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Christopher Mathews Papers, 1962-2010

By Finding aid prepared by Chris Petersen.

Collection Overview

Title: Christopher Mathews Papers, 1962-2010

ID: MSS Mathews

Primary Creator: Mathews, Christopher K. (1937-)

Extent: 6.0 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The Christopher Mathews Papers are arranged by medium, subject, and chronology.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


Chris Mathews (b. 1937) is a distinguished biochemist with contributions to enzymology and virology. Through professorships at Yale University, the University of Arizona, and Oregon State University, he has received significant recognition as a researcher, administrator, and educator. As the author of four books and nearly 150 research articles, director of 35 Ph.D. theses, and recipient of several major awards in the field of biochemistry, Mathews is a valued member of the international scientific community. Mathews' papers include professional correspondence from 1962-2010 regarding research, publications, and professorial duties, and include institutional records of historical interest from his long-term tenure as chairman of the OSU Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

Scope and Content Notes

The Christopher Mathews Papers are composed of approximately 6 linear feet of personal correspondence and organizational records dated 1962-2010, 8 megabytes of email correspondence from 1996-2010, and 146 megabytes of miscellaneous digital correspondence and documents from 2004-2010. These materials span Mathews' employment at Yale University, the University of Arizona, and Oregon State University.

An addition was made to the Christopher Mathews Papers (Accession 2012:064) that consists of 3.5" floppy disks that appear to contain a wide variety of documents from 1992-2004 relating to Chris Mathews' position with the OSU Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics including grant proposals, search committee records, administrative forms, professional correspondence, course materials, and research data.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Dr. Christopher K. Mathews is internationally recognized as a major contributor to the field of biochemistry with an emphasis on enzymology, virology, and genetics. Mathews has received significant attention for his work with nucleotide and coenzyme metabolism, DNA synthesis and replication, and nucleic acid enzymology.

Mathews began his academic career in the Pacific Northwest. Following his graduation from an Olympia, Washington high school, he attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, graduating with a degree in chemistry. From there he earned his doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Washington and then took a postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Public Health Service where, with the help of his mentor Seymour S. Cohen, he established himself as an independent researcher. In 1963 Mathews accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Biology at Yale University. In 1967 he moved to the University of Arizona where he attained a full professorship in the Biochemistry Department of the College of Medicine.

In 1978 Mathews returned to the northwest as professor and chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Oregon State University. There, he facilitated the growth of the department, continued his own research into enzymatic reactions, published several books on biochemistry (including a highly successful textbook), and participated in more than two dozen committees, all while continuing to teach regularly and provide direct mentorship for graduate and postdoctoral students. In 2002, after twenty-four years of service to OSU, Mathews retired from his position as Department Chairman and was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus, a change which allowed him to renew his efforts in the laboratory. Dr. Mathews continues to study nucleic acid enzymology today as Professor Emeritus of the OSU Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 14 boxes, including 36 3.5" floppy disks; 154 megabytes born digital

Statement on Access: Permission to examine The Christopher Mathews 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 collection use. See the Use of Collections page for more information

Physical Access Note:

All materials in good to very good condition.

Archived email files are viewable onsite through Mozilla Thunderbird.

Acquisition Note:

12 boxes of physical materials (5 linear feet) were accessioned from Chris Mathews by OSU Libraries Special Collections on May 20, 2010.

4715 email messages (8 megabytes) was accessioned from Chris Mathews by OSU Libraries Special Collections on May 21, 2010.

2 boxes of physical materials (1 linear foot) were accessioned from Chris Mathews by OSU Libraries Special Collections on December 7, 2010.

624 miscellaneous electronic files (146 megabytes) were accessioned from Chris Mathews by OSU Libraries Special Collections on December 7, 2010.

Related Materials: An oral history interview conducted in 2011 with Christopher Mathews is available in the History of Science Oral History Collection (OH 017).

Preferred Citation: Christopher Mathews Papers (MSS Mathews), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: Final arrangement by Trevor Sandgathe.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before November 19, 2015.


Mathews, Christopher K. (1937-)

People, Places, and Topics

American Society of Biological Chemists
Cohen, Seymour S. (Seymour Stanley), 1917-
Gordon Research Conferences
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Mathews, Christopher K., 1937-
Mathews, Christopher K., 1937- --Archives.
Oregon State University
Sjoberg, Britt-Marie Drottz-
University of Arizona
Van Holde, K. E. (Kensal Edward), 1928-
Yale University

Forms of Material

Born digital.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.