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Casimir Funk Collection
mssFunk Collection  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Casimir Funk Collection.
    Dates (inclusive): 1896-1984
    Bulk dates: 1939-1966
    Collection Number: mssFunk Collection
    Creator: Funk, Casimir, 1884-1967
    Extent: 17 boxes, 1 legal-size box, 1 cd box, 1 flat box.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: Collection of research notes, business correspondence, biographical material and offprints from scientific journals from the “father of vitamins” Casimir Funk (1884-1967). Topics include cancer, diabetes, hormones, vitamins, ulcers. Material spans his working career from 1904-1967, but is mostly concentrated on his later career in the United States from 1939-1967.
    Language: English.
    Finding aid last updated on February 19, 2016.


    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, obtaining necessary permission rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Casimir Funk Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Burndy Library Collection, Gift of Dibner Family, November 2006.

    Biographical Note

    Known as the “father of vitamins,” Casimir Funk (1884-1967) focused his investigations into vitamins, as well as extensive research on cancer, diabetes, and sex hormones. He was the first to isolate niacin, and hypothesized that nutritional deficiencies can cause certain diseases. Born in Warsaw, he studied in Switzerland at the University of Bern. He worked at various European labs before he founded the privately-funded research institute Casa Biochemica in Paris in 1927. He immigrated to the United States in 1939, where he worked as a consultant for the United States Vitamin Corporation. In 1940 he founded and acted as president of the Funk Foundation for Medical Research.

    Scope and Content

    Collection composed of research notes, articles and offprints, clinical notebooks, personal and work-related correspondence, Funk Foundation materials, and a few slides/photos. Includes drafts of Funk’s autobiography, and drafts of Benjamin Harrow’s published biography of Funk. Some of the earliest material in the collection dates from the beginning of his professional career in Paris (1904-1906), but the bulk focuses on his life and career in the United States from 1939-1967. Manuscript materials are in English, French, German and Polish and the collection of published professional literature mostly in offprints and reproductions contains works in English, French, German, Polish, Russian and Spanish. Topics include: cancer, diabetes, vitamins, ulcers and hormones.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    Two works of Charles Darwin, translated into Polish, from Dr. Funk's personal library.


    Arrangement is predominantely as received from the Burndy library. The series of reprints and articles in particular did not appear to have a readily apparent order and are given as received.
    The collection is arranged in the following series:
    1. Biographical information and primary works.
    2. Correspondence and research, 1935-1963.
    3. U.S. Vitamin Corporation, 1948-1963.
    4. Funk Foundation, 1947-1960.
    5. Reprints and articles, 1896-1967.
    6. Photographs and slides
    7. Research notes, 1900-1963.
    8. Miscellaneous legal-sized items.
    9. Photographic slides and glass plates.
    10. Scrapbook.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Funk, Casimir, 1884-1967.
    Vitamins -- Research.
    Diabetes -- Research.
    Cancer -- Research.
    Digestive organs -- Research.
    Hormones -- Research.
    Hormones, Sex -- Research.


    Research notes.

    Additonal names

    Harrow, Benjamin, 1888-1970.
    Funk, Ian C., 1915-1999.
    U.S. Vitamin Corporation.
    Funk Foundation.