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James D. Ebert papers

 Record Group
Identifier: MC-MBL-Ebert-Sci

Scope and Contents

The Ebert scientific papers, dating from 1941 to 2000, are limited to manuscripts, seminar, classroom notes when he was a student and professor, and research notebooks. A few of his awards are included in box 4.


  • 1941-2000

Conditions Governing Access

Open: materials are available for research.

Biographical Information

James D. Ebert was born in 1922 in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 1942, was commissioned into the Navy and served as a lieutenant for destroyer duty in the Pacific. He received a Ph.D. in biology and experimental embryology from Johns Hopkins in 1950. He was later awarded honorary degrees from Yale, Duke, Indiana University, Washington and Jefferson College, and Moravian College.

Dr. Ebert taught at MIT and Indiana University before being named Director of the Carnegie embryology department. He became President and Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory in 1970. He served until 1975 when he was replaced by Keith R. Porter. Dr. Porter served for only one year, and Dr. Ebert resumed as Director and served in 1977 when Paul R. Gross was elected President and Director. In 1977, he became president of Carnegie, where he served until his retirement in 1987. He then returned to Johns Hopkins as director of the Chesapeake Bay Institute and became a professor at the university in 1992.

In 1981, Dr. Ebert was elected a vice president of the National Academy of Sciences; he was also an associate of the Marine Biological Laboratory from 1974 to 2001 and a member of the MBL corporation for 10 years. His 195 publications included four books.

His research contributed to the current understanding of how the body rejects transplanted organs. He also experimented with tumor-causing viruses that demonstrated how normal human cells become cancerous.


4 boxes (four 12" x 15" x 10" boxes)




The original arrangement was maintained as much as possible. There are primarily subject files relating to his various positions at Indiana University, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie, MBL, etc.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The James D. Ebert scientific papers were donated to the MBL Archives by his son in 2002. The papers had been filed in cabinets in Dr. Ebert’s home. They were picked up by the MBL in March 2002 and brought to the MBL Archives for processing.

Related Materials

The James Ebert Marine Biological Laboratory Director’s Papers contain additional related information. There is a James Ebert biographical file in the Agassiz Room and James D. Ebert Bound Reprints in the special collections area of the MBLWHOI Library.

Processing Information

Processed by Jean Monahan, April 2002.

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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Marine Biological Laboratory Archives Repository