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Brown, Rachel, 1898-1980. Papers of Rachel Brown and Elizabeth Lee Hazen, 1937-1981: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: 82-M205
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Rachel Brown, 1898-1980
Title: Papers of Rachel Brown and Elizabeth Lee Hazen, 1957-1979
Date(s): 1957-1979
Quantity: 2.42 linear feet (2 cartons, 1 file box) plus 1 oversize folder, and 12 cassette audiotapes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, photographs, speeches, etc., of Rachel Fuller Brown, biochemist, and Elizabeth Lee Hazen, microbiologist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 82-M205
The papers of Rachel Fuller Brown and Elizabeth Lee Hazen were given to the Schlesinger Library in October 1982 by the Research Corporation.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: November 1982
By: Martha Hodes

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Rachel Brown and Elizabeth Lee Hazen is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Rachel Brown and Elizabeth Lee Hazen Papers, 1937-1981; item description, dates. 82-M205, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.


Rachel Fuller Brown, a biochemist, and Elizabeth Lee Hazen, a microbiologist, were co-discoverers in 1950 of the drug nystatin, the first antibiotic administered to humans that safely and effectively treats serious fungal diseases. Both were employed by the Division of Laboratories and Research of the New York State Department of Health, Brown in Albany and Hazen in New York City.
Brown and Hazen assigned patent royalties to the Research Corporation of New York, a non-profit foundation for the advancement of science, to assure that all income from their invention would be used in the public interest. The patent had produced over $13 million in royalties when it expired in 1978. One-half the proceeds were designated for the general purposes of the Research Corporation, and one-half for the Brown-Hazen Fund.
From 1957 to 1978 the Brown-Hazen Fund supported research and other programs in the biomedical sciences, especially in microbiology, immunology, biochemistry, and mycology; beginning in 1973, grants were restricted to work in mycology. The Fund made grants for fundamental investigations in the biomedical sciences, the strengthening of science programs of educational institutions, travel grants to attend medical conferences abroad, training programs, the preparation of scientific papers or articles for publication, and sponsorship of science symposiums.


This preliminary inventory provides a general overview of the contents of each series. It is a guide to papers that have received only minimal sorting and arrangement and is not intended to be as thorough or as specific as a final inventory. Folder headings, except those in square brackets, are those supplied by Research Corporation.
Series I. Rachel Fuller Brown and Elizabeth Lee Hazen. This series includes biographical information; tributes, appreciations, speeches, and letters by colleagues and friends; speeches by Brown and Hazen; conference programs, press releases, resumes, obituaries, published articles, bibliographies, and personal correspondence, all detailing Brown and Hazen's research, accomplishments, their partnership, and the accomplishments of the Brown-Hazen Fund.
Series II. Brown-Hazen Fund. The business correspondence of the Brown-Hazen Fund, 1957-1978, consists mainly of proposal letters, correspondence about applications, and letters of acceptance or rejection. There are also correspondence about the Fund's administrative procedures and finances, annual reports, and clippings. Personal correspondence between Brown and Hazen is occasionally included with their business correspondence.
The papers of Rachel Fuller Brown and Elizabeth Lee Hazen were used by Richard S. Baldwin, author of the book The Fungus Fighters: Two Women Scientists and Their Discovery, published by Cornell University Press in 1981. The interviews on the cassette tapes were conducted by Baldwin in the process of his research.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Science--Scholarships, fellowships, etc.
Scientists--United States
Women in science--United States
Women scientists--United States
American Association of University Women. Albany (N.Y.) Branch
Brown-Hazen Fund
Dalldorf, Gilbert, 1900-1979
Harriman, W. Averell (William Averell), 1891-1986
Hazen, Elizabeth Lee, 1885 or 1888-1975
Research Corporation