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Julian H. Gibbs (AC 1947) Papers

Identifier: MA.00113

Scope and Contents

The collection consists mainly of papers, abstracts, articles and lecture notes on topics in physical chemistry, and correspondence between Gibbs and his colleagues. There is a small amount of material related to his Amherst College presidency.


  • Creation: 1954-1985, undated


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the Julian H. Gibbs (AC 1947) Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the Julian H. Gibbs (AC 1947) Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Julian Howard Gibbs (AC 1947), chemist, was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts on June 24 1924. He graduated from Amherst in 1947, and received his Master's degree and Ph.D. from Princeton in 1949 and 1950 respectively. He taught at the University of Minnesota in 1951-52; worked at General Electric (1952-1955) and the American Viscose Corporation (1955-1960); and taught chemistry at Brown from 1960 until his appointment as Amherst president in 1979. From 1964 to 1972, he was the head of Brown's chemistry department. Gibbs's term as Amherst president was cut short by his sudden death on February 20, 1983, while skiing near Springfield, Massachusetts. Gibbs published several articles on chemistry during his life, and was actively involved in chemical research during his presidency. He was a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Physical Society (which awarded him the High Polymer Prize in 1967 for his research); and a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. He was awarded honorary degrees by Amherst (1971) and Brown (1981). Gibbs married Cora Lee Gethman in 1946. They had four children, James, Judith, Jeffrey and Jonathan.


3.5 Linear feet (3 records cartons, 1 archives box)

Language of Materials



Mainly papers, abstracts, articles and lecture notes on topics in physical chemistry, and correspondence between Gibbs and his colleagues.


This collection is organized into four series:

  1. Series 1: Speeches
  2. Series 2: Papers by Julian H. Gibbs
  3. Series 3: Papers by Others
  4. Series 4: Awards, Grants, Applications and Miscellaneous

Related Materials

Alumni Biographical Files -- Class of 1947 -- Gibbs

Barbara Trippel Simmons, Processing Archivist, and Nicole Sanches (AC 2013), Student Assistant.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299