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Guide to the Paul Jackson Kramer Papers, 1856 - 1994 (bulk 1927-1974)

Abstract

Paul Jackson Kramer, a world renowned educator, scientist and author, was professor of botany at Duke University from 1931-1995. The Paul J. Kramer Papers reflects Kramer's career as a university professor and plant physiologist, his participation in various scientific and learned societies including his service within the National Science Foundation and on the U.S. Air Force's Committee on the Disposal of Herbicide Orange, and his involvement in the development of the Botany Dept., the Phytotron, and Duke University. Materials include correspondence, reports, writings and addresses, memoranda, research and teaching material, photographs, and printed matter. Major subjects include Kramer's contributions in the field of botany, particularly plant-water relationships, the physiology of forest trees, and botanical research in controlled environments.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Paul Jackson Kramer papers 1856 - 1994 (bulk 1927-1974)
Creator
Kramer, Paul Jackson, 1904-
Extent
12.0 Linear Feet , 12000 Items
Repository
University Archives, Duke University
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult University Archives, Duke University.
Language
English.

Collection Overview

The Paul Jackson Kramer Papers include correspondence, reports, writings and addresses, memoranda, research and teaching material, photographs, and printed matter. The collection reflects Kramer's career as a university professor and plant physiologist; his participation in various scientific and learned societies, including his service within the National Science Foundation and on the U.S. Air Force's Committee on the Disposal of Herbicide Orange; and his involvement in the development of the Botany Dept., the Phytotron, and Duke University. Kramer's prominence within the international and national scientific communities is attested to throughout the collection.

The Correspondence and the Subject Files series document the development of the Botany Department; the phytotron; faculty governance; and the Gross-Edens Affair, an administrative controversy at Duke in 1960. The Correspondence and Subject Files series contain Kramer's correspondence with scientists abroad. The subject files document Kramer's role in a number of scientific organizations, the National Science Foundation, learned societies, and the government. The papers are particularly useful as they provide information on cooperation among plant scientists after World War II and the early history of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS).

A substantial portion of the collection is comprised of correspondence that pertains to Kramer's research, the direction of graduate students, scientific organizations, matters at Duke University, and other subjects.

The Research and Teaching Notes series document Kramer's research and teaching and are useful for the study of his contributions in the field of botany, particularly plant-water relationships, the physiology of forest trees, and botanical research in controlled environments. Research notes and materials are principally located in the Research and Teaching Notes series. However, information related to Kramer's research is scattered throughout the collection. The Correspondence series as well as the Subject Files and Research and Teaching Notes series reflect Kramer's role as a teacher.

The Photographs series contains pictures of the Botany faculty.

A folder list of Boxes 5-11 is available as part of the collection file. Please consult University Archives staff.

Box 7 is closed pending processing.

The folder entitled "Named Professorships" is restricted by donor request. The folder in Box 8 entitled "Grade Book" is RESTRICTED: Student Records.

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

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

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, Duke University permits students to inspect their education records and limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.

In off-site storage; 48 hours advance notice is required for use.

Box 7 is closed pending processing.

The folder entitled "Named Professorships" is restricted by donor request.

warning Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

The main body of the Correspondence Series is arranged chronologically, however a small number of letters are filed together by correspondent and arranged alphabetically at the beginning of the series. It appears that Kramer created a separate set of files for postdoctoral students, and it is these files that are at the beginning of the series. Comprised of incoming letters and copies of outgoing letters with graduate students, university administrators, and scientists, the series reflects the full range of Kramer's professional life. Letters often relate to research questions, the direction of graduate students, the review of manuscripts, and matters at Duke University.

The very beginnings of Kramer's career are documented in the 1930s correspondence with Duke University biologists Arthur Sperry Pearse, Hugo L. Blomquist, and Ruth M. Addoms as well as William Wannamaker, Dean of Duke University. This early correspondence is particularly interesting as it reflects the correspondents' views on developing the biology department and Duke University. Beyond Duke, other notable correspondents from the 1930s and the 1940s include F.W. Went, Henry W. Popp, J. H. Priestly, Walter Loehwing, Burton E. Livingston, and Charles A. Shull. Other correspondents during the 1930s include Floyd W. Gail of the University of Idaho, B.S. Meyer and E.N. Transeau of Ohio State University. Kramer corresponded with these botanists, his former professors, throughout a substantial part of his career.

In the 1940s, the series contains numerous letters from Kramer's graduate students. Letters from Kramer's graduate students during the early 1940s provide perspectives on military life during World War II. John P. Decker and Theodore Kozlowski were among Kramer's students who corresponded with him during the war. Other Duke students who corresponded with Kramer include Wilbur Duncan, William K. Ferrell, Harold E. Young, and Johnson Parker.

Notable scientists who corresponded with Kramer during the 1940s and 1950s include N.A. Maximov, from the U.S.S.R.'s Academy of Sciences, as well as Henry Oosting, Clifford S. Schopmeyer, Paul Burkholder, William T. Jackson, Herman Wiebe, W. Dwight Billings, and Kenneth Thimann.

Correspondence from the 1960s to the 1990s reflects a number of matters at Duke including the construction of the phytotron. Douglas M. Knight, R. Taylor Cole, Henry Hellmers, and George Dutrow are among the Duke University figures with whom Kramer corresponded. Correspondence with George Dutrow in 1986 includes Kramer's reflections on the relationship between the Botany Department and the forestry program at Duke. Scientists who corresponded with Kramer during this period include William Lopushinsky, F.C. Steward, and a number of international scholars including Ralph O. Slatyer.

The Correspondence Series is arranged in two subseries. The first is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the correspondent. The second series is arranged chronologically by date of the correspondence.

Barrs, Henry D., [1965-1969]
Box 1
Brix, Holger, 1959-1963
Box 1
Burstrom, Hans, 1958-1959
Box 1
Carlson, William, [1986-1990]
Box 1
Chung, Hsu-Ho, [1978-1979]
Box 1
Decker, John, 1956-1967
Box 1
Dove, Lewis, 1964-1969
Box 1
Loehwing, Walter F., 1945-1947
Box 1
Knipling, Edward, [1962-1969]
Box 1
McGregor, W.H.D., [1957-1964]
Box 1
Miller, Lee, 1962-1967
Box 1
O'Leary, James, [1961-1974]
Box 1
Pharis, Richard P., 1961-1968
Box 1
Queen, W.H., [1962-1972]
Box 1
Quraishi, Mohammad 1968-1979
Box 1
1957-1968
Box 1
1962-1963
Box 1
1963-1966
Box 1
Smith, Richard T., 1958-1977
Box 1
Tal, Moshe, 1964-1967
Box 1
Thornthwaite, C.W., 1956-1962
Box 1
Verdoorn, Frans, 1942-1949
Box 1
Yu, Grace Wei-Chi Hu, [1962-1967]
Box 1
Nov. 1930-January 1941
Box 1
Feb. 1, 1941-July 1955
Box 2
Sept. 1955-Dec. 1972
Box 3
1966-June 1993
Box 4

The titles describe the alphabetical range found within each box.

The Subject Files series reflects Kramer's involvement in governance and other matters at Duke, his government service, and his service in a number of special committees and scientific societies. It includes memoranda, correspondence, reports, notes, printed matter, and writings. The materials are arranged alphabetically by folder.

Significant subjects within the materials, related to Duke University, include the development of phytotron research and the establishment of the Southeastern Plant Environment Laboratories, the Academic Council and the University Council, the Gross-Edens affair and the ensuing selection of a new university president. The documents pertaining to the Gross-Edens affair are particularly significant as they document Kramer's observations. Other subjects related to Duke University include early interdisciplinary programs, the Department of Botany and the School of Forestry, and faculty membership in learned societies. Files pertaining to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens include letters between Kramer, who served as director of the Gardens, and Richard Fillmore, assistant director. Also included are letters from Fillmore to Mary Carbonna, who wrote a history of the Gardens, and memoranda concerning landscape planning in the Gardens.

The principal societies, programs, and special committees that the papers reflect include the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), the International Biological Program and the Committee to Evaluate the International Biological Program, the National Academy-National Research Council Committee on War-time Modifications in Biology, the American Society of Plant Physiologists, and the National Academy of Sciences. Documents related to the AIBS reflect Kramer's participation and its development. Significant figures reflected among the AIBS material include Robert F. Griggs, Paul Burkholder, Kenneth Thimann, and Detlev Bronk. The series also documents Kramer's service within the National Science Foundation as well as his service on a number of committees of the United States government, including the U.S. Air Force's Committee on the Disposal of Herbicide Orange.

Scattered throughout the series are manuscripts and notes for Kramer's publications and addresses. Topics of the manuscripts include the need for controlled environments to conduct botanical research, soil and plant water relationships; biological programs during World War II; and the role of science in society.

Accounts of travel abroad, nineteenth century nursery catalogs, and class notebooks are included in the series. These items along with the biographical information within the papers complement the materials that relate to the various aspects of Kramer's career.

A folder list of Boxes 5-11 is available as part of the collection file. Please consult University Archives staff.

Addresses and Papers -- American Institute of Biological Sciences, 1964-1966
Box 5
American Institute of Biological Sciences, 1965-- Class Notes, Agricultural Chemical Lab Manual
Box 6
Contents of Box 7
Box 7
Duke University: Notes and Clippings on Edens Retirement -- International Biological Program: Duke University Participation, 1967-1973
Box 8
International Biological Program: Foreign Participation, 1974-1975 -- Phytotron: Proposal to NSF, 1970-1971
Box 9
Phytotron: Support of Visiting Scientists, 1970-1971 -- United States Air Force: Ad Hoc Committee on the Disposal of Herbicide [Agent] Orange, 1972-1974
Box 10
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission: Radiation Effect on Plants, 1963-1964 -- United States Forestry Service, 1962
Box 11

The folder titles describe the alphabetical range found within the box.

The Research and Teaching series contains a sample of the data and notes Kramer compiled during his career. Materials include tables and charts, publications, syllabi, correspondence, reports, and manuscripts.

The papers within the series document Kramer's views on the government support of science and science education, his work in forestry research, his association with the School of Forestry at Duke, and his work with the National Science Foundation.

Advanced Physiology, 1938 -- Tree Physiology, 1937

Chiefly black and white photographs of Kramer, the botany faculty at Duke University, and participants at professional meetings. Photographs of the botany faculty date from 1946 and 1954. This series includes some candid pictures. Subjects among the pictures include Ruth Addoms, Lewis Anderson, Hugo L. Blomquist, Henry J. Oosting, Clarence Korstian, and Theodore Kozlowski.

These photographs have been removed to the Paul Jerome Kramer file in the Photograph Collection, in University Archives. Please consult University Archives staff.

Oversize material is located in map cabinet drawer 8.

Catalogue of Fruit Trees, for sale from the large and extensive nursery of George Aupel, Eaton. Preble County, Ohio, 2 February 1858
The Philadelphia Inquirer "Sherman's New Movement," front page, 21 November 1864

Historical Note

Paul Jackson Kramer was a world renowned educator, scientist and author. Born 8 May 1904 in Brookville, Ind., educated at Miami University in Ohio (A.B., 1926) and Ohio State University (M.Sc., 1929 and Ph.D, 1931), Kramer was appointed to the Duke University faculty in 1931, and promoted to Professor of Botany in 1945. Kramer was named James B. Duke Professor of Botany in 1954 and became James B. Duke Professor Emeritus in 1974. Other appointments included Director of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Duke University, 1945-c.1974, and Program Director in Regulatory Biology, National Science Foundation, 1960-1961. Kramer served as president for the following professional societies: American Society of Plant Physiologists, 1945; North Carolina Academy of Science, 1961-1962; Botanical Society of America, 1964; and American Institute of Biological Sciences, 1964. He served as Chair, Phytotron Board of Duke University and North Carolina State University, 1962-1976. Honors and awards received include National Academy of Sciences, 1962; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1963; American Philosophical Society, 1971; and the American Institute of Biological Sciences Distinguished Services Award, 1977, as well as four honorary degrees between 1966 and 1975. Kramer's publications include Plant and Soil Water Relationships. Kramer died 24 May 1995.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Department of Botany Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • A. Hollis Edens Records. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Paul M. Gross Papers. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Sarah P. Duke Gardens Collection. (University Archives, Duke University.)
  • Henry J. Oosting Papers. (University Archives, Duke University.)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Paul Jackson Kramer Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Paul Jackson Kramer Papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1962 (A62-629), 1967 (A67-77), 1974 (A74-117), 1981 (A81-7), 1995 (A95-68) and (A95-90).

Processing Information

Processed by Linda Daniel

Completed February, 2004

Encoded by Linda Daniel, February 2004

Updated by Sherrie Bowser, May 2007

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.