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Melvin Benarde papers


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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

Melvin A. Benarde, PhD, is the author of ten books on the topic of humanity's effect on the environment. He is the former director of Temple University's Environmental Resource Center and a professor in their Graduate Program in Industrial Hygiene, professor and acting chairman in the Department of Community Medicine at Hahnemann Medical School, and Associate Director of the Environmental Studies Institute at Drexel University.

The Melvin Benarde papers collection is a set of typescript drafts of books written and edited by Melvin Benarde. The typescripts are annotated, some heavily and some with copy edits and instructions to typesetters. Titles include Race Against Famine, Our Precarious Habitat, Disinfection, and The Chemicals we Eat. The collection is arranged in four series, one containing each of the aforementioned four titles, in order of each title's publishing date.

Series I comprises all materials relating to Race Against Famine (published 1968 June 01). It includes an author-corrected setting copy of the book as well as an ad for the book from The New York Times Book Review (located in Box 1 Folder 2). Race Against Famine is about solving the problem of world hunger and malnutrition. Benarde proposes solutions such as increasing agricultural output and low-cost, high-protein food production.

Series II includes an author-corrected setting copy of Our Precarious Habitat (published in 1970). Benarde wrote Our Precarious Habitat to inform the general public about how science and technology affect daily life and to teach laypeople how to evaluate environmental issues in a non-heated and objective manner. The book was also intended for use in college classrooms and directed at students with limited or no science backgrounds. Some of the topics covered are: the ecology of health and disease; chemicals in our foods; pesticides; waste-disposal systems; air, water, and noise pollution; radiation; population; and the political aspects of pollution.

Series III contains an author-corrected setting copy of Disinfection (published in 1970). Disinfection, edited by Benarde, is a compilation of works by several scholars on the topic of fighting microbial disease. According to Benarde's introduction to Disinfection, its goal is "to advance in a more creative way the field of disinfection research." Authors represented in this volume include: Paul M. Borick, Carl W. Bruch, Mary K. Bruch, L. F. L. Clegg, Velvl W. Greene, Klaus Grossgebauer, W. B. Hugo, A. E. Humphrey, Bernard W. Koft, John Liston, A. L. Linewaver, Shigeshi Nagasawa, Haruki Nishimura, D. J. Olivant, Rollin E. Pepper, A Prokop, D. A. Shapton, Toshio Tsuchiya, and V. I. Vashkov.

Series IV is made up of four versions of The Chemicals we Eat: a first draft (box 2 folders 5-6), an author-corrected typescript (box 3 folders 1-2), a typesetting copy (box 3 folders 3-6), and a Xerox copy (box 3 folders 7-8). In The Chemicals we Eat, Benarde itemizes and discusses both natural chemicals and chemical additives in our food supply and assesses their necessity, effectiveness, and any potential benefits or dangers they might pose. In general, Benarde expresses approval of the use of chemical additives in food and disapproval of the mass hysteria surrounding the effects of chemical additives.

The collection could be useful to those researching attitudes about environmental and health sciences in the 1960s and 1970s or those interested in pedagogy relating to those fields.

Gift of Melvin Benarde 1970, 1971.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Molly B. Hutt
Finding Aid Date
2014 September 18
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use, however the materials may not be reproduced by any means, digital, photocopy, or otherwise.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Author-corrected setting copy, 1968.
Box 1 Folder 1
Ad for Race Against Famine clipped from The New York Times Book Review, undated.
Box 1 Folder 2

Pages 1-99, 1968 August.
Box 1 Folder 3
Pages 100-236, 1968 August.
Box 1 Folder 4
Pages 237-375, 1968 August.
Box 1 Folder 5
Pages 376-459, 1968 August.
Box 1 Folder 6

Front matter and chapters 1-2, 1970.
Box 1 Folder 7
Chapters 3-6, 1970.
Box 2 Folder 1
Chapters 7A-7C, 1970.
Box 2 Folder 2
Chapters 8-9, 1970.
Box 2 Folder 3
Chapters 10-11 and back matter, 1970.
Box 2 Folder 4

First draft, chapters 1-2, undated.
Box 2 Folder 5
First draft, page 91, timeline of agricultural laws, and chapters 5-7, undated.
Box 2 Folder 6
Scope and Contents

This file contains two distinct versions of chapter 5.

Author-corrected typescript, front matter and chapters 1-3, 1970 March.
Box 3 Folder 1
Author-corrected typescript, chapters 4-7, 1970 March.
Box 3 Folder 2
Typesetting copy, chapters 1-2, undated.
Box 3 Folder 3
Typesetting copy, chapter 3, undated.
Box 3 Folder 4
Typesetting copy, chapter 4, undated.
Box 3 Folder 5
Typesetting copy, chapters 5-7, undated.
Box 3 Folder 6
Xerox copy, front matter and chapters 1-3, 1970 December 30.
Box 3 Folder 7
Xerox copy, chapters 4-7, 1970 December 30.
Box 3 Folder 8

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