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William Jefferson Darby papers

 Collection
Identifier: EBL-0240
Personal and professional papers of biochemist and nutrition leader William Jefferson Darby (1913-2001). Collection includes large section about The Nutrition Foundation. Collection is divided into three major series, Nutrition Foundation years, Vanderbilt University, and post-retirement years which includes Dr. Darby's extensive consulting for the H. J. Heinz Foundation.

Dates

  • 1944 - 2001

Creator

Notes about Access to this Collection

All collections are subject to applicable VUMC privacy and confidentiality policies. Collection specific restrictions: none

Reproduction Rights

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Extent

100 Cubic Feet

Abstract

Personal and professional papers of biochemist and nutrition leader William Jefferson Darby (1913-2001). Collection includes large section about The Nutrition Foundation. Collection is divided into three major series, Nutrition Foundation years, Vanderbilt University, and post-retirement years which includes Dr. Darby's extensive consulting for the H. J. Heinz Foundation.

Historical or Biographical Note

William J. Darby (1913-2001) was a Vanderbilt Professor who was considered one of the leading nutrition researchers of the 20th century. As a scientist, Dr. Darby made significant contributions to our knowledge of human requirements for protein, iron, folic acid, and zinc. As a teacher and mentor he enriched the lives of many generations of students. As a consultant to major charitable foundations he channeled significant funding to nutrition education and research projects.

Dr. Darby, was born in Galloway, Arkansas, November 6, 1913. He graduated MD from the University of Arkansas, and then a fellowship took him to the University of Michigan where he obtained a Ph. D. degree in Biological Chemistry. Dr. Darby came to Vanderbilt in 1942 as a Special Fellow in Nutrition of the International Health Division of The Rockefeller Foundation. The following year he moved to North Carolina where he taught at Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served as Director of Nutrition for the State Board of Health. He returned to Vanderbilt in 1944 as Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Medicine. Dr. Darby became chair of the Department of Biochemistry in 1949 and served in this position until 1971. Dr. Darby worked to obtain the outside funding that led to the establishment of the first separate identifiable nutrition unit in an American medical school. In 1972 William Darby was elected a member of the prestigious National Academy of Science and became President of the Nutrition Foundation.

Dr. Darby served as a very active Honorary Curator for the History of Medicine Collection in the Eskind Library while in retirement. His passion for old books began in his graduate student days in the early 1940s. One of Dr. Darby's early and enduring collecting interests was the history of scurvy. Dr. Darby's research interests and his travels influenced his book collecting. As a result he collected works on nutritional problems such as goiter, anemia, protein deficiency, pellagra, and kwashiorkor.

For more information and pictures please see the VUMC Online Biography of William J. Darby or the Obituary of Dr. Darby in the VUMC Reporter.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

All material in this collection has been transferred to acid free folders and boxes.

Acquisition Information

Acquired on Unknown Date

Processing History

processed on Unknown Date
Title
Finding Aid for the William Jefferson Darby Papers
Author
EBL Special Collections Staff
Date
2005-07-18
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Eskind Biomedical Library Manuscripts Collection Repository

Contact:
Eskind Biomedical Library
2209 Garland Ave.
Nashville TN 37232