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The Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives houses several collections of papers of prominent members of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), most of whom served in leadership capacities in the Society. Many of the materials in the collections are specifically related to the history of ASM. A list of finding aids for each collection can be accessed below.  For additional information on the collections, contact the ASM Archivist, Jeff Karr, at   


L. Joe Berry Papers

The L. Joe Berry Collection contains papers relating to Dr. Berry’s extensive service to ASM from 1957-1987, including his service as Editor of the Journal of Bacteriology, member of the Council Policy Committee, member of the Finance Committee, Chairman of the ad hoc Committee on Ethics, and, most notably, as the first Chairman of the Board of Education and Training.  A few of his scientific research papers are also included. 


Rita Colwell Papers

The Rita Colwell Collection contains materials relating to Dr. Colwell's service to ASM as President-Elect, President, and Past President (1983-1986), and other various capacities at ASM beginning in 1963, including her tenure as Chair of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology.  It also includes papers relating to her activities in the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) from 1962-1986.


Richard Crowell Presidential Papers

This collection contains materials relating to Richard Crowell’s service to ASM, primarily covering his terms as President-elect, President, and Immediate Past President (1990-1993).


H. Orin Halvorson Papers

The H. Orin Halvorson Collection contains papers relating to Dr. Halvorson's service to ASM in various capacities, including President of the Society of American Bacteriologists (now ASM) in 1955, first Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology (1955-58), first Chairman of the American Board of Microbiology (1958-65), and member of the Committee for Guidance in Training for Microbiology.  Particularly noteworthy in the Collection are materials concerning the establishment of the American Academy of Microbiology, papers discussing the question of the proper role of a scientific society in regard to larger social questions, and the individual survey responses of some of the most eminent bacteriologists of Halvorson’s time who were asked questions about their background and recommendations they would offer for the proper training of future microbiologists. 


Harlyn O. Halvorson Papers

The Harlyn O. Halvorson Collection covers two periods of Dr. Halvorson’s service to ASM:  from his election as President-elect through his tenure as President and then Past-President (1975-1979), and his service as Chairman of the Society's Public and Scientific Affairs Board (PSAB) (1979-1987).  The PSAB materials cover the period of the Board's beginnings, and document the Society's approach to many public policy issues, such as clinical laboratory regulation, research funding, and biotechnology.


The William J. Hausler Papers

The William J. Hausler Collection documents Dr. Hausler’s activities in ASM, particularly relating to his service as Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the American Board of Medical Microbiology (1976-1982), Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology (1984-89), founding Chairman of the Committee on Laboratory Practices of ASM’s Public and Scientific Affairs Board, and an editor of the 3rd, 4th and 5th editions of ASM’s Manual of Clinical Microbiology.  Of particular note in the collection are matters pertaining to clinical microbiology and related issues of public policy. 


Papers of Leon Schmidt

The Leon Herbert Schmidt Collection is comprised of papers from Dr. Schmidt’s tenure as Editor-in-Chief of ASM’s journal, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (1980-1985). 


The Robert P. Williams Papers

The Robert P. Williams Collection is comprised of papers related to Dr. Williams’ service to ASM as President (1983-1984), Secretary, Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Division of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (1971-73), Divisional Group I Representative on ASM Council (1975-1977), member of the Council Policy Committee (1972-1985), fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and member and Chairman of the Academy’s Board of Governors (1974-1982).