Letter from Mary Washington Frazer, Tennessee State Library and Archives to Joshua Lederberg
Along with this response to Lederberg's inquiry, Frazer enclosed a finding aid to Avery's papers at the Tennessee
State Library and Archives, and a copy of a letter to Avery from Harriett Ephrussi-Taylor.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (75,747 Bytes)
1972-10-18 (October 18, 1972)
Frazer, Mary Washington
Tennessee State Library and Archives
Reproduced with permission of the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
Your letter of October 13, has just come to my attention. Yes, we do have in the Manuscript Unit some papers of the late
Dr. Oswald Avery and enclosed is a copy of our register describing these papers. I am sorry to say there are no letters in
the collection to or from Harriett Ephrussi-Taylor or Fred Griffith. And all the letters, save the famous 1943 one, of Dr.
Avery deal with family affairs. I know this will be disappointing to you.
Not long ago, Mrs. Roy Avery brought to us some few additional papers pertaining to Dr. Avery which have not yet been processed
and catalogued. I have gone through them this morning and find one letter from Harriett Ephrussi-Taylor written from Paris
October 20, 1948, which will not help you but is extremely interesting in that she writes two pages about the "trial"
of Mendelian genetics in Russia. She also writes about her work and that of her husband, Boris, in Paris. This is a most
interesting letter; it was not written between 1943-1946, but I believe you might like a copy.
Included with the material that Mrs. Avery recently brought to us is a rough draft of a talk "The Commonwealth of Science"
with corrections, insertions, etc., in the handwriting of Dr. Oswald Avery (10 typed pages). Also there is an outline (8
typed pages) titled "Transformation of Pneumococcal Types" with a few handwritten insertions by Dr. Avery. The last
line of the latter states "The evidence presented supports the belief that a nucleic acid of the desoxyribose type is
the fundamental unit of the transforming principle of Pneumococcus Type III." I imagine both of these were given as talks