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John M. Hunt papers

 Record Group
Identifier: MC-22

Scope and Content Note

The papers of John M. Hunt consist of 16 boxes of documents from 1962-1994 (7 linear feet). The files contain memorandum, letters, notes, reviews, proposals, charts, graphs, newspaper and magazine clippings, reports, maps, data, speeches, and translations. The bulk of the papers reflect Dr. Hunt’s role as Head of the Chemistry Department and as a Senior Scientist of the Institution, 1964-1994. One series in the collection, INTEVEP, pertains to Dr. Hunt’s role as a paid consultant for INTEVEP (Instituto de Tecnología Venezolana para el Petróleo), an affiliate of Petróleos de Venezuela (see series description, below). Other languages in the collection include Russian and Spanish.


  • 1962-1994

Language of Materials

The records are in


Russian, and



Open/Restricted: most materials in the collection are available for research; some materials may only be viewed by the Office of Origin or permission of the Archivist.


Copyright: Permission to publish material from the collection must be authorized by the Institution Archivist.

Biographical Information

John M. Hunt was born in Cleveland, OH, in 1918 and received his B.A. in chemistry from Western Reserve University in 1941 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry from Pennsylvania State University in 1943 and 1946, respectively. In 1947 he joined Standard Oil of New Jersey’s Exploration Research Laboratory in Tulsa, OK. Dr. Hunt joined the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry in 1964, serving in this capacity until 1974. Serving as Chief Scientist, Hunt led expeditions to the Red Sea in 1966 and the Black Sea in 1969. Dr. Hunt chose to step down as Chairman in 1974 in order to devote more time to his research as a Senior Scientist for WHOI. He was the first American to receive the Treibs Award, the highest international honor in organic geochemistry, in 1982. In 1984 he was named Scientist Emeritus at the Institution.

In 1964 Hunt became a Distinguished Lecturer of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). He worked as an Associate Editor of the Bulletin of the AAPG from 1966 until 1984. Dr. Hunt has been a member of the U.S. National Committee for Geochemistry sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES) Advisory Panel on Organic Chemistry and Passive Ocean Margins, the American Chemical Society, the AAPG, the Geochemistry Society, and the International Association of Geochemists and Cosmochemists. He has authored more than 100 publications on petroleum geochemistry, and a reference textbook entitled Petroleum Geochemistry and Geology. Dr. Hunt has testified before both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives on oil pollution.


16 boxes (7.75 lin. ft.)


The papers of John M. Hunt span the years 1962-1994, and consist of documents reflecting Dr. Hunt’s role as Head of the Chemistry Department and as a Senior Scientist of the Institution, 1964-1994. One series pertains to his role as a paid consultant for INTEVEP, an affiliate of Petróleos de Venezuela.

Custodial History

The custodial history of the papers is undocumented.

Acquisitions Information

The papers were donated by John M. Hunt in two accessions in January and June of 1999 (acc.1999-01 and 1999-11).

Related Material

Additional materials relating to John M. Hunt include his oral history interview, and ship’s data from when Dr. Hunt served as Chief Scientist: Atlantis II , cruise 49-4 and Chain , cruise 61-6 and cruise 61-8.

Separated Material

Oversized items and photographs were segregated from the collection.

Processing Information

Third-level processing completed by Stuart Culy in April 2001. Processing of this collection was partly supported by a grant from the Friends of the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics.

The papers were put into acid-free folders and boxes and labeled. Acidic and fragile papers were photocopied. Metal clips and staples were removed. Oversized items and photographs were segregated from the collection. With the exception of the “Subjects” series, the original order was maintained. The folders in the “Subjects” series were received in neither chronological nor alphabetical order, and were subsequently arranged in alphabetical order by subject. Original folder titles were kept when known.

A Guide to the the John M. Hunt papers, 1962-1994
Stuart Culy
April 2001
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written inEnglish

Repository Details

Part of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Data Library and Archives Repository