Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Haurowitz mss., 1920-1985, consist of the papers of chemist and Indiana University professor Felix Haurowitz, 1896-1987. Haurowitz was born in Prague on Mar. 1, 1896. In 1915 he was drafted into the Austrian army and sent to the Austrian front during World War I. It was here that he developed a keen interest in chemistry from reading textbooks sent by his parents. He was subsequently granted a year's leave by the government to obtain a medical degree which he received in 1922. He earned a doctorate of science degree in 1923 and in 1925 was appointed assistant professor at the German University in Prague. Over the next few years, working with several important biochemists, he researched hemoglobin and its derivatives. He began work on his popular "Progress in Biochemistry" series and from 1930 made immunochemistry his principal area of research. When the Nazi invasion forced him to leave Prague in 1939, he took the position of Head of Biological and Medical Chemistry in the Medical School at University of Istanbul, Turkey. He devoted himself to teaching, research and producing a Turkish textbook of biochemistry. In 1948 he was appointed professor of Chemistry, Indiana University, where he received in 1958 the title Distinguished Professor. During his career he gained wide-spread recognition for his work on antibodies and received numerous honors which included the Paul Erhlich gold medal (West Germany), election to the German Academy of Scientists (Leopoldina), Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and member of the National Academy of Sciences. He was also awarded an honorary MD by the University of Istanbul and an honorary doctorate of science degree by Indiana University. In 1971 he was honored at the First International Congress of Immunology for "distinguished services to immunology." Of his ten books he considered the Chemistry and Biology of Proteins , whose second edition was called Chemistry and Function of Proteins, to be the most important. Both were reprinted and translated into many languages including Japanese and Russian. He remained active in science up to his death in 1987.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Departmental; III. Research/Writings; IV. Conferences; V. Societies; VI. Photographs; and, VII. Printed.

The extensive correspondence is both scientific and personal in nature. Haurowitz remained in contact with scientists and students over many years. Of particular interest are his exchanges, spanning the years 1937-1985, with the Nobel prize winner Max Perutz. The early personal letters often reflect the difficulties and tragedies of the war years. Correspondents include: Fritz Arndt, John Tileston Edsall, Leon Ellenbogen, Sidney Fleischer, Sidney Fox, Wallace Friedberg, John D. Hawkins, Michael Heidelberger, Arthur Lietze, Hans Neurath, Linus Pauling, Max F. Perutz, Maxwell Richter, Michael Sela, and Hans Winterstein.

Departmental materials consist mainly of internal memorandums and other materials relating to his role as professor at Indiana University. The Research/Writings section contains research, preliminary notes, and typescripts of his scientific papers, books, and lectures including bound volumes of his scientific protocols. Over 360 of his reprints are included in the collection. Photographs include those of Haurowitz and his colleagues. Typescripts and notes of scientific papers delivered at numerous conferences, correspondence concerning editorial work for various journals, and further correspondence and materials related to his membership of both American and European scientific societies completes the Societies section. The Photographs section includes pictures of Haurowitz and his colleagues. Newspaper and journal clippings, newsletters and pamphlets make up the Printed section.

Bequest. 1989

Collection size: 7,500 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.