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National Library of Medicine

Finding Aid to the Oswald T. Avery Collection1912-2005

Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program, History of Medicine Division
Processed by DMP Staff
Processing Completed 1999
Encoded by Kim Dixon


Summary Information
Title: Oswald T. Avery Collection
Creator: Avery, Oswald Theodore, 1877-1955
Dates: 1912-2005
Extent: 2.6 linear feet (6 boxes)
Abstract:
Artificial collection of primarily secondary research materials and photocopies of originals from the Rockefeller Archive Center assembled by Avery's colleague Joshua Lederberg. Avery's career focused on a "systematic effort to understand the biological activities of pathogenic bacteria through a knowledge of their chemical composition," focusing most of his research on a single species of pneumococcus, Diplococcus pneumoniae. The collection falls roughly into two parts: items related to the discovery of the transforming principle and items related to the discovery's reception by the scientific community.

Call number: MS C 497
Language: English
Location: Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Access Restrictions:

Collection is not restricted. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access.

Copyright and Re-use Information

NLM does not possess copyright to the collection. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation:

Avery, Oswald Theodore. Oswald T. Avery Collection. 1912-2005. Located in: Modern Manuscripts Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD; MS C 497.

Alternate Forms Available:

Portions of the Collection have been digitized and are available at: http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov

Provenance:

Assembled and donated by Joshua Lederberg.

Apppendix A: Associated and Related Materials

  • Heidelberger, Michael. "Interview with Harlan B. Phillips. New York, 20-22 November 1968." 4 reels, 1/2 track, 3 3/4 ips, 8 hrs. Note: HMD Collection OH 35 Transcript, with index (205 pp.) and catalogue of papers (237 pp.). MH Papers MS C 245
  • Rockefeller Archive Center (North Tarrytown NY), Rockefeller University Archives, "Oswald T. Avery Papers, 1913-1983."
  • Tennessee State Library and Archives (Nashville, TN), Manuscript Collections, "Avery, Oswald Theodore, 1877-1955: Papers, 1867-1970 (Accession Numbers 70-128; 72-197)."

Appendix B: Published Materials Mentioned-but not Contained- in the Collection

  • Avery, Oswald T. "Presentation of the Kober Medal to Dr. Alphonse R. Dochez." Transactions of the Association of American Physicians 62 (1949): 24-29.
  • Cairns, John, Gunther S. Stent, and James D. Watson, eds. Phage and the Origins of Molecular Biology. [no place], Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory of Quantitative Biology, 1966. [sometimes cited as PATOOMB; expanded edition 1992]
  • Cohen, S[eymour]. S. "Some Contributions of the Princeton Laboratory of the Rockefeller Institute on Proteins, Viruses, Enzymes, and Nucleic Acids." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 325 (31 May 1979): 302-306.
  • Hotchkiss, Rollin D. "The Identification of Nucleic Acids as Genetic Determinants." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 325 (31 May 1979): 320-342.
  • Hotchkiss, Rollin D. "DNA in the Decade before the Double Helix." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 758 (30 June 1995): 55-73.
  • McCarty, Maclyn. "Obituary Notice - Oswald Theodore Avery, 1877-1955." Journal of General Microbiology 17, no. 3 (December 1957): 539-49.
  • Mirsky, Alfred E. "Discovery of DNA." Scientific American 218, no. 6 (June 1968): 78-88.
  • Stent, Gunther S. "DNA." Daedalus 99 (Fall 1970): 909-937.
  • Watson, James D. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA Edited by Gunther S. Stent with text, commentary, reviews, original papers. A Norton Critical Edition. New York, Norton, 1980. [originally published by Atheneum in 1968; portions of the book were first published in the Atlantic Monthly.]
  • Wyatt, H. V. "How History Has Blended" Nature 249, no. 460 (28 June 1974): 803-806.
  • Wyatt, H. V. "Knowledge and Prematurity: The Journey from Transformation to DNA." Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 18, no. 2 (Winter 1975): 149-156.

averyFinding Aid to the Oswald T. Avery Collection, 1912-2005Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program, History of Medicine Division1.0History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, 20894
USA
Phone: (301) 402-8878 (Reference Desk)
Fax: (301) 402-0872
Email: hmdref@nlm.nih.gov
Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Kim DixonFinding aid is written in English

National Library of Medicine

Finding Aid to the Oswald T. Avery Collection1912-2005

Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program, History of Medicine Division
Processed by DMP Staff
Processing Completed 1999
Encoded by Kim Dixon

Descriptive Summary

Avery, Oswald Theodore, 1877-1955Oswald T. Avery Collection Dates: 1912-20052.6 linear feet (6 boxes)MS C 497 Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine EnglishAbstract:Artificial collection of primarily secondary research materials and photocopies of originals from the Rockefeller Archive Center assembled by Avery's colleague Joshua Lederberg. Avery's career focused on a "systematic effort to understand the biological activities of pathogenic bacteria through a knowledge of their chemical composition," focusing most of his research on a single species of pneumococcus, Diplococcus pneumoniae. The collection falls roughly into two parts: items related to the discovery of the transforming principle and items related to the discovery's reception by the scientific community.Provenance:

Assembled and donated by Joshua Lederberg.

Access Restrictions:

Collection is not restricted. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access.

Copyright and Re-use Information

NLM does not possess copyright to the collection. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation:

Avery, Oswald Theodore. Oswald T. Avery Collection. 1912-2005. Located in: Modern Manuscripts Collection, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD; MS C 497.

Alternate Forms Available:

Portions of the Collection have been digitized and are available at: http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov

Apppendix A: Associated and Related Materials

  • Heidelberger, Michael. "Interview with Harlan B. Phillips. New York, 20-22 November 1968." 4 reels, 1/2 track, 3 3/4 ips, 8 hrs. Note: HMD Collection OH 35 Transcript, with index (205 pp.) and catalogue of papers (237 pp.). MH Papers MS C 245
  • Rockefeller Archive Center (North Tarrytown NY), Rockefeller University Archives, "Oswald T. Avery Papers, 1913-1983."
  • Tennessee State Library and Archives (Nashville, TN), Manuscript Collections, "Avery, Oswald Theodore, 1877-1955: Papers, 1867-1970 (Accession Numbers 70-128; 72-197)."

Appendix B: Published Materials Mentioned-but not Contained- in the Collection

  • Avery, Oswald T. "Presentation of the Kober Medal to Dr. Alphonse R. Dochez." Transactions of the Association of American Physicians 62 (1949): 24-29.
  • Cairns, John, Gunther S. Stent, and James D. Watson, eds. Phage and the Origins of Molecular Biology. [no place], Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory of Quantitative Biology, 1966. [sometimes cited as PATOOMB; expanded edition 1992]
  • Cohen, S[eymour]. S. "Some Contributions of the Princeton Laboratory of the Rockefeller Institute on Proteins, Viruses, Enzymes, and Nucleic Acids." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 325 (31 May 1979): 302-306.
  • Hotchkiss, Rollin D. "The Identification of Nucleic Acids as Genetic Determinants." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 325 (31 May 1979): 320-342.
  • Hotchkiss, Rollin D. "DNA in the Decade before the Double Helix." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 758 (30 June 1995): 55-73.
  • McCarty, Maclyn. "Obituary Notice - Oswald Theodore Avery, 1877-1955." Journal of General Microbiology 17, no. 3 (December 1957): 539-49.
  • Mirsky, Alfred E. "Discovery of DNA." Scientific American 218, no. 6 (June 1968): 78-88.
  • Stent, Gunther S. "DNA." Daedalus 99 (Fall 1970): 909-937.
  • Watson, James D. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA Edited by Gunther S. Stent with text, commentary, reviews, original papers. A Norton Critical Edition. New York, Norton, 1980. [originally published by Atheneum in 1968; portions of the book were first published in the Atlantic Monthly.]
  • Wyatt, H. V. "How History Has Blended" Nature 249, no. 460 (28 June 1974): 803-806.
  • Wyatt, H. V. "Knowledge and Prematurity: The Journey from Transformation to DNA." Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 18, no. 2 (Winter 1975): 149-156.

Glossary of Significant Individuals, Organizations, Events, and Terms

  • Alloway, James L. - with OTA 1930-1932
  • APS - American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Austrian, Robert (1916-)
  • Avery Family - parents: Elizabeth Crowdy Avery (1843-1910) and Joseph Francis Avery (1847-1892), a Baptist minister in Halifax, N.S., and pastor of Mariner's Church, NYC; OTA's brother Roy Crowdy Avery, a bacteriologist at Vanderbilt, married Catherine Berry Pilcher
  • "Beets" - George W. Beadle [personal communication from Joshua Lederberg]
  • Bronk, Detlev W. (1897-1975) - 1954-68 RIMR Director
  • Caspersson, Torbjorn O. (1910-) - 1944-1977 professor at Nobel Institute
  • Chargraff, Erwin (1905-) - 1935 - Columbia
  • Coburn, Alvin F. (1899-1975) - undergraduate - Yale; MD - Johns Hopkins; Columbia P & S; New York Medical College (Microbiology)
  • Cole, Rufus (Ivory) (1872-1966) - first director RIMR Hospital
  • CSH - Cold Spring Harbor (a laboratory and a symposium)
  • Davis, Bernard D. (1916- )
  • Dawson, Martin H(enry). - with OTA 1926-1929; (according to Dubos, he was an English Canadian)
  • Demerec, Milislav (1895-1966) - 1943 - CSH Director
  • Do(h) - see Dochez
  • Doby - see Dobzhansky
  • Dobzhansky, Theodosius G. (1900-1975) - 1940-62 Columbia (Zoology); 1941 Genetics and the Origin of Species [GATOOS] (1937, based on lectures in 1936; 1941, 2nd ed. rev.); 1962-1971
  • Dochez, Alphonse R(aymond). (1882-1964) - shared bachelor quarters with OTA (Rockefeller Institute Review, 9-10/64); nicknamed "Doh" (NAS Biographical Memoirsvol. 42); worked with Avery on pneumococcus (ca. 1915-1917)
  • Dubos, René J(ules). (1901-82) - 1927- RIMR (1942-44 Harvard); 1945 The Bacterial Cell in its Relation to Problems of Virulence, Immunity and Chemotherapy; 1960 Passano Award; 1969 Pulitzer for So Human an Animal
  • Dunn, L.C. (Leslie Clarence) (1893-1974) - 1928-1962 Columbia (Zoology)
  • Ephrussi, Boris (1901-1979)
  • Ephrussi-Taylor, Harriett (1918-68) - American Men & Women of Science 11: 1945-46 Columbia, 1946-47 RIMR; 1948-54? France; 1961-68 Western Reserve: resume [ca. 1944]: 1938 BA Radcliffe; 1938-40 UCLA; 1942 MA (Zoology) UCLA; 1940 - Columbia; 1943 matriculated for Ph.D.; references include Dunn and Waelsch correspondence: with OTA 9/45-10/47 points out Avery article to Joshua Lederberg in 1/45; student of LC Dunn at Columbia; married Boris Ephrussi 10/5/49
  • Fess - "[OTA's] lectures at Hoagland won him the appellation "The Professor," by which he was known throughout his career" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography); "fess" "shortening of Professor" chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. (Random House Dict.2, 1987); see also Red Seal Records
  • GATOOS - see Dobzhansky
  • Griffith, Fred(erick) (1879 or 81-1941)
  • Heidelberger, Michael (1888-1991) - 1912-1927 RIMR, 1927-1956 Columbia
  • Hershey, Alfred D. (1908- ) - 1950- CSH; 1952 with Martha Chase: Independent Functions of Viral Proteins and Nucleic Acid in the Growth of Bacteriophage; 1960- CSH director; 1969 shares Nobel with Max Delbrück and Salvador E. Luria (also founders of the 'phage group')
  • Hoagland Laboratory for Bacteriological Research - 1887 founded
  • Horsfall, Frank L(appin). (1906-1971)
  • Hotchkiss, Rollin D. (1911- ) - with OTA 1935-1942 & 1946-1948; 1935-1982 at RIMR
  • JCB - Journal of Cell Biology (RUP, 1962 - ); Journal of Biophysical and Biochemical Cytology (1955-1961)
  • JEM - Journal of Experimental Medicine (RUP, 1896- )
  • JGP - Journal of General Physiology (RUP, 1918- )
  • Lederberg, Joshua (5/23/25- ) - 1944 BA Columbia; 1944-46 Columbia P & S; 1947 pH Yale; 1947-59 Wisconsin; 1958 Nobel with Tatum and Beadle; 1959-78 Stanford; 1978-90 President RU
  • Levene, P(hoebus). A. T. (1869-1940) - 1905-39 RIMR
  • MacLeod, Colin M(unro). (1909-2/12/72) - with OTA 1937-41, then NYU School of Medicine; [also born in Nova Scotia]
  • McCarty, Maclyn (1911- ) - with OTA 1941-46; 1940-74 RU
  • Member - "until 1957, laboratory heads were designated Members of the Institute" (RAC)
  • Mirsky, Alfred E. (1900-74) - 1927-65 RU biochemist & physiologist; 1965- RU librarian
  • Mueller, J(ohn). Howard (1891-1954)
  • PATOOMB - Cairns, John, Gunther S. Stent, and James D. Watson, eds. Phage and the Origins of Molecular Biology. [no place], Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory of Quantitative Biology, 1966. (also expanded edition 1992)
  • Pittendrigh, Colin S. (1918-96)
  • RAC - Rockefeller Archive Center (North Tarrytown, NY)
  • "Red Seal Records" - reference to OTA's polished soliloquies / monologues / discourses on research; [from the RCA Victor series of phonograph records?]; see also Fess
  • RIMR - Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (1901 founded; 1958 becomes Rockefeller Institute; 1965 Rockefeller University); Directors/Presidents: 1903-35 Flexner; 1935-53 Herbert S. Gasser; 1954-68 Bronk, 1969-77 Frederick Seitz, 1978-90 Lederberg
  • Rivers, Thomas M(ilton). (1888-1962) - 1922-55 RIMR; 1953-55 Vice President of the Institute
  • Rous, (Francis) Peyton (1879-1970) - 1923-70 a co-editor of JEM; 1909-45 at RIMR; 1966 Nobel Prize (55 years after his original publication)
  • RU - see RIMR
  • Ryan, Francis J. (1916-63) - 1937- Columbia (Zoology)
  • Scientific Reports of the Laboratories to the Board of Scientific Directors - (RG 439), 42 vols. "Starting in 1901, the year the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research was founded, and continuing until the Institute was reorganized in the mid-1950s, every laboratory, research group, and special program submitted annual reports of all research to the corporate body that oversaw the Institute's scientific activities." (RAC)
  • Sonneborn, Tracy Morton (1905-81) - 1928 Ph.D. Johns Hopkins; 1939-76 Indiana University
  • Spiegelman, Sol (1914- )
  • Stanley, Wendell M(eredith). (1904-71) - 1931/2-48 RIMR, Princeton; 1946 shared Nobel prize in Chemistry; 1948- Berkeley
  • Stent, Gunther S. (1924- ) - 1952- Berkeley
  • Taylor, Harriett E. - see Ephrussi-Taylor, Harriett
  • Transforming Principle -- DNA, sometimes referred to as the "transforming substance" or "active principle"
  • Wilkins, Maurice H. F. (1914- )
  • Wyatt, H. V. (Harold Vivian, 1926- )
  • Zinder, Norton D(avid). (1928- ) 1952- RIMR

Biographical Note

Oswald Theodore Avery was born on October 21, 1877, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the child of British emigrants. When his father, a Baptist minister, was invited to become the pastor of a New York City church in 1887, the family moved to the Lower East Side. Avery attended both Colgate Academy and Colgate University, where, as a talented cornetist, he became leader of the college band. He received his A.B. in 1900. Upon graduating from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1904, Avery entered general practice. In 1907, however, frustrated by medicine's inability to help some patients, he moved to laboratory work at the Hoagland Laboratory (Brooklyn), the first privately endowed bacteriological research institute in the country. Here Avery established what René J. Dubos has called the pattern of his career - the "systematic effort to understand the biological activities of pathogenic bacteria through a knowledge of their chemical composition."

Avery came to the attention of Rufus Cole, the director of the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, through his paper on secondary infections in pulmonary tuberculosis. Founded in 1910, the Hospital aimed to further medical research by enabling researchers to pursue laboratory and clinical investigations of the diseases treated in the hospital's wards. One of Cole's goals was to develop a therapeutic serum--like that which had been developed for diphtheria--for pneumonia, and to this end he asked Avery to join the Hospital's pneumonia research program. Avery moved to the Rockefeller Institute in 1913, where he focused most of his research for the next 35 years on a single species of pneumococcus, Diplococcus pneumoniae.

During World War I, Avery applied for the U.S. Army Medical Corps, but was rejected because he was still a Canadian citizen. He was accepted as a private, which qualified him for naturalization, and eventually commissioned a captain. Avery's wartime duties included instructing Army medical officers in the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia. The work of his lab also extended during this period to research on respiratory diseases of interest to the military, such as influenza and secondary pneumonic infections.

After becoming a member emeritus at the Rockefeller Institute in 1943, Avery continued his research there until 1948. He then moved to Nashville to be closer to his brother, Roy Avery, a bacteriologist at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. He died in Nashville on 20 February 1955 at the age of 77.

Avery achieved many honors during his career. He served as president of the American Association of Immunologists, the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists, and the Society of American Bacteriologists. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a member of a number of foreign learned societies, including the Royal Society of London. He received honorary degrees from McGill University, New York University, the University of Chicago, and Rutgers University, as well as awards from organizations such as the American Public Health Association, the Royal Society of London, the American College of Physicians, the Association of American Physicians, and the New York Academy of Medicine.

Brief Chronology

1887Father moves family to New York City
1900Receives A.B. from Colgate University
1904Receives M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University practices medicine (general surgery) in New York City
1907-13Associate Director, Hoagland Laboratory, Brooklyn (works with Benjamin White)
1913-48Career at Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research [RIMR]
1913Becomes Assistant, Department of Hospital (October)
1915Becomes Associate, Department of Hospital (July 1st)
1917Works with Alphonse R. Dochez; serves in the US Army Medical Corps
1918Becomes a US citizen
1919Becomes an Associate Member at RIMR (July 1st)
1923Becomes a "Member" at RIMR (July 1st); works with Michael Heidelberger
1943Becomes Emeritus Member (July 1st); remains at RIMR until 1948
1944Publishes results of research with MacLeod and McCarty on the transforming principle
1945Receives the Copley Medal from the Royal Society of London
1947Receives the Lasker Award from the American Public Health Association
1948Retires to Nashville
1955Dies in Nashville (February 20th)
1965Avery Memorial Gateway dedicated at Rockefeller University
1976René J. Dubos's The Professor, The Institute, and DNA
1985Maclyn McCarty's The Transforming Principle: Discovering that Genes Are Made of DNA

Selected Awards

1921Sc.D., Colgate University
1929American Association of Immunologists, President
1932John Phillips Memorial Award, American College of Physicians, Paul Ehrlich Gold Medal
1934American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists, President
1935LL.D., McGill University; National Academy of Sciences, Member
1942Society of American Bacteriologists, President
1944Royal Society of London, Foreign Member; Gold Medal, New York Academy of Medicine
1945Copley Medal, Royal Society of London; Kober Foundation Medal, Association of American Physicians
1946Charles Mickle Fellowship, University of Toronto
1947Sc.D., New York University; Lasker Award, American Public Health Association
1949Passano Foundation Award
1950Sc.D., University of Chicago; Pasteur Gold Medal, Swedish Medical Society, Stockholm
1953Sc.D., Rutgers University

The collection consist of materials collected by Avery colleague Joshua Lederberg that represent the work of Oswald T. Avery. The collection comprises 2.6 linear feet of material including reprints, books, laboratory notes, correspondence, speeches, institutional reports, photographs, and audio cassettes. A significant number of items are photocopies acquired from the Rockefeller Archive Center and the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The collection is arranged chronologically. Material dated later than 1954 reflects articles, correspondence and commentary related to Avery but not generated by him. There are also various antidotal comments made by Lederberg in the 1990s and recently add material from 2005.

The collection is divided into four series centered on two themes: documents related to the discovery of the transforming principle and documents related to the discovery's reception by the scientific community. Obituaries which summarize Avery's life and work can be found in Series 1: Personal and Biographical, 1931-2000.

Series 2: Research and Discovery of the Transforming Principle, 1912-1999, is divided into three subseries: Preliminary Research, Excerpts from the Rockefeller Institute Reports, and Succeeding Research. Materials of particular interest are original lab notebook pages which document experiments in Avery's laboratory and a letter written in 1943 from Avery to his brother addressing Avery's thoughts about the discovery of the transforming principle. Also included is a copy of The Journal of Experimental Medicine's 35th anniversary reprint of Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty's article, "Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types," which was originally published in 1944.

Series 3: Commentary on Avery and His Work, 1944-2005, is divided into five subseries: Chronological, Inquiries on Avery, Lectures, Publications, and Audiovisuals and contains articles, manuscript material, and transcripts of audio recordings documenting how Avery's discovery was received and understood by the biomedical community. In Series 4: Photographs, 1923-1950, there are staff group photographs from the Rockefeller Institute Hospital and several candid snapshots of Avery.

Index Terms

These terms are indexed in the National Library of Medicine's online catalog LocatorPlus. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog using these terms.

    MeSH Subjects

    • Antigens
    • Bacterial Typing Techniques
    • Bacterial Vaccines
    • Genetics, Microbial
    • Immune Sera
    • Molecular Biology
    • Pneumococcal Infections
    • Recombination, Genetic
    • Streptococcus pneumoniae
    • Transformation, Bacterial
    • Transformation, Genetic
    Personal Names

    • Lederberg, Joshua
    • McCarty, Maclyn
    • Dubos, René J. (René Jules), 1901-1982
    Corporate Names

    • Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research

    Series Descriptions

    Series 1: Personal and Biographical, 1931-200011 Biographical, Background, and Bibliographic Information, 1956-1978, 1980-1988, [2000]12 Additional Materials Relating to O.T. Avery, 1931-1948, 1960-1972, 1987-1999 Series 2: Research and Discovery of the Transforming Principle, 1912-1999
    This series contains articles, correspondence, notes, reports, newsletters, photographs, negatives, and manuscript drafts leading to Avery's discovery of the transforming principle and research based on and succeeding the discovery. The series is divided into three subseries: Preliminary Research, Excerpts from the Rockefeller Institute Reports, and Succeeding Research. The Preliminary Research Subseries contains a copy of The Journal of Experimental Medicine's 35th anniversary reprint of Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty's article, "Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types," which was originally published in 1944. The subseries also contains original pages from Avery's laboratory notebooks that document experiments in his laboratory during 1940 to 1946.

    Preliminary Research13 Avery's Letter to His Brother, 1943, 197614 Laboratory Notes, 1940-194615 Scientific Articles, 1928-1937, 1966, 1980-198416 "Transformation" Before Avery, 1934-1941, 198817 Reprints of the 1944 Article, 1979, 199418 Duplicates, undated Excerpts from the Rockefeller Institute Reports21Jan 1912 - Oct 191422Jan 1915 - Oct 191623Jan - Oct 191724Jan - Oct 191825Jan - Oct 191926Jan - Oct 192027Jan - Oct 192128Jan - Oct 192229Apr 1922 - Oct 1923210Oct 1923 - Oct 1924211Apr 1924 - Oct 192531Apr 1925 - Oct 192632Apr - Oct 192733Apr - Oct 192834Apr - Oct 192935Apr - Oct 193036Apr - Oct 193137Apr - Oct 193238Apr - Oct 193339Oct 1933 - Oct 1934310Oct 1934 - Apr 1935311Oct 1935 - Oct 1936312Oct 1936 - Oct 1937313Oct 1937 - Oct 1938314Oct 1938 - Oct 1939315Oct 1939 - Oct 1940316Apr - Oct 1941317Apr - Oct 1942318Apr - Oct 1943319Apr - Oct 1944320Apr - Oct 1945321Apr - Oct 1946322Apr - Oct 1947323Apr - Oct 1948 Succeeding Research41 1943/44-1979, 1943-1944, 197942 Robert Austrian Articles, 1949-195943 Harriett Ephrussi-Taylor Articles, 1950-196744 Bibliographies of Articles Based on Avery, 1955-1961, 1970-1999 Series 3: Commentary on Avery and His Work, 1944-2005
    This series consists of articles, manuscript material, books, and transcripts of audio recordings documenting how Avery's discovery was received and understood by the biomedical community. The series is divided into five subseries: Chronological, Inquiries on Avery, Lectures, Publications, and Audiovisuals. The series also contains anecdotal commentary from such scientists as Maclyn McCarty, Joshua Lederberg, and René Dubos.

    Chronological451944-1952 [1944-1998]461964-1969471969-1974481975-1979491980-1994511994-2002 Inquiries on Avery52 Lederberg Inquiries, 1962, 1972-197853 Supplementary Materials, 1945-1947, 1971, 1981-1986, [2005]54 50th Anniversary of the 1944 Article, 1993-199555 Passano Foundation Award Materials, 1949, 1979, [1999] Lectures56 Sonneborn, Tracy Morton, Contact Prints, 1946-195157 "Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty Anniversary Symposium", 1979 Publications6The Professor, The Institute, and DNA: Oswald T. Avery His Life and Scientific Achievements; René J. Dubos, 19766The Transforming Principle: Discovering that Genes are Made of DNA; Maclyn McCarty, 19856The Path to the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA; Robert Olby, 1994 Audiovisuals6 Avery Gateway Dedication, 19656 35th Anniversary/DNA Publication [2 audio cassettes], 1979 Series 4: Photographs, 1923-195058 Oswald T. Avery, undated59 Colleagues of O.T. Avery, undated510 Frederick Griffith, undated511 Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, Hospital Staff, 1923-1950

    Collection Scope and Content Note

    The collection consist of materials collected by Avery colleague Joshua Lederberg that represent the work of Oswald T. Avery. The collection comprises 2.6 linear feet of material including reprints, books, laboratory notes, correspondence, speeches, institutional reports, photographs, and audio cassettes. A significant number of items are photocopies acquired from the Rockefeller Archive Center and the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The collection is arranged chronologically. Material dated later than 1954 reflects articles, correspondence and commentary related to Avery but not generated by him. There are also various antidotal comments made by Lederberg in the 1990s and recently add material from 2005.

    The collection is divided into four series centered on two themes: documents related to the discovery of the transforming principle and documents related to the discovery's reception by the scientific community. Obituaries which summarize Avery's life and work can be found in Series 1: Personal and Biographical, 1931-2000.

    Series 2: Research and Discovery of the Transforming Principle, 1912-1999, is divided into three subseries: Preliminary Research, Excerpts from the Rockefeller Institute Reports, and Succeeding Research. Materials of particular interest are original lab notebook pages which document experiments in Avery's laboratory and a letter written in 1943 from Avery to his brother addressing Avery's thoughts about the discovery of the transforming principle. Also included is a copy of The Journal of Experimental Medicine's 35th anniversary reprint of Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty's article, "Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types," which was originally published in 1944.

    Series 3: Commentary on Avery and His Work, 1944-2005, is divided into five subseries: Chronological, Inquiries on Avery, Lectures, Publications, and Audiovisuals and contains articles, manuscript material, and transcripts of audio recordings documenting how Avery's discovery was received and understood by the biomedical community. In Series 4: Photographs, 1923-1950, there are staff group photographs from the Rockefeller Institute Hospital and several candid snapshots of Avery.

    Contents List
    Box | Folder Title
     
    Series 1: Personal and Biographical, 1931-2000 [series]:
    1 1
    Biographical, Background, and Bibliographic Information, 1956-1978, 1980-1988, [2000]
    1 2
    Additional Materials Relating to O.T. Avery, 1931-1948, 1960-1972, 1987-1999
     
    Series 2: Research and Discovery of the Transforming Principle, 1912-1999 [series]:

    This series contains articles, correspondence, notes, reports, newsletters, photographs, negatives, and manuscript drafts leading to Avery's discovery of the transforming principle and research based on and succeeding the discovery. The series is divided into three subseries: Preliminary Research, Excerpts from the Rockefeller Institute Reports, and Succeeding Research. The Preliminary Research Subseries contains a copy of The Journal of Experimental Medicine's 35th anniversary reprint of Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty's article, "Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types," which was originally published in 1944. The subseries also contains original pages from Avery's laboratory notebooks that document experiments in his laboratory during 1940 to 1946.

     
    Preliminary Research [subseries]:
    1 3
    Avery's Letter to His Brother, 1943, 1976
    1 4
    Laboratory Notes, 1940-1946
    1 5
    Scientific Articles, 1928-1937, 1966, 1980-1984
    1 6
    "Transformation" Before Avery, 1934-1941, 1988
    1 7
    Reprints of the 1944 Article, 1979, 1994
    1 8
    Duplicates, undated
     
    Excerpts from the Rockefeller Institute Reports [subseries]:
    2 1
    Jan 1912 - Oct 1914
    2 2
    Jan 1915 - Oct 1916
    2 3
    Jan - Oct 1917
    2 4
    Jan - Oct 1918
    2 5
    Jan - Oct 1919
    2 6
    Jan - Oct 1920
    2 7
    Jan - Oct 1921
    2 8
    Jan - Oct 1922
    2 9
    Apr 1922 - Oct 1923
    2 10
    Oct 1923 - Oct 1924
    2 11
    Apr 1924 - Oct 1925
    3 1
    Apr 1925 - Oct 1926
    3 2
    Apr - Oct 1927
    3 3
    Apr - Oct 1928
    3 4
    Apr - Oct 1929
    3 5
    Apr - Oct 1930
    3 6
    Apr - Oct 1931
    3 7
    Apr - Oct 1932
    3 8
    Apr - Oct 1933
    3 9
    Oct 1933 - Oct 1934
    3 10
    Oct 1934 - Apr 1935
    3 11
    Oct 1935 - Oct 1936
    3 12
    Oct 1936 - Oct 1937
    3 13
    Oct 1937 - Oct 1938
    3 14
    Oct 1938 - Oct 1939
    3 15
    Oct 1939 - Oct 1940
    3 16
    Apr - Oct 1941
    3 17
    Apr - Oct 1942
    3 18
    Apr - Oct 1943
    3 19
    Apr - Oct 1944
    3 20
    Apr - Oct 1945
    3 21
    Apr - Oct 1946
    3 22
    Apr - Oct 1947
    3 23
    Apr - Oct 1948
     
    Succeeding Research [subseries]:
    4 1
    1943/44-1979, 1943-1944, 1979
    4 2
    Robert Austrian Articles, 1949-1959
    4 3
    Harriett Ephrussi-Taylor Articles, 1950-1967
    4 4
    Bibliographies of Articles Based on Avery, 1955-1961, 1970-1999
     
    Series 3: Commentary on Avery and His Work, 1944-2005 [series]:

    This series consists of articles, manuscript material, books, and transcripts of audio recordings documenting how Avery's discovery was received and understood by the biomedical community. The series is divided into five subseries: Chronological, Inquiries on Avery, Lectures, Publications, and Audiovisuals. The series also contains anecdotal commentary from such scientists as Maclyn McCarty, Joshua Lederberg, and René Dubos.

     
    Chronological [subseries]:
    4 5
    1944-1952 [1944-1998]
    4 6
    1964-1969
    4 7
    1969-1974
    4 8
    1975-1979
    4 9
    1980-1994
    5 1
    1994-2002
     
    Inquiries on Avery [subseries]:
    5 2
    Lederberg Inquiries, 1962, 1972-1978
    5 3
    Supplementary Materials, 1945-1947, 1971, 1981-1986, [2005]
    5 4
    50th Anniversary of the 1944 Article, 1993-1995
    5 5
    Passano Foundation Award Materials, 1949, 1979, [1999]
     
    Lectures [subseries]:
    5 6
    Sonneborn, Tracy Morton, Contact Prints, 1946-1951
    5 7
    "Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty Anniversary Symposium", 1979
     
    Publications [subseries]:
    6
    The Professor, The Institute, and DNA: Oswald T. Avery His Life and Scientific Achievements; René J. Dubos, 1976
    6
    The Transforming Principle: Discovering that Genes are Made of DNA; Maclyn McCarty, 1985
    6
    The Path to the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA; Robert Olby, 1994
     
    Audiovisuals [subseries]:
    6
    Avery Gateway Dedication, 1965
    6
    35th Anniversary/DNA Publication [2 audio cassettes], 1979
     
    Series 4: Photographs, 1923-1950 [series]:
    5 8
    Oswald T. Avery, undated
    5 9
    Colleagues of O.T. Avery, undated
    5 10
    Frederick Griffith, undated
    5 11
    Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, Hospital Staff, 1923-1950