A Celebration of the Life and Library of Allen G. Debus

The Science History Institute is pleased to announce that we have acquired the library of the noted historian of early alchemy and medicine Allen G. Debus (1926-2009), thanks to the generosity of his widow, Brunilda L. Debus. The collection of approximately 800 titles includes more than 300 rare books with the remainder being important secondary and reference works on the history of early medical chemistry. One hundred and twenty works date from the 17th century, which was Debus’s specialty, with an additional twenty-three books from the 16th century.

The Institute will be honoring Allen G. Debus and his library with a special event at our headquarters in Philadelphia, PA, on Friday June 15, 2018, from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. Several historians of science will speak in a panel session about Debus’s work and his influence, including Ku-Ming “Kevin” Chang (Academica Sinica, Taipei, Republic of China), Karen Parshall (University of Virginia), Lawrence Principe (Johns Hopkins University), and Paul Theerman (New York Academy of Medicine). The session will be moderated by Dr. Carin Berkowitz, the Institute’s Director of the Center for Historical Research. Dr. James Voelkel, the Institute’s Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, will then offer a closer look at the significance of Debus’s library and its importance as a research collection, especially in the context of the Othmer Library’s extensive holdings in early modern alchemy and medicine. There will also be a display of books from the Debus library in the reading room followed by a reception and remembrances from Dr. Debus’s students, colleagues, and family.

This event is free, but registration is required. Please register online at the event website.

Contact Info:

Ronald Brashear, Arnold Thackray Director of the Othmer Library, Science History Institute

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