Skip to main content

Howard Walter Florey papers

Call Number: MS 1289

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of correspondence and reprints of Howard Walter Florey relating to antibiotics.


  • 1930-1940


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Yale University Historical Medical Library, 1980.


2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence and reprints of Howard Walter Florey relating to antibiotics.

Biographical / Historical

Howard Walter Florey was born on September 24, 1898, in Adelaide, Australia. He received a degree in medicine from Adelaide University in 1921, then went to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and in 1924, attended Cambridge. He spent 1925 traveling in the United States as a Rockefeller traveling fellow and in 1926, married Mary Ethel Reed, with whom he had two children. The next year, he received his Ph.D. from Cambridge. Between 1927 and 1962, Florey held teaching positions at Cambridge, Sheffield, and Oxford, all in pathology. In 1962, he became provost of Queen's College, Oxford. Florey's most significant contribution, however, was the development of penicillin for practical purposes, as a result of which he shared the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 1945. Though penicillin had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming, it had gone largely unnoticed for over a decade. In 1939, Florey and Dr. Ernst Boris Chain began experiments with a purified form of penicillin and discovered its ability to combatbacterial infections in humans. Their discovery made penicillin available for use during the last two years of the war. In 1944, Florey was knighted and in 1965, he was made life peer, taking the name Baron Florey of Adelaide. He died on February 21, 1968, in Oxford, England.

Preliminary Guide to the Howard Walter Florey Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
February 2004
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)


Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours