Rare Books and Manuscripts has many primary sources for the history of biology, including the papers of prominent early faculty members. The university's cutting edge research in the area of cell biology is represented in the papers of William Keith Brooks, Herbert Spencer Jennings, and Samuel Ottmar Mast.
The discipline of biology and how it was taught underwent many changes in the late nineteenth century. These developments are reflected in the student notebooks of Charles Branch Wilson, Frederick Bogue Noyes and correspondence between H. Newell Martin and Daniel Coit Gilman about how to set up a biology lab (see Gilman papers). The records of the Department of Biology describe the construction of Merganthaler Hall, the department's first home on the Homewood campus, as well as the needs and challenges facing the department in the early 20th century. Additional information on the earliest years of the department can be found in the Johns Hopkins University Collection.
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