Reference numberOL
TitlePapers of Otto Loewi
CreatorLoewi, Otto (1873-1961) Pharmacologist and Physiologist
DescriptionSome correspondence, papers, publications of Otto Loewi (1873-1961), pharmacologist, physiologist and Foreign Member of the Royal Society. The manuscript material is of a personal rather than a scientific nature and provides an important biographical source about Loewi's escape from Nazi Austria and his resettlement in the United States of America. Documentation includes Loewi's passport and authorisations issued by the Nazi government regarding his removal, personal correspondence and collections of articles demonstrating Loewi's wide interest in the arts.

Note: many letters and papers are in German. Rough English translations have been given when possible.
LanguageEnglish and German
ArrangementArranged in eight sections.
A. 1-44 Publications 1917-1960
B. 1-6 Autobiographical Essays; addresses and speeches; bibliographies
C. 1-16 Appreciations
D. 1-44 Press Cuttings
E. 1-82 Mementos; personal documents; memberships of organizations
General correspondence (179 letters)
Correspondence re honours and elections (91 letters)
Diplomas and Awards (36 items)
Finding aidsA handlist of the diplomas transferred from the Wellcome Institute Library. Index prepared in compilation of Loewi's biography by Prof. F. Lembeck.
Access statusOpen
Administrative historyBorn 3 June 1873 in Frankfurt am Main, Loewi attended 1881- 1890 in Frankfurt a Gymnasium of the old style, where studies were centred on classical languages, resulting in lifelong cultural interests of great width and variety (represented in the collection by his articles . He matriculated in medicine at Strasbourg where he came into contact with Nannyn in clinical medicine, Schmiedeberg in pharmacology and Hofmeister in biochemistry, working under the latter after taking a course in chemistry in Frankfurt after graduation.

His first post was with the City Hospital in Frankfurt, then with Dr.Hans Horst Meyer, Professor of Pharmacology at Marburg a.d.Lahn, where his researches were concerned with biochemical problems of metabolism.

In 1902 he studied with Ernest Starling, Professor of Physiology at University College London, visited Cambridge and learnt about several productive lines of research which would influence him many years later,and met Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins. On his return to Marburg he concentrated on renal function and publications on other subjects which had caught his interest, such as treatment with digitalis. He and his co-workers at Graz concentrated on the chemical transmission of effects from the nerve endings of the autonomic system until 1938, when the Nazi occupation of Austria and his temporary imprisonment compelled him to leave Austria.

After a visit to England and a temporary post in Brussels, he was caught in England by the outbreak of WWII in 1939 and worked in the Pharmacology Department at Oxford under Professor J A Gunn, before moving to the Medical School of New York University as Research Professor of Pharmacology in 1940. He became an American citizen in 1946, and died 25 December 1961. He was awarded the Nobel Prize (Physiology or Medicine) in 1936, and elected a Foreign Fellow of the Royal Society in 1954. He married in 1908 Guida, daughter of Guido Goldschmidt Professor of Chemistry in Prague and Vienna, and had 3 sons and one daughter.
Fellows associated with this archive
NA7515Loewi; Otto (1873 - 1961)1873 - 1961
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