Warren H. (Warren Harmon) Lewis papers, ca. 1913-1964


Date: 1913-1964 | Size: 8 Linear feet, Ca. 8000 items


This collection is primarily correspondence and also notes on experiments concerning the cytology research of Lewis and his wife, Dr. Margaret Reed Lewis, at Johns Hopkins University, Carnegie Institution of Washington, and finally at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology in Philadelphia. There is significant material relating to his professional society activity in the American Association of Anatomists (President, 1934-1936) and the International Society for Experimental Cytology.

Background note

Warren H. Lewis was a pathologist.

Collection Information

Physical description

Circa 8000 items.


Presented by Jessica Lewis and accessioned, 1967 (1967 863ms).

Physiology, Biochemistry, and Biophysics Note

Between the 1910s and 1930s, Warren Harmon Lewis (together with his wife and colleague Margaret Lewis) developed methods of tissue culture and means of observation which revolutionized the field of cytology. While still at the Anatomical Laboratory at Johns Hopkins (1903-1919), the Lewises prepared a simple fluid which enabled them to grow cells in culture dishes and thus observe previously hidden details of cell structure and physiological activities. They continued their cytological studies at the Embryology Department of the Carnegie Institution (located in Baltimore) until their move to the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia after 1940. Warren Lewis' research program focused mainly on morphological aspects of cell structure, cell division, cell locomotion, and phagocytosis, in normal as well as in cancer cells. In 1929 he was first to develop time-lapse microscopic motion pictures to record observations on living cells in culture. His films became important teaching resources in cytology, and led him to develop mechanical theories of cell motion. Lewis was president of the American Association of Anatomists (1934-1936) and of the International Society for Experimental Cytology (1939-1947). The Lewis Papers are primarily from the 1930s to the 1950s and consist of two divisions: correspondence and laboratory records. The correspondence documents his cytological studies and motion picture research on cells, as well as his activities in professional societies. The experimental materials include lectures, experiments, drawings, photographs, and film scripts, covering a wide range of topics in embryology, cytology, oncology, and immunology.

Alvarez, Walter C. (Walter Clement), 1884-1978 (Various research problems in cytology.) Correspondence (3 items)1937-1939English
American Association of Anatomists. Symposium 1935, The Relation of the Anterior Pituitary to Reproduction (Includes communications with leading scientists surrounding the symposium. Correspondents include George W. Corner, Frederick L. Hisaw, A. E. Severinghaus, and Earl T. Engle.) Correspondence (54 items)1934-1935English
American Institute of Biological SciencesCorrespondence (7 items)1950-1953English
Bronk, Detlev W. (Detlev Wulf), 1897-1975 (On reviewing a paper in biophysics.) Correspondence (5 items)1943-1962English
Bush, Vannevar, 1890-1974 (Material on the Carnegie Institution and the Berkeley cyclotron.) Correspondence (10 items)1939-1954English
Caspersson, Torbjorn Oskar, 1910-1997 (Includes important correspondence describing a collaboration with Jack Schultz and future research plans; communications regarding a Rockefeller Fellowship for the study of DNA.) Correspondence (6 items)1939-1943English
Davenport, Charles Benedict, 1866-1944Correspondence (5 items)1934-1941English
Demerec, M. (Milislav), 1895-1966Correspondence (3 items)1945-1946English
Hardy, William B. (On colloid science.) Correspondence (2 items)1930English
Institut International d'EmbryologieCorrespondence (33 items)1931-1953French
International Society for Experimental Cytology (Includes correspondence with John Runnstrom, Ross G. Harrison, Robert Chambers, and Detlev W. Bronk.) Correspondence (3 folders)1938-1947English
Just, Ernest Everett, 1883-1941 (On embryological research.) Correspondence (2 items)1934English
Lillie, Frank Rattray, 1870-1947Correspondence (1 item)1925English
Metz, Charles William, 1889-1975 (On embryology.) Correspondence (3 items)1930-1941English
Sabin, Florence Rena, 1871-1953Correspondence (7 items)1926-1929English
Schrader, Franz (On cytogenetics and cellular fusion.) Correspondence (2 items)1945English
Schram, Mildred W. S., 1888-1960 (International cancer research.) Correspondence (11 items)1932-1942English
Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology (Numerous files on research and administrative issues at the Institute.) Correspondence (3 folders)1940-1960English

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Association of Anatomists
  • Carnegie Institution of Washington
  • International Society for Experimental Cytology.
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology.

Family Name(s)

  • Rollhaeuser, Johanna ter Horst.


  • Illustrations.
  • Notes.

Personal Name(s)

  • Bayne-Jones, Stanhope, 1888-1970
  • Blakeslee, Albert Francis, 1874-1954
  • Bronk, Detlev W. (Detlev Wulf), 1897-1975
  • Bush, Vannevar, 1890-1974
  • Cattell, Jacques, 1902-1960
  • Cattell, James McKeen, 1860-1944
  • Cowdry, E. V. (Edmund Vincent), 1888-1975
  • Cumming, Hugh S (Hugh Smith), 1869-1948
  • Davenport, Charles Benedict, 1866-1944
  • Demerec, M. (Milislav), 1895-1966
  • Farris, Edmond J. (Edmond John)
  • Goldschmidt, Richard, 1878-1958
  • Harris, Morgan
  • Hollaender, Alexander, 1898-1986
  • Jennings, H. S. (Herbert Spencer), 1868-1947
  • Lewis, Margaret Reed
  • Lewis, Warren H.(Warren Harmon), 1870-1964
  • Long, Esmond R. (Esmond Ray)
  • Lucke, Baldwin, 1889-1954
  • MacNider, William de Berniere, 1881-1951
  • Menke, John F.
  • Murphy, James B. (James Bernard)
  • Murray, Margaret Ransone
  • Okkels, Harald
  • Opie, Eugene L. (Eugene Lindsay), 1873-1971
  • Oppenheimer, Jane M. (Jane Marion), 1911-1996
  • Sabin, Florence Rena, 1871-1953
  • Streeter, George Linius, 1873-1948
  • White, Elizabeth Lloyd


  • Ambystoma.
  • Blood.
  • Cell division.
  • Cytology -- Research.
  • Medical sciences.
  • Mitosis
  • Motion pictures in science.
  • Pathology
  • Science -- Societies, etc.
  • Tumors.