Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Julian Huxley Collected Papers, ca, 1916-1951 MS 516

creator Huxley, Julian, 1887-1975
Title: Julian Huxley Collected Papers
Dates: ca. 1916-1951
Abstract: This collection contains various items relating to Julian Huxley, including photographs, a signed letter, handwritten notes, and a handwritten manuscript of The Development of Life.
Identification: MS 516
Quantity: 0.25 linear ft.(1 box)
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

Julian Sorell Huxley (b. June 22, 1887, d. February 14, 1975) was a lecturer in Zoology at Oxford (1910-1912), Research Associate and later Assistant Professor of Biology at Rice Institute (1913-1916), and fought in World War I before returning to Oxford in 1919, where he conducted the famous axolotl experiments and participated in the university's expedition to Spitsbergen. He became Professor of Zoology at King's College, University of London in 1925, but resigned his position in 1927 to collaborate on what would become The Science of Life with H.G. Wells. He was Fullerian Professor of Physiology in the Royal Institution (1927-1929) while working with Wells, however after 1929 he held no academic position. For ten years he was a private person working to advance his ideas about the biological sciences not as a researcher nor as a teacher, but as a writer on scientific developments and their relationship to contemporary social issues.

From 1935-1942 he served as Secretary of the Zoological Society of London, allowing him to encourage solid research on animal behavior while introducing innovative methods for implementing his vision of the zoo as an educational institution. He continued his work as a writer and lecturer and was known throughout war-time Britain for his participation as a panel member of the BBC Brains Trust program. After World War II he helped form Unesco, serving as the organization’s first Director-General (1946-1948). Here he set out a program cosmopolitan in vision, one concerned with mankind in relationship with nature and with its past, one in which art and science were equally valued. He also began to articulate fully the concerns which would occupy the later years of his life: the relation of overpopulation to poverty and ignorance, the necessity for the conservation of wilderness and wildlife, and the importance of the renunciation of parochial views on religion and politics. The remainder of his life was spent traveling, lecturing and writing in support of the causes to which he was devoted. Throughout his long career, he contributed significantly to the fields of ethology, ecology and cancer research, and acted as a powerful proponent of neo-Darwinism.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains various items relating to Julian Huxley, including photographs of Huxley, a signed letter, handwritten notes, and a handwritten manuscript of The Development of Life. Also included in the collection is a book review (of a book with the forward written by Huxley), an invitation to a dinner in honor of Huxley, and a photocopy of a manuscript fragment.


Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish material from the Julian Huxley Collected papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Julian Huxley Collected Papers, 1874-1951, MS 516, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Acquisition Information

This collection was compiled over several years through purchases and donations.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Collected papers

Box Folder
1 1 Book review for Sold for a Farthing by Clare Kipps, with foreword by Julian Huxley. (1 p.)
1 “Science, War, and Reconstruction” by Julian Huxley. Reprinted from Science, February 16, 1940, Vol. 91, No. 2355, pgs. 151-158.
1 ANS with typed heading, signed three times by Huxley
1 Letter from Huxley to Carlton F. Wells of the University of Michigan.
1 Julian Huxley’s handwritten notes on the dangers of over-population. Comments on family planning, not in favor of colonizing planets or stars, and outlines a 5 point program for an immediate solution.
1 Invitation to a dinner in honor of Julian Huxley, given by the Smithsonian Institution, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and The Scientific Monthly. December 2, 1939
1 Photocopy of manuscript fragment beginning “I found God…”, circa 1920?, 6 pp.
1 Signed Photograph of Julian Huxley, May 1951
1 Photograph (2 copies) of Julian Huxley and friends Dorothea Hughes and Sarah Forbes Hughes at Mansion House, Naushon Island, Massachusetts. Taken in summer of 1916
1 Photograph (2 copies) of Julian Huxley and friends John H. Hughes, Walter S. Hughes, and 2 unidentified women sailing in Massachusetts. Taken mid-1930s.
2 Julian Huxley’s original handwritten manuscript of The Development of Life. Written on 77 pages of white paper.