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Arthur Greenberg Collection of Laboratory Photographs

Identifier: 2010-028

Scope and Contents

This collection contains black and white print photographs and photographic postcards, some bearing hand-written captions or annotations, depicting laboratory work spaces and men and women working in laboratories in the 1920’s. Notably, several photographs depict laboratory facilities at the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (H.R.I.M.R.) and one photograph depicts Dr. Albert Baird Hastings and Dr. James A. Hawkins during their tenure at the H.R.I.M.R. Other items of note include two photographs British physiologist Sir Joseph Barcroft in laboratories in Cambridge, England and several photographs of female laboratory assistants, possibly working at the H.R.I.M.R.


  • Creation: circa 1915-1928


Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.

Copyright Information

To obtain reproduction and copyright information, contact:


Albert Baird Hastings (1895-1987) was born in Dayton, Kentucky on November 20, 1895. He attended the University of Michigan for his undergraduate studies, and, beginning in 1917, worked as sanitary chemist at Public Health Service studying the physiological mechanisms of fatigue. While at the Public Health Service, Hastings' research took him to Columbia University, where physiologist Frederic Schiller Lee invited him to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Hastings receive his Ph.D. in 1921 and subsequently served as a research assistant working under Dr. Donald Van Slyke at the Hospital of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (H.R.I.M.R.), the first American facility devoted to clinical research, with a focus on researching the safety and efficacy of medications, devices, and treatment regimens intended for human use. From 1921 to 1926, Hastings oversaw several research laboratories at the H.R.I.M.R. studying the acid-base equilibrium of blood. In 1926, he left the H.R.I.M.R. to assume a professorship at the University of Chicago and subsequently became chair of the biological chemistry department at Harvard in 1935. Sir Joseph Barcroft (1872-1947) was a British physiologist based at Cambridge University best known for his work on the respiratory function of the blood and the functions of the spleen.

Previous catalog records and captions describe this collection as photographs related to A. T. McPherson. This may refer to Archibald Turner McPherson (b.1895), who attended the University of Texas and University of Chicago, and became a research chemist and later associate director at the U.S. Bureau of Standards. However, the spelling of "McPherson" differs from the inscriptions accompanying these photographs and there is no evidence directly linking Archibald Turner McPherson to the contents of this collection.


23 Photographic Prints (1 box)

Language of Materials



Black and white photographs of men and women working in scientific laboratories in the 1920s, including American biochemist and physiologist Dr. Alfred Baird Hastings and British physiologist Sir Joseph Barcroft.

Custodial History

Purchased by donor from "Metrolinea" flea market in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1998-99.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Arthur Greenberg, 2010.

Digitized Materials

This collection has been digitized in its entirety. Please visit our Digital Collections to view the digitized images online:

Related Materials

See also the Travis P. Hignett Collection of Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory Photographs, 1920s-1950s (bulk 1926-1930) at the Science History Institute.

See also the USDA Bureau of Chemistry Photograph Collection, 1901-1927, at the Science History Institute.

Condition Description

Material is in good condition.

Processing Information

The Arthur Greenberg Collection of Laboratory Photographs were processed by Amanda Antonucci in 2010. Object ID numbers were assigned to individual photographs. Finding aid by Jennifer Nieling and Hillary S. Kativa.

Arthur Greenberg Collection of Laboratory Photographs
Finding aid created by Jennifer Nieling and Hillary S. Kativa and encoded into EAD by Melanie Grear.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 8/28/2023: Digitized Materials note added.

Repository Details

Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19106 United States
215.873.5265 (Fax)