Frederick G. Novy Papers: 1890-1954
Summary Information
Title: Frederick G. Novy Papers
Creator: Novy, Frederick G., 1864-1957
Inclusive dates: 1890-1954
Extent: 13 linear feet
Extent: 1 oversize folder
Abstract:
University of Michigan microbiologist; correspondence, student notebooks, San Francisco Plague Commission records, research files and laboratory notebooks, visual materials
Call number: 852257 Aa/2 UAm
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: Thomas E. Powers

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection came from different sources. In 1947 Frederick G. Novy donated his student notebooks to the library. Donor no. 291 The University of Michigan Department of Microbiology in 1970 and 1988 transferred its files of Novy materials to the library. Donor no. 4846 Other family members have also made additions.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., Frederick G. Novy Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Frederick G. Novy was a respected bacteriologist at the University of Michigan, serving as director of the Hygienic Laboratory and Dean of the Medical School.

Novy was born December 9, 1864 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated with a B.S. degree from the University of Michigan in 1886. In 1887, he accepted a position as instructor in the department of organic chemistry and published on the subject of bacteriological chemistry. In 1888, he and his department head Victor C. Vaughan went to Berlin to study under Robert Koch at his Hygiene Institute. Upon his return, he began teaching a course in bacteriology and began developing techniques for the cultivation of pathogenic bacteria. Novy at this time undertook additional educational training, receiving his Sc.D. in 1890 and his M.D. in 1891. In 1894, he studied at the Pathological Institute in Prague and in 1897, he worked at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

With his research and study, Novy was becoming recognized for his work in bacteriology and communicable diseases. In 1901, he agreed to served on a commission established to study an outbreak of what some considered to be bubonic plague in San Francisco. Through his writings and speeches, Novy was attempting to educate the public on the role of bacteria in the spread of disease. In his research, Novy concentrated on trypanosomes and spirochetes and later in his career on the study of the metabolism of microorganisms, particularly the tubercle bacillus.

Although his career was largely devoted to research, Novy also was an important member of the University of Michigan Medical School serving as chairman of the executive committee from 1930 to 1933 and dean from 1933 to 1935. He died August 8, 1957.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Frederick G. Novy collection documents the career and research interests of this noted bacteriologist, including information from the period of time when he was a member of the San Francisco Plague Commission (1901).

The collection has been divided into the following series:

  1. Biographical/Personal
  2. Correspondence
  3. University of Michigan Student Notebooks
  4. University of Michigan Medical School
  5. San Francisco Plague Commission
  6. Research Files/Laboratory Notebooks
  7. Reprints and Writings
  8. Miscellaneous; and Visual Materials.
Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Bacteria.
  • Epidemics.
  • Fever.
  • Medicine -- Study and teaching -- Michigan.
  • Physicians -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Sanitation.
  • Yellow fever.
  • Ann Arbor (Mich.) -- Dwellings.
  • Ann Arbor (Mich.) -- Streets.
  • Camping -- 1907.
  • Dwellings -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • England.
  • France.
  • Germany.
  • Hotels and taverns -- Michigan -- Mackinac Island.
  • Laboratories.
  • Les Cheneaux Islands (Mich.)
  • Liberty Street (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
  • Mackinac Island (Mich.) -- Hotels and taverns.
  • Mackinac Island (Mich.)
  • Mackinac Island (Mich.)
  • Photography.
  • Sault Sainte Marie (Mich.)
  • Scientific equipment.
  • Sculpture.
  • Streets -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Travel.
  • Albums.
  • Cyanotypes.
  • Drawings.
  • Photographs.
  • Novy, Frederick George, 1864-1957.
  • Pettee, William Henry, 1838-1904.
  • Prescott, A. B. (Albert Benjamin), 1832-1905.
  • Sewall, Henry, 1855-1936.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Chemistry.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Geology.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Physics.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
  • University of Michigan. Hygienic Laboratory.
  • University of Michigan. Medical School.
  • University of Michigan. Pasteur Institute.
  • University of Michigan -- Student notebooks.
  • Winchell, Alexander, 1824-1891.
  • Astor House (Mackinac Island, Mich.)
  • Novy, Frederick George, 1864-1957.
  • Novy family.
  • Smith House (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
  • University of Michigan -- Alumni and alumnae.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Medicine and Surgery. Class of 1886.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Medicine and Surgery. Class of 1891.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Medicine and Surgery. Class of 1906.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Medicine and Surgery. Class of 1912.
  • University of Michigan. Medical School -- Faculty.
  • Ashford, Bailey K. (Bailey Kelly), 1873-1934.
  • Behrens, Charles August, 1885-1950.
  • Breakey, William Fleming, 1835-1915.
  • Bruce, David, 1855-1931.
  • Calmette, Gaston, 1858-1914.
  • De Kruif, Paul, 1890-1971.
  • Ehrlich, Paul, 1854-1915.
  • Fraenkel, Karl, 1861-1916.
  • Greene, Albert Emerson.
  • Johnson, Otis C. (Otis Coe), 1839-1912.
  • Jordan, Edwin Oakes, 1866-1936.
  • Kahn, Reuben L. (Reuben Leon), 1887-1979.
  • Koch, Robert, 1843-1910.
  • Langley, John Williams, 1841-1918.
  • McKinley, Earl Baldwin, 1894-1938.
  • Marshall, Charles Edward, 1866-1927.
  • Nicolle, Charles, 1866-1936.
  • Norris, Charles, 1867-1935.
  • Nuttall, George Henry Falkiner, 1862-1937.
  • Osler, William, Sir, 1849-1919.
  • Reed, Walter, 1851-1902.
  • Rich, John Treadway, 1841-1926.
  • Ricketts, Howard Taylor, 1871-1910.
  • Ross, Ronald, Sir, 1857-1932.
  • Roux, Pierre Paul Emile, 1853-1933.
  • Schaudinn, Fritz, 1871-1906.
  • Smith, Theobald, 1859-1934.
  • Vaughan, Victor C. (Victor Clarence), 1851-1929.
  • Welch, William Henry, 1850-1934.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Biographical/Personal [series]

The Biographical/Personal series of materials, either by or about Novy. Most noteworthy is a diary kept by Novy while studying at the Hygiene Institute under Robert Koch in 1888.

Box   1  
Biographical information, including obituaries, awards, citations, etc
Box   1  
Scrapbook of activities 1879-1939
Box   1  
Clippings
Box   1  
Speech on Zina Pitcher 1908
Box   1  
Miscellaneous speeches and speech notes
Box   1  
High school history notebook 1882
Box   1  
Personal account book 1882-1889
Box   1  
Diary of trip to study at the Hygiene Institute under Robert Koch 1888
Box   1  
Account book at Brown's Grocery Store 1900
Box   1  
Novy portrait file 1929
Box   1  
Novy birthday celebration 1929 (1 folder, 1 volume)
 
Correspondence [series]

The Correspondence series dates from 1890 to 1940. Except for a few folders on a specific subject or written to his wife while he was out-of-town and thus kept together, the correspondence has been arranged chronologically. Novy's correspondents include Bailey Ashford, Charles A. Behrens, David Bruce, Gaston Calmette, Paul DeKruif, Paul Ehrlich, Karl Fraenkel, Edwin O. Jordan, Reuben Kahn, Robert Koch, Earl B. McKinley, Charles E. Marshall, Charles Nicolle, Charles Norris, George Nuttal, William Osler, Walter Reed, John T. Rich, Howard T. Ricketts, Ronald Ross, Pierre Roux, Fritz Schaudinn, Henry Sewall, Theobald Smith, Victor C. Vaughan, and William H. Welch. Novy's letters with his wife Grace as especially valuable as they were written while attending a European scientific conference in 1890-91 and while serving as a member of the San Francisco plague commission in 1901.

Box   1  
Undated, 1892-1909
Box   2  
1910-1927
Box   3  
1928-1957
Box   3  
To Grace Novy written from European conference 1890-1891
Box   3  
To Grace Novy written from San Francisco while a member of plague commission 1901
Box   3  
From Thomas Capek regarding in part Bohemian immigration
Box   3  
To Frank O. Novy 1923-1940
Box   3  
To F. G. Novy III (typescripts)
 
University of Michigan Student notebooks [series]

Novy's University of Michigan Student Notebooks forms the third series. As a student in the 1880s and early 1890s, Novy attended classes taught by some of the university's most distinguished faculty. This series of thirteen volumes includes notes on classes of Alexander Winchell, John Langley, William F. Breakey, Fleming Carrow, Walter S. Christopher, William J. Herdman, Otis C. Johnson, James N. Martin, George Howison, Heneage Gibbes, Charles Nancrede, John H. Pettis, and Albert B. Prescott.

Box   3  
Notes from classes (13 volumes)
 
University of Michigan Medical School [series]

Novy's responsibilities outside of his research activities will be found in the University of Michigan Medical School series. This is a miscellanea of budget materials for the neurology department, Novy's notices of appointment, and compiled information of the history of the University of Michigan Medical School. This series also includes the notebooks used by Novy in his teaching.

Box   3  
Notices of appointments, etc
Box   3  
Department budgets, etc. 1917-1928
Box   3  
Doctoral dissertations
Box   4  
Teaching notes (3 folders)
Box   4  
History of Medical School, notes and other collected information
Box   4  
Victor Vaughan memorial, etc. (2 folders)
 
San Francisco plague commission [series]

The San Francisco Plague Commission series is a small grouping of materials from the period in 1901 when Novy as part of a commission was investigating the possibility of bubonic plague in this California city. This series includes a scrapbook of clippings from San Francisco newspapers, notes from cases of plague, testimony, a copy of the report, and scattered correspondence and other documents. Novy's impressions of his work and his life in the city will be found in his letters to his wife in the Correspondence series.

Box   4  
Scrapbook and other records (3 folders, 1 volume)
 
Research files/laboratory notebooks [series]

The Research Files/Laboratory Notebooks series includes approximately fifty laboratory notebooks documenting experiments and other research done by Novy, as well as various notes on research projects.

Box   5  
Laboratory notebooks

(contents not listed)

Box   6  
Laboratory notebooks

(contents not listed)

Box   7  
Laboratory notebooks

(contents not listed)

 
Research material
Box   8  
Anaerobic bacteria
Box   8  
Bacteriological metabolism
Box   8  
Bacteriological respiration (2 folders)
Box   8  
Bird pathogens
Box   8  
Ptomaines
Box   8  
Rat virus (2 folders)
Box   8  
Swine plague
Box   9  
Toxicity of serums
Box   9  
Trypanosomes (2 folders)
 
Reprints and writings [series]

Reprints and Writings includes volumes of Novy's published writings and drafts of other writings, probably later published.

Box   9  
Reprints (4 volumes)
Box   10  
Reprints (1 folder)
Box   10  
Drafts of writings
 
Miscellaneous [series]

Miscellaneous includes an assortment of materials including a journal-photograph album created by Agnes Peel Howes in 1907 with views of Mackinac Island, Les Cheneaux Islands, and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Box   10  
Invitations, passports, etc
Box   10  
Medical Brotherhood (organization) 1915-1917
Box   10  
Medical sketch book
Box   10  
Pasteur Centennial notebook 1923
Box   10  
Vaughn textbook with Novy handwritten notes
Box   10  
Journal-photograph album of Agnes Peele Howes describing a trip taken with the Novy family from Detroit to Mackinac to Sault Ste. Marie 1907
 
Visual Materials [series]

The Visual Materials series includes photographs and glass slides. The photographs consist of portraits, laboratory and classroom photos, photos of home in Ann Arbor where Novy once boarded, and photos of medical school faculty. In addition there is an album of a trip to Germany in 1888 that also contains family photographs from 1907. The glass slides were used by Novy in his classroom presentations. There are glass slides of his research and laboratory.

Box   10  
Portraits, formal and informal (also UAm)
Box   10  
Novy sculpture photos; also prints of painting, etc
Box   10  
Ann Arbor home; University of Michigan Medical School faculty composite photo
Box   10  
Displays of lab equipment 1957, 1964
Box   10  
University of Michigan class reunions (also Uam)
Box   10  
FGN with others
Box   10  
Miscellaneous
Box   10  
Album of Europe trip in 1888; 1907 family photos 1888, 1907
Box   11  
Glass slides of FGN research projects; also glass slides used in class presentations
Box   12  
Glass slides of FGN research projects; also glass slides used in class presentations

(continued)

Box   13  
Glass slides of FGN research projects; also glass slides used in class presentations

(continued)

Additional Descriptive Data
Selective Index to Correspondents

This index lists some of the more significant corespondents in the chronologically arranged portion of the Correspondence series. It cites the correspondent and the date(s) of correspondence.

Ashford, Bailey K. (Bailey Kelly), 1873-1934.
  • Jan. 17, 1915
Behrens, Charles August, 1885-1950.
  • Feb.-May 1917, Sept.-Dec. 1918, Mar. 28, 1919, May 15, 1919, Dec. 15, 1919, Apr. 3, 1920, June 15, 1920, Oct. 17, 1920
Bruce, David, 1855-1931.
  • June-Sept. 1904, May-June 1906, Mar.-Apr. 1908, June-July 1908, Nov.-Dec. 1908
Calmette, Gaston, 1858-1914.
  • Feb. 18, 1908, Sept. 9, 1908, Oct. 24, 1923, Oct. 19, 1933, Sept. 14, 1908
De Kruif, Paul, 1890-1971.
  • May, June and Dec. 1917, Jan. 1918, June 14, 1918, Oct. 14, 1920, Mar. 1, 1925, Oct. 25, 1932, Nov. 1, 1932
Ehrlich, Paul, 1854-1915.
  • May, July, 1904, Jan. 7, 1905, Feb. 2, 1906, Feb. 9, 1906, June 1906, Nov.-Dec. 1909, Feb. 2, 1910
Fraenkel, Karl, 1861-1916.
  • Jan.-Mar. 1907, May, July, 1907, Oct.-Dec. 1907, June 13, 1910, July 21, 1910, Aug. 3, 1910
Jordan, Edwin Oakes, 1866-1936.
  • May 6, 1899, Oct. 1906, Apr. 1, 1907, Nov. 9, 1910, Jan. 16, 1926, Feb. 16, 1927, Oct. 3, 1927, Oct. 21, 1929, June 9, 1936
Kahn, Reuben L. (Reuben Leon), 1887-1979.
  • May, June, Aug., 1921, Apr., and Sept. 1922, Mar., Apr., Aug., Oct., 1924, July and Dec. 1925, May and Nov. 1927, Apr., July, and Nov. 1928, Jan., Feb., June, 1929, Feb., June, Sept., Nov., 1930, Feb. 8, 1931, May and Oct. 1932, Feb. 23, 1931
Koch, Robert, 1843-1910.
  • Oct. 14, 1893, June (July)? 2, 1894
McKinley, Earl Baldwin, 1894-1938.
  • Feb., Oct., Nov., and Dec. 1923, Mar.-May 1924, Sept., Oct., Dec. 1924, Mar., Apr., 1925, May, July, Dec. 1926, Jan., July, Dec., 1927, Jan., Feb. 1928, May, Sept., Nov., 1928, Sept., Oct., Nov., 1929, Jan.-Mar. 1930, June, Oct., 1930, Jan., Mar., Apr., July, 1931, Apr., Aug., Sept., Oct., 1932, July, Aug. 1933, Jan., Apr., May, July, Dec., 1934, Aug. 1, 1935, May and June 1936
Marshall, Charles Edward, 1866-1927.
  • July 22, 1904, Sept. 1906, Aug. and Oct. 1910
Nicolle, Charles, 1866-1936.
  • Aug. and Oct. 1906, Apr. and May 1908, Mar., June, July, 1909, Sept. 1921, Jan. 12, 1922
Norris, Charles, 1867-1935.
  • Nov.-Dec. 1905, Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., June and Nov. 1906
Nuttall, George Henry Falkiner, 1862-1937.
  • Oct. 27, 1900, Feb. 7, 1901, June, July, and Dec. 1904, Feb. 4, 1905, May 9, 1906, June 14, 1906, Dec. 1912, Dec. 30, 1919
Osler, William, Sir, 1849-1919.
  • Oct. 7, 1904, Nov. 6, 1904, Jan. 19, 1905
Reed, Walter, 1851-1902.
  • Aug. 31, 1899
Rich, John Treadway, 1841-1926.
  • Undated
Ricketts, Howard Taylor, 1871-1910.
  • May, June 1907, Dec. 22, 1908, Feb., Mar., Apr., and Sept. 1909
Ross, Ronald, Sir, 1857-1932.
  • Jan. 24, 1905, Feb. 13, 1906, Feb. 25, 1906, Mar. 15, 1906, June 16, 1906, July 15, 1906, July 30, 1906, undated
Roux, Pierre Paul Emile, 1853-1933.
  • Dec. 17, 1890, Aug. 12, 1904, May 2, 1906, May 24, 1906, Dec. 1914, Jan. 10, 1916, Dec. 3, 1916, Dec. 26, 1916, Apr. 4, 1917, Aug. 24, 1917, Dec. 10, 1917, Jan. 3, 1917
Schaudinn, Fritz, 1871-1906.
  • Jan., Feb., Apr., May, and June 1905
Smith, Theobald, 1859-1934.
  • Nov. 28, 1903, Nov. 25, 1904, Oct. 20, 1909, Oct. 13, 1911, Nov. 13, 1911, May 3, 1918
Vaughan, Victor C. (Victor Clarence), 1851-1929.
  • Sept. 1907, Aug. 1910, Apr. 1911, Nov. 1912, Sept. 1914, Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. 1915, Aug., Nov. 1917, Apr. and Oct. 1918, Apr. and Sept. 1924, Jan. 1925, Feb., Mar., Apr., May, 1926
Welch, William Henry, 1850-1934.
  • Aug. 12, 1898, undated, May 1, 1899, May 14, 1901, May 18, 1903, May 21, 1903, May 31, 1903, June 3, 1903, Sept. 24, 1903, Sept. 29, 1903, Oct. 4, 1903, Oct. 13, 1908, Feb. 2, 1912