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Herbert C. Brown Correspondence and Other Documents, 1973-1984

Identifier: SC MS 0161

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises a series of correspondence and papers involving Dr. Herbert Brown with various chemists. The time span is from 1974 to 1984 reflecting the time leading up to and following Professor Brown receiving the Nobel Prize.


  • 1912-2008
  • Majority of material found within 1973-1984


Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Herbert Charles Brown (Herbert Charles Brovarnik original name) was born in London, England in 1912. When he was two years old his parents moved from London to Chicago, Illinois. He attended University of Chicago and got his B.S. in 1936. He continued his chemistry studies at University of Chicago and earned his PhD in 1938. He worked at Wayne State University from 1943-1947 and then moved to Purdue University where he did research in the Richard B. Wetherill Laboratory. This Wetherill was related to the Wetherill Family who during the 1860s owned the Lehigh Zinc Company in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He won many awards among the ones of most interest to Lehigh was the Charles Frederick Chandler Medal in 1973 from Columbia University. Charles Frederick Chandler (1836-1925) was the older brother of William Henry Chandler (1841-1906), a chemistry professor at Lehigh University and for whom the Chandler-Ullmann Laboratory is named. In 1979, Dr. Brown was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in boron research presumably the Norbornyl topic is related to Prof. Brown’s Nobel Prize research. Professor Brown died in Lafayette, Indiana in 2004. Lehigh University Professor John W. Larsen of the Chemistry Department (c. 1984-2008) apparently donated this Brown correspondence because of its relationship to the arcane, long-standing argument of the “Norbornyl question” around December 1984.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 Box)

Language of Materials



This collection of correspondence and research papers deals with the research conducted by Dr. Herbert C. Brown and colleagues on the arcane argument on the “Norbornyl” question in chemistry. Among the chemistry colleagues is Professor John W. Larsen of Lehigh University. Dr. Brown was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1979 for his research on boron.


The materials are arranged by format – correspondence and papers and chronologically 1974-1984.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Apparently donated by Professor John W. Larsen in December 1984. See SC MS 0161.01.07 last item.

Related Materials

Brown, Herbert C. 1975. Organic syntheses via Borane. New York: Wiley-Interscience.

Ilhan Citak and Eleanor Nothelfer
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)