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Archive of Edith Bülbring


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The archive contains correspondence, photographs, an audio recording of an interview with Bülbring and other biographical materials, and papers relating to the Vogt family of Berlin. Professor Oskar Vogt and his wife, Cecile, were prominent neuro-anatomists. Their daughter, Marthe (1903-2003), a pharmacologist, worked with Edith Bülbring in the laboratory of Paul Trendelenburg in Berlin. She left Berlin for England in 1935 and, with Bülbring's help, found work initially with Sir Henry Dale at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. Posts at Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities followed. Her research made important contributions to the understanding of the role of neurotransmitters in the brain.


  • Creation: 1933-90


1.15 Linear metres (8 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • German

Conditions Governing Access

Some material is closed.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. c. 7890].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. c. 7886-90; MS. Eng. e. 3765; MS. Photogr. b. 158; MS. Photogr. c. 497

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6694


Correspondence and papers of Edith Bülbring (1903-90), pharmacologist and physiologist

Biographical / Historical

Edith Bülbring entered Bonn University to study medicine in 1923. On completion of her studies she worked initially as a physician, then as a research assistant to Paul Trendelenburg, professor of pharmacology, in Berlin. After his death in 1931 she found a position in the infectious disease unit of the Virchow Krankenhaus, also in Berlin, from where she was dismissed in 1933 because of her Jewish ancestry. During a holiday in England shortly afterwards she visited her former colleague at the Virchow Krankenhaus, Ulrich Friedemann, then a refugee working in Sir Henry Dale's laboratory in Hampstead. Through Dale she was offered a post with J H Burn, Director of the Pharmacological Laboratories of the Pharmaceutical Society in London. When Burn was appointed to the Chair of Pharmacology at Oxford in 1937, Bülbring also came to Oxford as his research assistant and departmental demonstrator. In the late 1940s she began independent research on the physiology of smooth muscle. She was to become a leading authority in that field, building up and obtaining funding for a large research group which published over 200 papers. In 1946 she was promoted to University Demonstrator and Lecturer and in 1960 to ad hominem Reader. In 1967 she was appointed to a personal professorship. She was naturalized in 1948.


Bülbring's original order has been retained as far as possible. Original file titles, where they exist, are given in inverted commas preceding descriptions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The archive was transferred from the University's Pharmacology Department to the Bodleian Library in 2010.

Related Materials

Further papers of Edith Bülbring are held at the Wellcome Library, Archives and Manuscripts Section. Also held there are papers relating to Marthe Vogt and her family. The archive of the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, held by the Bodleian Library, contains correspondence with Edith Bülbring and Marthe Vogt.

Catalogue of the archive of Edith Bülbring, 1933-90
Finding aid prepared by Chrissie Webb
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom