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Thomas Hornbein Papers
MSS 669  
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Collection Overview
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Papers of Thomas Hornbein, M.D., professor emeritus at the University of Washington in Seattle Departments of Anesthesiology, and Physiology, and Biophysics and veteran mountaineer climber, explorer, and educator. The papers document the American Mount Everest Expedition where Hornbein and his climbing partner Willi Unsoeld reached the summit of Mount Everest via the West Ridge in 1963, the first to accomplish this climb. In addition, the collection includes correspondence to and from the medical community, published articles, lecture materials, subject files, and materials related to Hornbein's professional affilation memberships. The papers also focus on Hornbein as author of Everest: The West Ridge and as editor, with Robert Schoene, of High Altitude: An Exploration of Human Adaptation, with many of the materials representing drafts and page proofs. A large portion of the collection documents Hornbein's chairmanship and faculty career at the University of Washington and materials related to medical expeditions to China and Pakistan. Also included are biographical documents such as photographs, newspaper clippings, and audio and video materials.
Born in 1930 in St. Louis, Missouri, Thomas Hornbein developed an early interest in geology and mountain exploration. He began his academic career as a geology major at the University of Colorado from (1948-1952) where he began teaching mountain rescue and first aid courses, prompting an interest in medicine. He returned to his hometown in St. Louis, Missouri, to attend medical school at Washington University School of Medicine (1952-1956) and then residency training and postdoctoral research (1957-1961). He continued his interest in high altitude and physiology of breathing as a NIH-supported research fellow with Dr. Albert Roos.
26.0 Linear feet (61 archives boxes, 1 card file box, 3 1/2" film reel boxes, and 2 oversize folders)
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Master audio and videorecordings including reel-to-reel tapes and video and audiocassette tapes located in Series 16 and the born digital materials located in Series 17 are restricted. Researchers must request user copies be produced.