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The Ray Dawson - Percy Julian Collection


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Percy Lavon Julian was born on April 11, 1899 in Montgomery, AL. He attended DePauw University in Greencastle, IN and after a brief time as an instructor of chemistry at Fisk University, he received a fellowship to pursue his M.S. degree at Harvard University. Unable to complete his Ph.D. at Harvard due to racial discrimination, a Rockefeller Foundation grant allowed him to travel to Vienna where he earned his Ph.D. in 1931. An outstanding research chemist, Julian was awarded over 138 individual patents for his work and later began his own company, Julian Laboratories Incorporated, to synthesize steroid intermediaries from Mexican wild yams. His Mexican operations were purchased by Smith Kline, while an operation he had set in Guatemala to cultivate and harvest Dioscorea was purchased by Upjohn. In 1964 Julian founded Julian Associates and the Julian Research Institute. Percy Lavon Julian was the first African American chemist admitted into the National Academy of Sciences. He died in Waukegan, IL on December 19 1975.

For a more detailed inventory, please view this record in our library catalog:

The bulk of collection deals with Julian's Dioscorea project but there are some materials dealing with overall accomplishments as a scientist.

The materials have been left as found.

A small portion of this collection has been digitized and is available online in our Digital Collections:

Source of acquisition--Dawson, Ray Fields. Method of acquisition--Gift;; Date of acquisition--1993..

Science History Institute Archives

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