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Herbert Hauptman papers

 Collection — Box: 1-39, MC 4.6
Identifier: 54-3F-1281
Personal and professional papers of Herbert Hauptman, Nobel Laureate, University at Buffalo faculty in Biophysical Sciences and Computer Science and Engineering, and former research director and president of the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Inc. (HWI).

The bulk of this collection consists of research and subject files, including handwritten notes and figures about direct methods. The papers also include article reprints authored or co-authored by Herbert Hauptman during his tenure at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratories, the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, and the University at Buffalo. Some writings include manuscripts and annotations.

There is one box of materials that documents the Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Herbert Hauptman and Jerome Karle in 1985 for their work with direct methods and x-ray crystallography.


  • 1915-2014
  • Modified: June 5, 2008
  • Migrated: December 15, 2021


Terms of Access

The Herbert A. Hauptman papers, 1915-2014, are open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and University Archives before requesting photocopies and/or publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Once permission is obtained, most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.


19.39 Linear Feet (31 manuscript boxes, 7 half manuscript boxes, 1 flat box, 2 map case folders)

0.179 Gigabytes (1 file)


Personal and professional papers of Herbert Hauptman, Nobel Laureate, University at Buffalo faculty, and former research director and president of the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Inc.

Biographical Note

Herbert Aaron Hauptman was born February 14, 1917 in New York, New York. He attended the City College of New York where he earned a Bachelor of Science. He continued his studies at Columbia University (M.A., 1939) and the University of Maryland (Ph.D. Mathematics, 1955). While enrolled at the University of Maryland, Hauptman began a partnership with Jerome Karle, whose background was in physical chemistry, at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. This collaboration led to significant work on the phase problem of x-ray crystallography and influenced Hauptman's dissertation, "An N-Dimensional Euclidean Algorithm." Their work in direct methods of x-ray crystallography ultimately led them to be named co-recipients of the 1985 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Hauptman is the only mathematician to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Herbert Hauptman joined the crystallographic group of the Medical Foundation of Buffalo in 1970. He became research director in 1972, and later President, where he continued work on the phase problem. Hauptman's work on direct methods is used to solve complicated molecular structures of crystallized materials and resulted in the development of new and more effective drugs. The Medical Foundation of Buffalo was renamed the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute in 1994 to honor Hauptman and Helen Woodward-Rivas, a benefactor of the institute.

Hauptman took a position as Research Professor of Biophysical Sciences at the University at Buffalo in 1970. The University and the Hauptman-Woodward Institute reached a significant partnership in 2001 that resulted in the formation of the UB Department of Structural Biology. Hauptman was also a faculty member in the departments of Biophysics and Computer Science.

Herbert Hauptman remained active with research, teaching, speaking, and writing until his death in 2011.


This collection is arranged in nine series: I. Biographical, 1950-2010; II. Book Collection, 1915-1986; III. Correspondence, undated, 1961-2009; IV. Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, undated, 1978-2014; V. Photographs and Slides, undated, 1985-2003; VI. Professional, undated, 1937-2009; VII. Subject files, undated, 1989-2007; VIII. University at Buffalo, undated, circa 1970-2009; IX. Writings and Speeches, undated, 1950-2011.

Within these series materials are arranged alphabetically and then chronologically. The original order of the born digital files is retained.

Acquisition Information

The Herbert A. Hauptman papers were donated to the University Archives by Herbert Hauptman's wife, Edith Hauptman, in January 2010.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Pinard, December 2015.

Finding aid encoded by Sarah Pinard, December 2015.

Digital material processed by Grace Trimper, December 2021.

Digital files were transferred to the University Archives on DVD. Where possible, digital content saved on storage media was migrated from the storage media, normalized to standard preservation and access formats, and transferred to a stable preservation environment following the University Libraries' Digital Preservation guidelines.



Finding Aid for the Herbert A. Hauptman papers
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Pinard.
December 2015
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
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