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Alexander C. Sonnenwirth Photographs | Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives

Collection Overview

Title: Alexander C. Sonnenwirth PhotographsAdd to your cart.

Predominant Dates: 1967-1980

ID: VC/VC152

Extent: 0.1 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

Alexander C. Sonnenwirth (1923-1984) was born in Oradea, Romania into a German-speaking Jewish family. In addition to German, Sonnenwirth learned Romanian, Hungarian, and Hebrew as a child. After completing his secondary education, Sonnenwirth went to Budapest to stay with relatives while he worked as a photographer. However, World War II shattered the world in which he and his family lived. Most of the Jews of Oradea, including Sonnenwirth’s parents, were sent to death camps by the German invaders. Sonnenwirth escaped that fate, but was forced to serve in a labor gang for the duration of the war until he was rescued by Allied forces.

Immediately after the war, Sonnenwirth lived in a camp for displaced persons in Marburg, Germany. He was awarded a Hillel Scholarship which enabled him to come to the United States to study bacteriology at the University of Nebraska. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in 1950, Sonnenwirth continued his studies at Purdue University where he graduated with a Master’s of Science in 1953. While a student, he married Rosaline Soffer, and in 1953, the Sonnenwirths moved to St. Louis when he was appointed Assistant Director of the Division of Bacteriology at Jewish Hospital.

Sonnenwirth became the director of the division in 1955 and began doctoral studies in bacteriology at Washington University. Studying under Dr. Theodore Rosebury of the School of Dentistry, Sonnenwirth received his PhD in 1960. In addition to his duties at Jewish Hospital, Sonnenwirth served several academic appointments including Instructor of Bacteriology in the School of Dentistry (1958-1961) and as Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine for the Departments of Microbiology (1962) and Pathology (1968). In 1970, he was promoted to Associate Professor in the latter two departments and became a full Professor in 1977.

Sonnenwirth’s scientific contributions included both “pure” research and innovation in clinical technology. His chief research specialty was the study of anaerobic gram-negative bacilli. His enormous knowledge in this and related fields was expressed in the publication of over one hundred scientific papers and summarized in his editorship of the sixth, seventh, and eighth editions of Gradwohl’s Clinical Laboratory Methods and Diagnosis (1963, 1970, 1980). He and his colleagues of the Microbiology Laboratory at Jewish Hospital were leading evaluators of new equipment and procedures, particularly of automated testing instrumentation.

Sonnenwirth was for many years a key participant in professional associations of microbiologists and their conferences, symposiums, and seminars. This activity included extensive travel within the U.S. and abroad. Sonnenwirth is remembered for his services to the American Society for Microbiology, having been among the organizers of the Clinical Microbiology Section in 1963 and its chairman from 1970 to 1973. Sonnenwirth was chosen by the American Society for Microbiology to receive its highest professional recognition, the Becton-Dickinson Award, in 1984.

Biographical/Historical Note

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of 13 portrait photographs, primarily group portraits, of Alexander C. Sonnenwirth and colleagues at conferences.

[VC152]

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: The collection is open and accessible for research.

Use Restrictions: Users of the collection should read and abide by the guidelines of the Use of Archival Collections policy at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.

Related Materials:

Preferred Citation: [Item description, Item number], Alexander C. Sonnenwirth Photographs, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University School of Medicine.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Item List:

[Item List 1: VC152],
[All]

Item List 1: VC152Add to your cart.
Item VC152001: Alexander C. Sonnenwirth standing in front of his research display on the automicrobic system at a conference., circa 1980Add to your cart.
UnitID: VC152001
Physical Description: 2 photographic prints : b&w ; 18 x 24 cm., 21 x 26 cm.
Item VC152002: Group portrait with Alexander C. Sonnenwirth and nine unidentified men and women posed around a dinner table, Japan., 1980Add to your cart.
Alexander C. Sonnenwirth is standing in the back row, center.
UnitID: VC152002
Physical Description: Photographic print : color ; 13 x 18 cm.
Item VC152003: Group portrait with Alexander C. Sonnenwirth and eleven unidentified men and women posed outside, Munich, Germany., 1978Add to your cart.
Alexander C. Sonnenwirth is standing 3rd from right.
Physical Description: Photographic print : color ; 13 x 18 cm.
UnitID: VC152003
Item VC152004: Group portrait with Alexander C. Sonnenwirth and twelve unidentified men and women posed around a dinner table, Montreal, Canada., 1976Add to your cart.
Alexander C. Sonnenwirth is seated, far right.
Physical Description: Photographic print : color ; 13 x 18 cm.
UnitID: VC152004
Item VC152005: Group portrait with Alexander C. Sonnenwirth and six unidentified colleagues on the International Subcommittee on Systematic Bacteriology in a conference room, Jerusalem, Israel., 1973Add to your cart.
Alexander C. Sonnenwirth is standing in the back row, far right.
Physical Description: 3 photographic prints : b&w ; 13 x 18 cm., 21 x 26 cm.
UnitID: VC152005
Item VC152006: Group portrait of Alexander C. Sonnenwirth and six unidentified men and women in a conference room, Los Angeles, California., 1972Add to your cart.
Alexander C. Sonnenwirth is standing in the back row, far right.
Physical Description: Photographic print : b&w ; 12 x 17 cm.
UnitID: VC152006
Item VC152007: Group portrait with Alexander C. Sonnenwirth and colleagues in white coats posed outside., 1971Add to your cart.
Typed label on the back of the photograph reads: "V.P.I. 71."
Physical Description: Photographic print : b&w ; 13 x 18 cm.
UnitID: VC152007
Item VC152008: Group portrait of the Department of Pathology, Washington University School of Medicine., 1971Add to your cart.
Alexander C. Sonnenwirth is seated in the front row, 3rd from left.
Physical Description: Photographic print : b&w ; 17 x 25 cm.
UnitID: VC152008
Item VC152009: Group portrait of Alexander C. Sonnenwirth and seven unidentified men and women in a conference room, London, England., 1969Add to your cart.
The photograph is mounted on a board. Alexander C. Sonnenwirth is standing in the back row, far left.
Physical Description: Mounted photographic print : b&w ; 21 x 26 cm.
UnitID: VC152009
Item VC152010: Group portrait with Alexander C. Sonnenwirth and ten unidentified men and women posed outside, Institut Pasteur de Lille, France., 1967Add to your cart.
Alexander C. Sonnenwirth is standing 3rd from right.
Physical Description: Photographic print : b&w ; 13 x 18 cm.
UnitID: VC152010
Item VC152011: Composite portrait of Washington University School of Medicine class of 1974, 1970Add to your cart.
The photograph was cut into two pieces.
Physical Description: Photographic print : b&w ; 36 x 28 cm.
UnitID: VC152011
Item VC152012: Group portrait of Alexander C. Sonnenwirth and seven unidentified men and women in a conference room, London, England., 1969Add to your cart.
Same as VC152009.
Physical Description: 3 photographic prints : b&w ; 13 x 18 cm.
UnitID: VC152012
Item VC152013: Portrait of Alexander C. Sonnenwirth seated in his office, Washington University School of Medicine., circa 1980Add to your cart.
Physical Description: Photographic print : b&w ; 26 x 21 cm.
UnitID: VC152013

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