Jane M. Oppenheimer Papers

Mss.B.Op5

Date: 1936-1962 | Size: 0.25 Linear feet

Abstract

The embryologist and historian of science Jane M. Oppenheimer was a graduate and long term member of the faculty at Bryn Mawr College. Her research centered on the early development of the killifish Fundulus heteroclitus and on the history of embryology.

The Oppenheimer Papers are a small collection consisting of Oppenheimer's correspondence with a small number of colleagues regarding her publications in the history of science and medicine and various other topics. With one exception, all letters in the collection are addressed to Oppenheimer.

Background note

The embryologist Jane M. Oppenheimer was born in Philadelphia on September 19, 1911, and received her bachelors' degree in Zoology from Bryn Mawr College in 1932. She entered graduate school at Yale under the direction of John Spangler Nicholas, receiving her PhD in 1935 for a dissertation on the embryology of the killifish Fundulus heteroclitus in which she developed a novel methodology for dechorionating the embryo, making precise experimental manipulations of teleost embryos possible.

Oppenheimer returned to Bryn Mawr in 1938 as an instructor in biology, and remained there until her retirement in 1980, eventually rising to become William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Biology and History of Science. Perhaps her most important work was done in the four years immediately prior to her arrival at Bryn Mawr, when she performed a series of grafting experiments that demonstrated homology between the dorsal lips of teleost and amphibian embryos. She also developed accurate fate maps of the teleost embryo blastoderm and charted cell movement in gastrulation.

Early in her career, Oppenheimer developed an interest in the history of science and medicine, and she became increasingly well known for her contributions in the history of embryology and evolutionary biology. Her major works include Autobiography of Karl Ernst von Baer (Canton, Mass., 1986), Foundations of Experimental Embryology (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1964), and Essays in the History of Embryology and Biology (Cambridge, Mass., 1967).

Oppenheimer was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and, in 1980, to the APS, serving as Secretary from 1987 to 1992. She was recipient of the Otto H. Hafner Award of the American Association of the History of Medicine, the Karl Ernst von Baer Medal from the Estonian Academy of Sciences, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal from the Yale Graduate Alumni Association, and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for distinguished teaching at Bryn Mawr. She died at age 84 on March 19, 1996.

Scope and content

The Jane M. Oppenheimer Papers are a small collection consisting of Oppenheimer's correspondence with a small number of colleagues regarding her publications in the history of science and medicine and various other topics. With one exception, all letters in the collection are addressed to Oppenheimer.

Collection Information

Provenance

Gift of Jane M. Oppenheimer, 1987 (accn. no. 1987-858ms).

Preferred citation

Cite as: Jane M. Oppenheimer Papers, American Philosophical Society.

Processing information

Recatalogued by rsc, 2003.

Related material

Oppenheimer also appears as a correspondent in the papers of Warren H. Lewis (B L586).

Indexing Terms


Personal Name(s)

  • Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939
  • Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982
  • Harrison, Ross G. (Ross Granville), 1870-1959
  • Oppenheimer, Jane M. (Jane Marion), 1911-1996
  • Tennent, David Hilt, 1873-
  • Todd, Thomas Wingate, 1885-
  • Ubisch, Leopold von, 1886-1965
  • White, E. B. (Elwyn Brooks), 1

Subject(s)

  • Embryology -- History
  • Women embryologists


Detailed Inventory

Jane M. Oppenheimer Papers
1936-19620.25 lin. feetbox 1
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLsS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1936-193911 items

Re: publications and research in history of embryology.

Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1936 February 141p.
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1936 March 61p.
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1936 April 271p.
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1936 August 101p.
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1936 October 231p.
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1936 December 101p.
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1937 January 71p.
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1937 July 291p.
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1939 May 221p.
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1939 July 221p.
Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939.
ALS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
n.d.1p.
Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLsS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1959-196211 items

Other Descriptive Information: in German

Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1959 March 191p.
Oppenheimer, Jane M. (Jane Marion), 1911-1996.
TLS Cy to Karl von Frisch
1959 March 191p.
Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1959 April 201p.
Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1959 July 191p.
Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1959 October 71p.
Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1959 October 312p.
Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1960 April 161p.
Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1960 May 31p.
Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1960 July 251p.
Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1960 August 81p.
Frisch, Karl von, 1886-1982.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1962 May 41p.
Harrison, Ross G. (Ross Granville), 1870-1959.
ALsS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1938-19553 items
Harrison, Ross G. (Ross Granville), 1870-1959.
Postcard to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1938 March 201p.
Harrison, Ross G. (Ross Granville), 1870-1959.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1942 March 281p.
Harrison, Ross G. (Ross Granville), 1870-1959.
ALS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1947 March 91p.
Harrison, Ross G. (Ross Granville), 1870-1959.
ALS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1955 March 241p.
Tennent, D. H..
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
19381 item
Tennent, D. H..
ALS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1938 May 102p.
Todd, T. Wingate.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
19371 item
Todd, T. Wingate.
ALS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
1937 August 132p.
Ubisch, Leopold von.
TLsS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
19602 items
Ubisch, Leopold von.
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
193p.

In German. Includes TMs "Märachen."

White, E. B..
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
19471 item
White, E. B..
TLS to Jane M. Oppenheimer
191p.