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Guide to the Knut Schmidt-Nielsen Papers, 1939-1994 and undated

Abstract

Biologist whose main area of research was in animal physiology, particularly that of the camel. Schmidt-Nielsen spent the bulk of his career at Duke University, from 1952 to 1995, during which he published approximately 300 articles, and key works such as Animal Physiology, and Scaling: Why Is Animal Size So Important?

Collection contains correspondence, research notes, field data, published materials, lecture notes, memos, reports, grant applications, and other materials. The papers span the years 1939-1994, documenting Schmidt-Nielsen's active research and teaching careers.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Schmidt-Nielsen, Knut
Title
Knut Schmidt-Nielsen papers, 1939-1994 and undated
Language of Material
English, Norwegian, German
Extent
18 Linear Feet, 13,500 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Knut Schmidt-Nielsen Papers span the years 1939-1994, documenting the life and work of this prominent animal physiologist and educator. Formats include correspondence, research notes, field data, published material, lectures, memos, reports, grant applications, and other materials. Schmidt-Nielsen spent most of his career at Duke University where he served on faculty from 1952 to 1995, studying comparative animal physiology and environmental conditions in the desert, particularly in the Sahara and North Africa, with a particular interest in the camel. In addition, Schmidt-Nielsen was active as a lecturer and as a member of various biological organizations, including the International Union of Physiological Sciences and the Interunion Commission on Comparative Physiology, as well as being heavily involved with the publication of News in Physiological Sciences. Also documented is Schmidt-Nielsen's active role as teacher and advisor, and his involvement in the Duke University Nixon Library Committee. The collection is divided into the following series: Animal Physiology Research, Correspondence, Engagements, Graduate Student, International Union of Physiological Sciences, News in Physiological Sciences, Publications, and Subject Files.

The Animal Physiology Research Notes Series contains materials from Schmidt-Nielsen's research trip to the Sahara in 1953 and 1954, including correspondence, data, and journal entries. The Correspondence Series is by far the largest in the collection, and contains both official professional correspondence as well as scientific discussions and other related material. Much of the early correspondence is in Norwegian. The Engagements Series documents lectures given by Schmidt-Nielsen from throughout his career, including lecture notes, slides, and diagrams. Schmidt-Nielsen's teaching work is documented in the Graduate Student Series, chiefly his interactions with graduate student advisees. The International Union of Physiological Sciences Series houses materials from Schmidt-Nielsen's involvement with this organization, of which he was president from 1980 to 1986. The series includes minutes, memos, reports, correspondence, and other related materials. The News in Physiological Sciences Series consists of material related to the publication of this journal. In the Publications Series, there are copies of nearly every article Schmidt-Nielsen published. The Subject Files Series contains miscellaneous material grouped by subject regarding organizations, grant applications, and topics in animal research. Another small series, the Translations Series houses 33 published translations of a selection of Schmidt-Nielsen's textbooks. Finally, the Audiovisual Series houses three sound recordings of conference talks given by Schmidt-Nielsen during the 1960s. Original recordings are closed to use; please contact Research Services staff concerning access.

Unprocessed addition (2006-0026) (11,468 items, 18 lin. ft.; dated 1902-2003) comprises personal and professional correspondence, subject and genealogy files, lecture notes, calendars, clippings, and photographs. The addition is not represented in the finding aid, but a preliminary inventory is available on request. For research access, please contact the Research Services staff.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is restricted.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

In addition, original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Technical Services staff need to produce use copies before contents can be accessed.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Contains folders of correspondence, data, and other supporting documents related to Schmidt-Nielsen's research on desert animals in the Sahara between August 1953 and July 1954. The folders are divided into two groups, general information and data, and are arranged alphabetically within the groups. His personal correspondence and journal entries are available in a bound format within the series. The data folders contain experiment results and research notes on camels, donkeys, rodents, and plants.

Animal studies--general, 1952-1954
(15 folders)
Box 1
Animal studies--data, 1953-1956
(16 folders)
Box 1
Diplomas, awards, and honors
Oversize Folder 1

Includes scientific inquiries and invitations; professional correspondence with colleagues, researchers, publishers, and graduate students; and letters of recommendation. Interspersed in the series are vitae and statements of plans, grant application materials, copyright releases, requests for plant and animal samples, occasional newpaper clippings, photographs, and postcards. The 1948-1952 correspondence with the Office of Naval Research contains grant application files. Correspondence from Schmidt-Nielsen's stay in Algeria in 1953-1954 documents logistics and field work during the trip. Duke University correspondence includes records of departmental procedures, graduate students documentation, and requests for lab equipment. An extensive portion of the early correspondence is in Norwegian; occasional documents are in French, German, or Spanish. The folders are labelled and arranged alphabetically by last name or subject. Additional professional correspondence can be found in other series, particularly the International Union of Physiological Sciences and the News in Physiological Sciences Series.

1939, 1946-1947
Box 2
1946-1947
(9 folders)
Box 2
A-O
(39 folders)
Box 2
O-Z
(22 folders)
Box 3
1952-1953
(50 folders)
Box 3
A-T
(36 folders)
Box 4
Trip to Algeria
(12 folders)
Box 4
T-Z
(7 folders)
Box 4
A
(1 folder)
Box 4
A-D
(5 folders)
Box 5
Duke University
(4 folders)
Box 5
E-R
(27 folders)
Box 5
R-Z
(15 folders)
Box 6
A-D
(22 folders)
Box 6
Duke University
(3 folders)
Box 6
E-G
(5 folders)
Box 6
H-Z
(37 folders)
Box 7
A-D
(27 folders)
Box 8
Duke University
(14 folders)
Box 8
E-G
Box 8
H-S
(34 folders)
Box 9
S
(7 folders)
Box 10
South Africa
(5 folders)
Box 10
S-Z
(13 folders)
Box 10
A-C
(11 folders)
Box 10
D
(6 folders)
Box 11
Duke University
(12 folders)
Box 11
D-L
(36 folders)
Box 11
M-Z
(48 folders)
Box 12
A-H
(35 folders)
Box 13
H-S
(37 folders)
Box 14
S-Z
(19 folders)
Box 15
A-D
(21 fodlers)
Box 15
Duke University
(9 folders)
Box 15
D-E
(3 folders)
Box 15
F-N
(40 folders)
Box 16
National Academy of Sciences
(5 folders)
Box 16
O-S
(14 folders)
Box 16
S-Z
(15 folders)
Box 17

Contains records of Schmidt-Nielsen's participation in scientific meetings and conferences, as well as individual lectures and presentations. A large part of the series is comprised of Schmidt-Nielsen's lecture notes, diagrams, and slides; complete drafts of presentations are less common. Subjects of the lectures include: physiology and adaptations of desert animals; breathing and locomotion; and scaling and size in biology. Also included are conference-related materials, such as correspondence, brochures, and posters. Extensive material is available for the conference on Scaling in Biology held at Duke University in 1973. Interspersed through the series are records from the annual International Conference on Comparative Physiology. A few documents are in French, German, Japanese, and Norwegian. Folders are labelled by date of event and topic, and are arranged chronologically by month of the year. A separate folder at the end of the series contains a complete chronological list of lectures given by Schmidt-Nielsen.

1948-1963
(43 folders)
Box 17
1963-1973
(48 folders)
Box 18
1973-1980
(61 folders)
Box 19
1980-1989
(56 folders)
Box 20
1989-1994
(30 folders)
Box 21

Documents Schmidt-Nielsen's role as an instructor and mentor to graduate students. The series contains personal and official correspondence, application files, and letters of recommendation. The student files often include research proposals, proposals for programs of graduate, tutorials, exams, and other written work submitted by students, with comments from Schmidt-Nielsen. Interspersed are funding files and financial documents. Folders are arranged alphabetically by last name of student. Note: materials are open for use, but are covered by privacy and confidentiality agreement which must be signed by researchers.

A-B
(7 folders)
Box 21
C-P
(24 folders)
Box 22
P-R
(13 folders)
Box 23

Consists of materials and correspondence pertaining to the administrative organization and activities of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS), divided into three subseries: General Information, Meeting Notes, and Correspondence. The General Information Subseries pertains to the period during which Schmidt-Nielsen served as President of IUPS, from 1980 to 1986, and includes meeting minutes, membership lists, memos, reports, and speeches, arranged alphabetically by topic and chronologically within topics. The Meeting Notes Subseries detail the planning and arrangements for international congresses and include programs, lists of participants, and presentation titles; the subseries is arranged by year of event. The Correspondence Subseries includes individual correspondence and memos related to different activities of IUPS and is arranged alphabetically. This series also contains some material in German, French, and Japanese.

Commissions, 1980, 1983-1985
Box 23
Congress notes, 1977-1986
(7 folders)
Box 23
Constitution, 1980, 1985
Box 23
Committee on Space Research, 1982, 1984
Box 23
Council notes, 1953-1983, bulk 1980-1983
(4 folders)
Box 23
Council notes, 1980-1986
(10 folders)
Box 24
Box 24
Educational programs, 1980, 1984
Box 24
Box 24
Executive Committee meetings, 1980-1985
(8 folders)
Box 24
Expenses and finances, 1980-1985
(5 folders)
Box 24
Interunion Commission, 1975-1985
(19 folders)
Box 24
International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), 1976-1981
(2 folders)
Box 24
International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB), 1978-1980
Box 24
IUPS Council members, 1974-1982
(2 folders)
Box 24
IUPS Council members, 1976-1981
(13 folders)
Box 25
Newsletter, 1978 May
Box 25
News in Physiological Sciences Proposal, 1983-1984
Box 25
Nominating Committee, 1981-1982
Box 25
US National Committee for IUPS, 1975
Box 25
Assorted meeting notes, 1961, 1964-1971, 1977
Box 25
1972, Italy
(4 folders)
Box 25
1974, Switzerland
(12 folders)
Box 25
1976, Switzerland - 1976
(6 folders)
Box 25
1978, Switzerland
(15 folders)
Box 26
1980, Denmark
Box 26
1983, Sidney
(30 folders)
Box 26
1986, Vancouver
Box 26
A
(3 folders)
Box 26
A-K
(33 folders)
Box 27
K-S
(21 folders)
Box 28
S-Z
(19 folders)
Box 29

Contains materials related to Schmidt-Nielsen's work with News in Physiological Sciences, including correspondence between Schmidt-Nielsen and editors, authors, and publishers; administrative documents; notes, manuscripts, corrected drafts, and occasional published articles. Folders arranged alphabetically by subject title.

Advertisments, 1986, and undated
Box 29
Agreement, 1983-1985
Box 29
Articles, suggestions, 1986
Box 29
APS archives, 1986-1990
Box 29
Authors, 1985-1986
Box 29
Budget, 1985-1986
Box 29
Cambridge University Press, 1983
Box 29
Complimentary copies, 1985
Box 29
Correspondence, 1980-1990
(42 folders)
Box 30
Editorial work, 1982-1988
(11 folders)
Box 31
Final report, 1988
Box 31
Guidelines for authors, 1986
Box 31
IUPS commission chairmen, 1984
Box 31
Launching committee correspondence, 1984
Box 31
Letters, 1986-1988
(3 folders)
Box 31
Lists of board members and editors, 1986-1987
Box 31
Managing board, 1986
(2 folders)
Box 31
Manuscript for Nobel - The Award of the Prize, 1987
Box 31
Meeting notes, 1984, 1986
(2 folders)
Box 31
Memos, 1986, 1988
(2 folders)
Box 31
Name, cover page, contents, undated
Box 31
Photocopies, 1986, 1988
Box 31
Preliminary discussion notes, 1983
Box 31
Publication, 1979-1981
Box 31

Consists of articles published by Schmidt-Nielsen throughout his career, and includes a full publication list at the beginning of the series. Each article is presented in its final published form, either as a reprint or a full journal, with no notes, manuscripts, proofs, or revisions. Some articles are in German and Danish. Folders are labeled and arranged chronologically by year.

1936-1959
(4 folders)
Box 31
1960-1986
(6 folders)
Box 32

Contains miscellaneous materials on a variety of individual subjects related to Schmidt-Nielsen. The bulk of material consists of funding inquiries, grant applications, and reports pertaining to different organizations. The series also contains material about scholarly societies and their activities, interspersed with correspondence. A small section includes documents on animal experiments. Folders are labeled by subject and arranged alphabetically within subjects.

American Physiological Society (APS), 1956, 1962-1987
(13 folders)
Box 32
American Society of Zoologists (ASZ), 1961-1991
(folder 1 of 6)
Box 32
American Society of Zoologists (ASZ), 1961-1991
(folders 2-6 of 6)
Box 33
Animal experimentation, 1980-1987
(7 folders)
Box 33
Antarctica, 1972-1974
(4 folders)
Box 33
Australia camel research, 1979-1983
(5 folders)
Box 33
Grant applications, 1969-1987
Box 33
Grant applications, 1969-1987
(folders 11-24 of 24)
Box 34
International communication, 1980-1987
(10 folders)
Box 34
James Jones NIH grant, 1977-1978, 1985
(3 folders)
Box 34
National Geographic Society, 1969-1971, 1976-1980
(10 folders)
Box 34
NIH grants, 1962-1970
(8 folders)
Box 34
NIH grants, 1952-1987, and undated
(8 folders)
Box 35
NSF grant, 1958-1966, 1977-1981
(6 folders)
Box 35
Nixon Library, 1980-1981
(10 folders)
Box 35
Old grants, 1953-1969
(16 folders)
Box 36
Other grants, 1961-1984
(7 folders)
Box 36
Travel, 1960-1962
(2 folders)
Box 36

Addition 2001-0075 houses about 50 published translations of Schmidt-Nielsen’s textbooks. Titles include Animal Physiology; Scaling: Why Is Animal Size So Important; and How Animals Work. Languages include Japanese, Polish, Russian, German, Greek, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Hindi, Malay, Norwegian, Hebrew, Swedish, and Portuguese.

19 books, 2 folders
Box 38
10 books, 2 folders
Box 39
3 books
Box 40
17 books
Box 41
11 books
Box 42

Houses three sound recordings on 7" reel-to-reel tape, of Schmidt-Nielsen giving lectures at two conferences: the Symposium on Comparative Animal Physiology, Washington, January 1967 (title is "The Unusual Animal, or to Expect the Unexpected"); and the Kleiber Symposium held in Davis, California in August 1969 (two reels). Other individuals named on the containers are A. C. Black and Dr. Shannon.

[Originals closed to use. Technical Services staff must arrange to have use copies made. Please contact Research Services staff before coming to use the collection.]

OR1. 1967 Jan., Symposium on Comparative Pharmacology
Box 37
OR2. 1969 Aug., Kleiber Symposium, reel one
Box 37
OR3. 1969 Aug., Kleiber Symposium, reel two
Box 37

Historical Note

Chronology List

DateEvent(s)
1915 Sept. 15Born in Trondheim, Norway
1933-1937Attended University of Oslo
1946Received D.Phil. from University of Copenhagen
1949-1952Assistant professor at University of Cincinnati
1952Became a United States citizen
1952-1995Professor at Duke University
1953Awarded Guggenheim fellowship
1970Published Animal Physiology
1984Published Scaling: Why Is Animal Size So Important?
2007 Jan. 25Died in Durham, North Carolina

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Knut Schmidt-Nielsen Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Knut Schmidt-Nielsen Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1994, 2001, and 2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Lauren Hunt and Ioanna Zlateva, July 2007

Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, Dan Ruccia, and Ioanna Zlateva, July 2007

Accessions 1994-015, 1994-087, 1996-0026, and 2001-0075 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid. Addition 2006-0026 is unprocessed but available for research. Please contact the Research Services staff before coming to use this collection.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.