Catalogue Information - Thomas Hager Papers

The Thomas Hager Papers consist of documents collected by Hager in his writing of Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling (Simon & Schuster, 1995), The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug (Harmony, 2006), and The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler (Three Rivers Press, 2008).

The material relating to Force of Nature is divided into three series - Subject Files and Research Materials, Interviews: Audio cassettes and Transcriptions, and Administrative Records - and contains a wide range of materials including publications, letters, legal documents, interview transcripts, and handwritten notes. Most of this material relates to Linus Pauling in some form, though certain items pertain more to Pauling's family and colleagues.

The Demon Under the Microscope materials are divided into two series - Subject Files & Research Materials and Administrative Records - and includes publications, letters, and laboratory research materials. Most of this material relates to Gerhard Domagk and his research on Prontosil, the first commercially available antibacterial antibiotic.

Subject files, administrative records and an edited manuscript for The Alchemy of Air are also included in the Hager Papers.

32 linear feet

Content Description

Materials in the Thomas Hager Papers include letters, publications, handwritten notes, notecards, audio cassettes, administrative forms, interview transcripts, newspaper clippings, biographical sketches, and genealogical documents relating to his books.

Highlights of the collection include Hager's interviews and correspondence with Linus Pauling, audio cassettes and transcriptions of interviews with a wide range of Pauling's colleagues and family members, a small collection of photos of Linus Pauling, a handful of multimedia recordings related to Hager's promotion of Force of Nature, and copies of Gerhard Domagk's laboratory notes.

Biographical Note

Thomas Hager (born 1953) was raised in the Portland, Oregon area. After receiving master's degrees in medical microbiology/immunology and journalism, he began his professional career as a communications intern at the National Cancer Institute. He then worked as a freelance medical writer, contributed regularly to American Health, and became the West Coast news correspondent for the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In 1983, Hager's career began to move more towards editing and publishing. He was founding editor of LC Magazine, a trade publication for scientists, and edited Oregon Quarterly for ten years. He also worked for a number of years as director of communications and marketing at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, during which he restarted the University of Oregon Press. More than 100 of his articles have been published in periodicals ranging from Reader's Digest, the Wall St. Journal, and Self, to American Health, Cardio, and the Medical Tribune.

Hager has also had a hand in writing about a dozen books, including Aging Well (with Lauren Kesley, Fireside Press, 1990), The Alchemy of Air, Linus Pauling: Scientist and Peacemaker (edited with Clifford Mead, Oregon State University Press 2001), and Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling. Currently, Tom Hager lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and three children.

Timeline for Tom Hager

1953 Thomas Hager is born on April 18 in Portland, Oregon.
1983 Hager takes a position as founding editor of LC Magazine, a trade publication for scientists.
1987 With his wife Lauren Kessler, Hager co-authors and publishes Aging Well.
1995 Hager publishes Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling, a biography of Nobel Prize winning chemist and peace activist Linus Pauling.
1998 Publishes Linus Pauling and the Chemistry of Life.
2000 Hager and co-editor Clifford Mead publish Linus Pauling: Scientist and Peacemaker.
2001 Hager revitalizes the University of Oregon Press and is appointed Director.
2006 Publishes The Demon Under the Microscope, a popular history of the discovery of sulfa drugs.
2008 Publishes The Alchemy of Air, an account of Carl Bosch and Fritz Haber's work with nitrogen fixation.

Books by Tom Hager

  • Aging Well, New York: Facts on File, 1987.
  • Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
  • Linus Pauling and the Chemistry of Life, New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Linus Pauling: Scientist and Peacemaker, Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2001 [ed., with Clifford Mead].
  • The Demon under the Microscope, New York: Harmony Books, 2006.
  • The Alchemy of Air, New York: Three Rivers Press, 2008.

Arrangement

The Hager collection is divided into seven series.

Series 1 - Force of Nature: Subject Files and Research Materials is divided into a number of subseries including Scientific Topics, People, Peace Activism and Political Controversy, Linus Pauling - Personal and Family, and General Research. A wide range of assorted archival materials collected by Tom Hager while researching Force of Nature can also be found in this series.

Series 2 - Force of Nature: Interviews: Audio Cassettes and Transcriptions contains the audio recordings and transcripts of interviews conducted by Tom Hager in his development of Force of Nature. Also contained in this series are various audio-visual materials related to Pauling's life and to Hager's promotion of Force of Nature.

Series 3 - Force of Nature: Administrative Records is comprised of correspondence, contractual agreements and editing notes compiled by Tom Hager while researching and writing Force of Nature. The administrative records include correspondence between Hager and prospective publishers, annotated draft chapters, promotional materials, and reviews of the completed book.

Series 4 - The Demon Under the Microscope: Subject Files and Research Materials is divided into a number of subseries including Scientific Topics, People, Institutions, and Gerhard Domagk - Personal and Family. A range of assorted research materials collected by Tom Hager while researching The Demon Under the Microscope can also be found in this series

Series 5 - The Demon Under the Microscope: Administrative Records is comprised of correspondence and editing notes compiled by Tom Hager while researching and writing The Demon Under the Microscope. The administrative records include bibliographical information, correspondence between Hager and various institutions, speech notes, manuscripts, promotional materials, and index card outlines of chapters.

Series 6 - The Alchemy of Air: Subject Files and Research Materials is divided into a number of subseries including Scientific Topics, People, and Institutions. A wide range of assorted research materials collected by Tom Hager while researching The Alchemy of Air can also be found in this series.

Series 7 - The Alchemy of Air: Administrative Records is comprised of correspondence, contractual agreements and editing notes compiled by Tom Hager while researching and writing The Alchemy of Air. The administrative records include correspondence between Hager and prospective publishers, annotated draft chapters, promotional materials, and reviews of the completed book.

Restrictions on Access

Permission to examine the Hager Papers will be granted to qualified researchers upon completion of an "Application for Use" form, and contingent upon the researcher's agreement to abide by the rules and policies governing the use of manuscripts. See the Use of Collections page for more information.

Preferred Citation

Courtesy of the Thomas Hager Papers, Special Collections, Oregon State University Libraries

Processing Information

Final arrangement by Ben Jager, Reed Strickland, Christy Turner and Chris Petersen.

Acquisition Information

A first set of materials was accessioned from Tom Hager in December 2006. A second set was donated by Hager in October 2009 and a third in September 2010.

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