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COLLECTION Identifier: HUM 323

Richard J. Friary collection of Woodward Research Institute materials

Overview

The Richard J. Friary collection of Woodward Research Institute materials document Friary’s association with the Woodward Research Institute and Harvard physicist Robert Burns Woodward in the early 1970s. Friary is a synthetic organic and medicinal chemist who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than thirty years.

Dates

  • 1970-1979

Creator

Researcher Access

Open for research.

Extent

.40 cubic feet (1 document box, 1 flat box)
The records, including weekly progress reports, situation reviews, and photographs document Richard J. Friary’s association with the Woodward Research Institute and Robert Burns Woodward in the early 1970s. Also included are postcards with reproductions of Swiss artist Han Erni lithographs of Woodward and Laocoön, a painting presented to Woodward on this sixtieth birthday by his students. The records also include a blue tie featuring an image of Woodward holding a cigarette.

Biographical note on Richard J. Friary

Richard Friary (born 1942), is a synthetic organic and medicinal chemist employed by the Schering-Plough Research Institute. Friary received his BA from Colby College in 1964, his MA from Dartmouth College in 1966, and his PhD from Fordham University in 1970. Friary worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Woodward Research Institute in Basel, Switzerland from 1970 to 1973; he is one of only a few chemists to have written as many as two articles with Woodward. At the Woodward Research Institute, Friary learned medicinal chemistry by making cephalosporin C analogs as antibacterial agents, and organic synthesis through a total synthesis of prostaglandin F 2a. Friary discovered a safe and effective drug that relieves psoriasis and dermatitis. Eighteen patents and thirty-one articles name Friary as an inventor or author.
Biographical note on Robert Burns Woodward Robert Burns Woodward (1917-1979), was an American chemist best known for his synthesis of complex organic substances, including cholesterol and cortisone (1951), strychnine (1954), and vitamin B12 (1971). In 1965, Woodward was awarded the Noble Prize for Chemistry. After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1937, Woodward spent a summer at the University of Illinois, leaving in the fall to join the chemistry department at Harvard University, where he remained until his death in 1979.

Woodward founded the Woodward Research Institute at the Ciba Company (Ciba-Geigy from 1970) in Basel, Switzerland in 1963; he was its first and only director. The Institute gave Woodward the opportunity to perform original research in the field of chemical compounds or processes associated with living organisms; two of the research areas covered by the Institute were the synthesis of prostaglandins and antibiotics. Although financially supported by Ciba, the Institute was a separate entity, as symbolized by the glass door between the Institute and Ciba’s facilities. Woodward carried out his research with younger chemists, usually his former students and co-workers, using the battery of physical instrumentation that only a major pharmaceutical company could afford in the early 1960s. The Institute closed after Woodward’s death in 1979.

Acquisition information

Richard J. Friary collection of Woodward Research Institute materials donated to the Harvard University Archives by Richard J. Friary.
  1. Accession number: 2018.729; 2018 June 23.

Related Material

In the Harvard University Archives
  1. Papers of Robert Burns Woodward, 1873-1980 (HUGFP 68.xxx).
  2. Papers of Robert Burns Woodward [accessions], 1956-1968, 1975 (Accessions 13081,14805, 14903).

References

  • "Richard J. Friary." Scribd. Accessed October 25, 2018. https://www.scribd.com/author/341933406/Richard-J-Friary.
  • "Robert Burns Woodward." Britannica Library, Encyclopædia Britannica, 11 Aug. 2018. library.eb.com/levels/referencecenter/article/Robert-Burns-Woodward/77435. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018.

Processing Information

Richard J. Friary collection of Woodward Research Institute materials processed in October 2018 by Dominic P. Grandinetti. Processing included rehousing the records into appropriate containers and the creation of this finding aid. Folder titles transcribed by the archivist.
Link to catalog
Title
Friary, Richard, 1942- . Richard J. Friary collection of Woodward Research Institute materials, 1970-1979: an inventory
Status
completed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
EAD ID
hua42018

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.

Contact:
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