The Alexis Carrel Collection: materials of the French physician and philosopher Alexis Carrel, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1912


By far the most extensive and important body of materials relating to Alexis Carrel, the Georgetown collection encompasses the entire career of this Nobel Prize-winning researcher, collaborator with Charles Lindbergh, and controversial public health theorist. The collection contains Carrel’s research files, laboratory notebooks, offprints, photographs, and specimens relating to his many achievements in experimental medicine, including the work on suturing blood vessels for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1912; his innovations in France and at the Rockefeller Institute in wound sterilization, cell research and tissue culture; his pioneering work in the preservation of organs outside the body, which laid the groundwork for modern organ transplants; and his voluminous correspondence with many leading intellectual and literary figures, including Paul Claudel, Paul de Kruif, John Dewey, Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis, and Charles A. Lindbergh. Carrel’s writings on a prodigious array of topics, much of it unpublished, include the relationship between medicine and faith, war, and human rights, as well as drafts, revisions, and the final manuscript of his influential book Man the Unknown. While scholars of Carrel have had inventory-level access to part of the collection, full cataloging would have a major bearing on such hotly contested fields as the sociology of religion, bioethics, and the history of eugenics.


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



  • Stephanie Clark

Collection Size

180 boxes, 159 linear feet

Date Range

1893 - 1973

Geographic Scope

North America and Europe