Oral history interview with Allen G. Debus

Oral history interview with Allen G. Debus

  • 2007-Mar-29

Allen G. Debus grew up in Evanston, a suburb to the north of Chicago, where he attended public schools. He earned a BS in chemistry, with almost enough credits for a second major in history. After working at Abbott Laboratories for about five years, Debus decided to seek a Ph.D. in the history of science, at Harvard University under I. Bernard Cohen. He accepted an assistant professorship at University of Chicago and became the first director of the Morris Fishbein Center for the Study of the History of Science and Medicine. Debus wanted to study the place of chemistry in the scientific revolution with materials available to all; to that end he has a large collection of rare books from this time period, a collection he began in the early 1940's. He says that he has about 650 such books, the earliest from 1501.

Place of interview
Original file type PDF, MP3
  • 65 pages
Rights In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Related URL
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Physical location


Cite as

Allen G. Debus, interviewed by James J. Bohning in Deerfield, Illinois on March 29, 2007. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0365. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/3n203z96r.

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Transcript (Published Version)

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

7 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads