier: HUGFP 134

Papers of Jeffries Wyman


Jeffries Wyman (1901-1995) was a biophysicist. A professor of biology at Harvard from 1928 to 1951, he spent his later years at the University of Rome. This collection dates from these latter years and documents his research, writing, and activities in scientific organizations while in Rome. The collection also includes reprints and photographs.


  • 1957-1985



Access may be restricted. Consult reference staff at the Harvard University Archives for details.


2 cubic feet
This collection of Papers of Jeffries Wyman dates from his years in Rome and documents his scientific activities during that period including research, writing, and participation in scientific organizations.

The papers relate chiefly to his work on the structure and function of hemoglobin and the physical chemistry of proteins and consist of correspondence, manuscripts, reprints, research reports and grant proposals, curriculum vitae, newspaper clippings, conference programs, and notes.

Also among the papers are drafts and notes for Wyman's and John T. Edsall's textbook, Biophysical Chemistry, reprints, and photographs.


Jeffries Wyman (1901-1995) was a biophysicist. A professor of Biology at Harvard from 1928 to 1951, he spent his later years at the University of Rome. He was the author of numerous papers on the biophysical properties of proteins and a member of scientific organizations such as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Lincei Society of Science. He also helped establish the European Molecular Biology Organization.

Wyman was born June 21, 1901 in West Newton, Massachusetts. In 1923 he received an A.B. degree from Harvard and in 1927 a Ph.D. degree from University College, London for his thesis on the viscous-elastic properties of muscle and the thermodynamics of muscle contraction.

His career as a research scientist began at Harvard where he was a member of the Biology Department from 1928 to 1951. Wyman studied the dielectric properties of amino acids, proteins and related compounds, the mechanical and electrical properties of monolayers of biological materials at air-liquid interfaces, and the physical chemistry of hemoglobin.

During World War II, Wyman briefly left Harvard to work for the United States Navy doing research on problems of underwater sound and atmosphere circulation.

In 1951, Wyman left Harvard to become the first Scientific Advisor to the U.S. Embassy in Paris.

He spent three years working in the Middle East for the United Nations as a director of one of the four regional science cooperation offices of UNESCO, from 1955-1958.

In 1958, Wyman published the textbook, Biophysical Chemistry, which he cowrote with his Harvard colleague, Professor John T. Edsall.

In 1960, Wyman returned to scientific research as a guest scientist at the University of Rome's Biochemical Institute and at the Instituto Regina Elena where his research focused on the structure and function of hemoglobin.

Wyman died at his home in Paris on November 4, 1995.

Acquisition Information

Accession number: 12448. Donor: Jeffries Wyman via Maurizio Brunori. Received: June 15, 1992

Related Material

In the Harvard University Archives
  1. Papers of John T. Edsall (HUG 4352)
  2. Wyman family papers, unprocessed (accession 14824)
  3. Wyman's letters to his daughter were published in Letters from Japan,1950 (Somerville, Mass. : Fleming Printing Company, 2000.)
Other related collections
  1. The Service des Archives in the Institute Pasteur, Paris, France holds correspondence between Wyman and Jacques Monod among the Fonds d'archives Jacques Monod.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2016 March 25.

Processing Information

Processed May 22, 1996.
Link to catalog
Wyman, Jeffries, 1901-1995. Papers of Jeffries Wyman, 1957-1985 : an inventory
Harvard University Archives
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Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

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