Microbiology (2 collections) SCUA

Canale-Parola, Ercole

Ercole Canale-Parola Papers, 1957-1994.

2 boxes (3 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 166

Born in Rome, Italy, in 1929, Ercole Canale-Parola suspended his studies in 1951 to join his mother who had remarried and moved to Chicago. Continuing his education at the University of Illinois, Canale-Parola earned three degrees in microbiology in quick succession and marrying a fellow student, Thelma. On faculty in the Department of Microbiology at UMass Amherst from 1963 until his retirement in 1994, Canale-Parola’s research on the structure and metabolism of the cellulose cell walls of Sarcina helped him build a reputation as one of the world’s leading experts in the biology of spirochaetes. One of the crowning testimonies to his career was the naming of a spirochaete in his honor: Canaleparolinas. Thelma Canole-Parola died in 2011, followed by Ercole in March 2013.

A mixed assemblage of publications, lecture notes on microbial diversity, and specimens from a key figure in microbiology at UMass, this collection is highlighted by Canale-Parola’s notes on lectures delivered by Cornelius B. Van Niel (1961) and 52 (of 58) reel to reel tapes of lectures on microbiology and lab techniques by van Niel.

Subjects

  • Microbiology--Study and teaching
  • Spirochetes
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Microbiology

Contributors

  • Niel, Cornelis Bernardus van, 1897-1986

Types of material

  • Sound recordings

Thorne, Curtis B.

Curtis B. Thorne Papers, ca.1976-1989.

2 boxes (3 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 153

Before joining the faculty of the microbial genetics department at UMass Amherst in 1966, Curtis B. Thorne worked as the branch chief at the biolabs in Fort Detrick from 1948-1961 and 1963-1966 where his research focused on Bacillus anthracis, the microbe that causes anthrax. During his tenure at UMass, Curtis applied for and received numerous grants for his continued research on the bacterium, including funding from the U.S. Department of Defense. While his research was centered on the genetics and physiology of the anthrax bacillus, with an emphasis on developing a vaccine, it garnered the unwanted attention of local peace activists in 1989. Protestors, who feared Thorne’s research was linked to germ warfare, picketed outside of his laboratory and demanded that the university reject Pentagon funding. Even though the university and the town of Amherst refused to limit Thorne’s research, he decided not to seek an extension of his contract with the Army in 1990, a decision he regretted having to make. Four years later, Thorne retired from UMass and was honored by his former students with a symposium and dinner. Thorne died in 1988 at the age of 86.

Thorne’s papers consist of lab notebooks and materials relating to the classes he taught at UMass Amherst. Many of the notebooks are related to his research on Bacillus anthracis as well as other microbes including Bacills thuringiensis. His papers do not contain any information related to the funding of his research or the controversy that later surrounded it.

Subjects

  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Biological weapons
  • Geneticists--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Microbiology

Contributors

  • Thorne, Curtis B
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