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Identifier: R-MC 063

James A. Johnston Papers


  • 1934-1965

Scope and Content Note

The papers of James A. Johnston date from the years between 1934 and 1965. The bulk of the papers were generated as the result of Johnston's activities at Rutgers, which began in 1959. Although Johnston remained at Rutgers until his death in 1968, this collection ends in 1965, when Johnston was promoted to Assistant Provost.

The collection is divided into two series. Series I, found in boxes 1 to 5, are subject files and Series II in boxes 5 and 6 is his collection of scientific article reprints that were culled from the subject files.

Johnston's subject files document his teaching and research activities as Associate Professor of Agricultural Biochemistry. Johnston taught various courses including Experimental Biochemistry, Cell Structure, Lipid Chemistry, and Agricultural Biochemistry. His research activities resulted in published titles including: "The Effect of Exogenous Coenzyme-Q on Oxygen Consumption of Bacteria," (1960), "Oxalic Acid Biosynthesis in Neurospora," (1961, American Cancer Society Grant), "Synthesis of a New Intermediate in Cell-Free System," (1962, National Institute of Health Grant), "Effects of Streptomycin on the Biosynthesis of Egrosterol in Growing Cultures and Cell-Free Preparations of Yeast," (1962), and "A Method of Quantitative Estimation of Myoinositol by Gas Liquid Chromatography," (1962, 1963, 1964).

From an administrative standpoint, these papers document Johnston's involvement in a study to establish a two-year medical school at Rutgers (1960) and in the naming of Rutgers Agricultural College (which eventually became Cook College) in 1963 and 1964. Outside Rutgers, Johnston participated in the Summer Institute for Teachers of Introductory Biology at the College Level at Williams College during the summer of 1965 and was a participant in an Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute study for the multi-university development of science courses (1964-1965).

The approximately 235 article reprints span the years between 1934 and 1965 and, for the most part, reflect Johnston's research interests. Article topics include: streptomycin, enzymes, bacteria, melvalonic acid, mitochondria, chlorophyll, yeast, hydra, and myoinositol.


2.4 Cubic Feet (6 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



James A. Johnston's papers document his teaching and research activities as Associate Professor of Agricultural Biochemistry. His papers also reflect his involvement in a study to establish a two-year medical school at Rutgers and in the naming of Rutgers Agricultural College (later Cook College). The records are contained in two series: I. Subject Files and II. Article Reprints.

Biographical Sketch of James A. Johnston

James A. Johnston was born on May 25, 1926 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He married Dr. Helen Davis in 1952 and had two children. Johnston received his B.A. in chemistry from the University of Texas in 1948 and an M.S. in physiology and biochemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1951. In 1953 he received his Ph.D., also from the University of Minnesota. While at the University of Texas he was a Research Assistant (1945-1949); and while at the University of Minnesota he held the posts of Teaching and Research Assistant (1949-1952), Anderson Research Fellow (1952), and MacMillan Memorial Research Fellow (1952-1953). Johnston went on to the California Institute of Technology as a Research Fellow in Plant Biochemistry (1953-1954). At the University of Texas, Medical Branch he held the posts of Assistant Professor of Bacteriology and Parasitology (1954-1957) and Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Nutrition (1957-1959).

Johnston came to Rutgers in 1959 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Bacteriology and joined the faculty at the College of Agriculture in 1960 as Associate Professor of Agricultural Biochemistry. While at Rutgers, Johnston taught various courses and was involved in research in biochemistry. He was also active in administrative issues.

On July 27, 1965 Rutgers president Mason W. Gross appointed Johnston to the position of Assistant Provost of Rutgers University. In August 1967 he was promoted to the new post of Associate Provost.

Johnston was a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Sigma, American Chemical Society, New York Academy of Sciences, and the Society of American Microbiologists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of University Professors.

Johnston died on March 26, 1968 at the age of forty-one of an apparent suicide.

Referenced from Rutgers University Library, Special Collections and University Archives, Faculty Bio File—Johnston, James A. (Associate provost; biochemistry).

Arrangement Note

Johnston's papers are arranged into two series:

  1. I. Subject Files
  2. II. Article Reprints
Guide to the James A. Johnston Papers, 1934-1965 R-MC 063
Edited Full Draft
Edward LeBlanc
May 2004
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • June 16, 2004: johnston converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Part of the Rutgers University Archives Repository

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