Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid to the Jesse Rabinowitz Papers, 1944-1999, bulk 1948-1995
BANC MSS 2003/333 c  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (102.60 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Jesse Rabinowitz papers
    Date (inclusive): 1944-1999,
    Date (bulk): bulk 1948-1995
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 2003/333 c
    Creator: Rabinowitz, Jesse
    Extent: Number of containers: 11 cartons, 2 boxes Linear feet: 14.4 linear feet
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Abstract: The Jesse Rabinowitz papers, 1944-1999, consist of correspondence, writings, research, and personal papers relating to his life and work as a biochemist. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, research material, and professional papers that Rabinowitz collected during his 40 year career with the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Also included is a small array of personal papers which present a view of Rabinowitz's wide-ranging interests, as well as a limited collection of personal photographs.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English. There are some materials in French and Yiddish.
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and the copyright. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Jesse Rabinowitz Papers, BANC MSS 2003/333 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Separated Material

    No materials have been separated from this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Rabinowitz, Jesse--Archives
    University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology
    Folic acid in human nutrition
    Biochemistry--Research
    Faculty papers.
    History of science and technology collection

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Jesse Rabinowitz Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Mr. Edward Penhoet on October 17, 2003.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Jennifer Davis in 2006.

    Biographical Information

    Jesse Charles Rabinowitz was born on April 28, 1925 in New York, New York. He was the only child of Julius and Frances Rabinowitz, immigrants to the United States from Eastern Europe. When he was eleven, the family relocated to Jersey Homesteads, an experimental Jewish co-op. In 1945, Rabinowitz received a bachelor's degree in chemistry at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. From University of Wisconsin, he obtained a master's degree in biochemistry in 1947 and a Ph.D. in 1949.
    After completing his doctorate, Rabinowitz spent a year studying under David Green at the University of Wisconsin Enzyme Institute. From 1951-1952, Rabinowitz furthered his postdoctoral study of purine fermentation by anaerobic bacteria at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1952 he joined the National Institutes of Health. Rabinowitz then joined the Department of Biochemistry at UC Berkeley in 1957, where he served as chair of the department from 1978 to 1983. During his long and distinguished career, Professor Rabinowitz taught and mentored many graduate and doctoral students. Rabinowitz became professor emeritus of the Biochemistry Department in 1991.
    Over the course of his career, Rabinowitz did groundbreaking research in the essential B vitamin, folic acid. This research was begun under the tutelage of his graduate school professor, Esmond Snell and continued with one of Rabinowitz's graduate students, Dean Appling. As a result of their research, it is now widely advised that pregnant women take folic acid to prevent birth defects in newborns. In UC Berkeley's "In Memoriam" tribute, a colleague of Rabinowitz is quoted "Jesse worked out a good part of the basic biology of folic acid. In our research on chromosome breaks caused by folic acid deficiency, we keep coming across Jesse's old work. All his papers are classics."
    Over the course of his career, Rabinowitz authored many scientific articles on the subjects of enzymology, purine fermentation, folic acid, clostridial ferredoxin, iron-sulfur proteins, and protein synthesis. In recognition of his contributions to science, he was awarded fellowships with the United States Public Health Service in 1962, the National Science Foundation in 1970, the Guggenheim Foundation in 1977, the National Academy of Sciences in 1981, and the American Academy of Microbiology in 1997. Rabinowitz was also the editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry from 1965-1970 and from 1974-1977.
    In addition to his career as professor at UC Berkeley, Rabinowitz was an avid photographer, music devotee, cellist, cook, dancer, and traveler. Rabinowitz enjoyed three sabbaticals in Paris and vacationed in Japan, Guatemala, and Egypt, among many other countries. His photographs of the people he met on his travels have been exhibited at galleries around the San Francisco Bay Area. For a photograph he made of a child in Mexico, Rabinowitz won the 1969 Saturday Review magazine World Travel Photography Grand Prize in Color. Rabinowtiz's extensive personal slide collection may be found at the McHenry Library of University of California, Santa Cruz. The University Library at University of California, Santa Cruz also received a donation of 2,700 classical CDs from Rabinowtiz's personal collection.
    Jesse Rabinowitz died of melanoma Tuesday, September 9, 2003 at his home in Kensington, California.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Jesse Rabinowitz papers, 1944-1999, consist of correspondence, research, and personal papers relating to his life and work as a biochemist. The bulk of the collection includes correspondence, research material, and professional papers that Rabinowitz collected during his 40 year career with the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Also included is a small array of personal papers which present a view of Rabinowitz's wide-ranging interests, as well as a limited collection of personal photographs.
    The correspondence files make up the bulk of the collection and include letters to and from Rabinowitz as well as research materials, reprints, notes, and personal information. Collected in the General Research series is correspondence, notes, and various other material representing the following subjects: enzymology, purine fermentation, folic acid coenzymes, ferredoxin, iron-sulfur proteins, and protein biosynthesis. Grant applications and correspondence relating to grants are also included in this series. Rabinowitz collected reprints which illustrate 50 years of his research efforts in biochemistry; this work is also found in the General Research series.
    Professional materials pertaining to Rabinowitz's career at the University of California, Berkeley and his outside affiliations are found in the University of California, Berkeley and the Professional Affiliations series. There is a notable lack of course materials found in the collection.
    Rabinowitz was an avid traveler, amateur photographer, dancer, and cook. These personal interests are represented by his personal papers files. Included is correspondence, photographs, travelogues, and ephemera. Lastly, a small collection of photographs of Rabinowitz's lab colleagues and friends is found in the photographs series.