Centennial tribute to Nobel winner Brown to include archives exhibit

May 29, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University Libraries' Division of Archives and Special Collections will display former professor Herbert C. Brown's 1979 Nobel Prize and other prestigious honors and artifacts from the famed scientist in an exhibit this summer.

"Herbert C. Brown: A Nobel Laureate's Life and Legacy" will run June 4 through Aug. 24 in the Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center. The center is on the fourth floor of the Humanities, Social Science and Education Library in Stewart Center.

The Purdue Libraries exhibit, which is free and open to the public, is part of the H.C. Brown Centennial Celebration that runs June 3-9 at the university. The exhibit will allow visitors to interact with the display with use of QR codes, as they listen to excerpts from Brown's oral history interview.

Professors Ei-ichi Negishi of Purdue and Akira Suzuki of Sapporo University, both students of Brown and Nobel laureates, highlight a list of participants in the celebration. For more information on all the events that are part of the centennial celebration, go to http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/events/2012/120516RamachandranBrown.html

Brown, who would have turned 100 this year, was one of America's leading chemists of the 20th century. His work with boron compounds revolutionized organic chemistry and earned him a Nobel Prize. His discoveries at Purdue, from his arrival in 1947 until his death in 2004, opened new avenues in academic and industrial chemistry.

Brown's work with boranes is used today in the synthesis of many organic compounds, including a majority of medications.

In addition to his Nobel Prize in chemistry medal, other items in the Archives and Special Collections exhibit include the National Medal of Science awarded to Brown in 1969 by U.S. President Richard M. Nixon; the 1981 Joseph Priestly medal from the American Chemical Society; and the Perkins Research Medal for outstanding work in chemistry, awarded in 1982. A brief case belonging to Brown, laboratory notes, oral history transcript excerpts, numerous manuscript items and artifacts also will be displayed.

Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center will be open 1-4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays during the exhibit's run.
Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu

Source: Elizabeth Wilkinson, Processing and Public Services Archivist, Purdue Libraries Division of Archives and Special Collections, 765-494-9040, emwilkin@purdue.edu