7.31 cubic feet (19 boxes)
An item-level inventory of Series 6 Lantern Slides is available here:
The collection is arranged in six series: 1) Personal, 2) Laboratory Administration, 3) Research, 4) Publications, 5) Declassified Reports and 6) Lantern Slides. See the individual series descriptions for more details on the contents. of each series.
The collection was reviewed by archivist Francis Butkus of the National Archives in 1985. The majority of the collection was then declassified. During archival processing, the remaining classified documents were separated into Box 15 and have since been declassified as of December 28, 2011. Use the stamped declassified copies in Box 15 for access to these materials. Max Bergmann’s physical examination records are closed in accordance with HIPAA regulations.
Received from the Rockefeller University in 1981.
Copyright restrictions may apply. All requests for reproduction and use of material require additional forms to be submitted for approval by the Rockefeller Archive Center.
Duplicate reports and circulars were discarded. Also, in cases where preservation photocopies were necessary due to the poor condition of the original document, the original document was discarded.
The American Philosophical Society (APS) Library has additional papers of Max Bergmann. A copy of the collection description and inventory for the records housed at the APS Library can be found in Series 1, Folder 1. An abstract of the collection is also available on the APS Library website at:
Max Bergmann was a German biochemist. He was born in Furth, Bavaria on February 12, 1886. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Berlin in 1911, he worked closely as an assistant to Hermann Emil Fischer from 1911 to 1919. Together, they laid the foundation for scientific knowledge of proteins, carbohydrates, and tannins. Following the suicide of Fischer, Bergmann accepted a position as Vice–Director and Head of the Department of Organic Chemistry at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Fiber Chemistry in Berlin. In 1921, he moved on to serve as Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Leather Research until 1933. When the conditions in Germany grew too hostile, he emigrated to the United States and became an Associate Member of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research where he continued as a pioneer of applied sciences focused on proteins and protein–splitting enzymes, as well as the chemistry of carbohydrates and fats. In 1937, he became a full member of the Institute. He died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on November 7, 1944. At the time of his death, he was working under contract with the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development to benefit the national defense during World War II. This research focused on the synthetic, analytical, and inorganic problems in chemical warfare and B–4 toxicity, especially mustard gases.
This collection primarily documents the laboratory research and administration of biochemist Dr. Max Bergmann during his tenure at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, now the Rockefeller University, from 1934 until his death in 1944. The records are particularly focused on the research he conducted in the 1940s on problems of interest to the U.S. Armed Forces, namely the synthetic, analytical, and inorganic problems in chemical warfare and B–4 toxicity, especially mustard gases. Records consist mostly of laboratory research notes, notes on related scientific literature, research progress reports, correspondence with colleagues and administrative officials, administrative circulars and memoranda, reprints of Bergmann publications, and receipts of classified reports and scientific samples. Research topics of interest include World War II chemical warfare research, Selective Service deferments for scientists, policies and procedures of the Office of Scientific Research and Development and the National Defense Research Committee, and the “brain drain” or significant emigration of scientists and technologists to the United States from Europe as a result of hostile conditions prior to World War II. The collection also contains a minimal amount of biographical material, including Bergmann’s personal correspondence, documents relating to Bergmann’s funeral, and photographs.
Former Classification: I 450 B454
Information regarding the Rockefeller Archive Center’s preferred elements and forms of citation can be found at
Collection is open for scholarly research with select materials restricated, as noted.