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Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA)

ASM Microbe 2024

Atlanta, GA: June 13-17, 2024

ASM Microbe | Overview |

Join CHOMA/ ASM Archives for a joint "mini conference" with the CDC entitled "CDC’s Legacy of Triumphs and Challenges in Tackling the Biggest Microbial Challenges of Our Era" that will be on June 13, 2024, 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM. 

Please note that pre-registration is required, although the event itself is free. We hope to see you there! Find out more info here: CHOMA/ CDC Joint MiniConference "CDC Legacy of Triumphs and Challenges..." 

Out of the Archives


In 1935 the Society of American Bacteriologists (now ASM) established a Committee on Archives, charged with the acquisition and maintenance of the records of the Society, and to collect materials relating to the history of microbiology. These materials remained in the possession of the committee chair (Barnett Cohen, 1935-1952; Leland S. McClung, 1952-1982) until an agreement was struck with the University of Maryland Baltimore County to house the ASM Archives. The Book Collection was transferred to UMBC in 1978, and the remainder of the materials arrived in 1982.Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

The establishment of a Center for the History of Microbiology was proposed and supported by Leland McClung and Donald Shay.  The idea behind the Center was based on existing centers for the history of chemistry and physics. After two years of planning, the Center for the History of Microbiology was established at a ceremony at UMBC on 4 June 1985 (ASM NEWS Vol. 51 No. 8 1985.)  

ASM's Center for the History of Microbiology and Archives Collection includes records of the Society from its founding in 1899 to the present, including journals and proceedings of meetings; 9,000 volumes on microbiology and related topics; photographs of scientists and microbes; topical files on various aspects of microbiology, including biographical materials; instructional materials, including slides and motion pictures; and several collections of personal papers.

For further information, or to make an appointment to visit the Archives, please contact the Archivist, Colleen Puterbaugh at 410-455-3601 or

Statement of Copyright Responsibilities

  • The Archives is open by appointment only.
  • CHOMA/ ASM Archives is a non-lending library.
  • Copying and scanning of materials is available for a nominal fee as copyright laws permit.

 Notice of copyright responsibility: The materials in the Center for the History of Microbiology/ ASM Archives are made available solely for the purpose of private study, research, and education. Many of the items are protected by U.S. Copyright Law, and several major collections were donated with copyright privileges granted to the American Society for Microbiology.  Due to the size of our holdings, it is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Research Services and Fee Schedule

Reproduction Services

The Center for the History of Microbiology/ ASM Archives (CHOMA) may make digital copies of items from its collection available to researchers, organizations, and others for a variety of uses. Anyone wishing to use reproductions of collections materials must first submit a written request and receive approval by the Archivist.  This process gives CHOMA the opportunity to verify copyrights, credits, and fees.  All digital images will be delivered via email or WeTransfer (no subscription required for access), depending on file(s) size.  All digital files are scanned at 300 dpi as pdf or tiff format, as requested. Fees are outlined below, and the requestor will be invoiced for the required fees once the request has been approved.  Please allow 30 days from receipt of payment for delivery of requested files.  You must submit separate requests for different projects.

Digitization Fees

  • Each page of a document- $.25 for ASM members, $1 for non-members
  • Un-digitized image- $5 for ASM members, $15 for non-members
  • Previously digitized image- $1 for ASM members, $5 for non-members
  • Audio or video- variable

Reproduction Fees

  • General photocopy on office paper- $0.15 for ASM members, $0.25 for non-members

Rights and Usage Fees*

  • Personal or research use only (research project, lecture, home display, etc)- no fee
  • One-time print publication (book, exhibit and/or catalog, magazine, etc)- $50
  • One-time media use (motion picture, television program, radio)- $100
  • One-time electronic media use (posted online in any capacity)- $100
  • Commercial product, non-affiliate advertising, and other commercial uses- permission and fees to be determined at the discretion of the Center for the History of Microbiology and/or the American Society for Microbiology.

Research Services

The Center for the History of Microbiology/ ASM Archives can sometimes provide research services to members of the public who cannot visit in person. A research services request asks for information about a specified event in a specific source during an estimated time frame (limited to a 10-year span). Research requests are fulfilled as staff time allows. Please allow up to 4 weeks for each request. If we are unable to fulfill your request, we will notify you as soon as possible and refund any fees paid.

There is a fee of $40/hour for research. (Hours will not be charged in fractions, meaning a research time of 1.5 hours would be billed as 2 hours.) Research requests must be submitted with a pre-payment of $40 for the first hour. Additional hours will be billed once the first hour has been exhausted. 

Once the research request has been fulfilled, copies of certain resources may be requested separately. Not all resources may be available for copies, however, and some information pertaining to donors may be confidential. A research request includes 4 copies gratis. Additional copies will be billed at $0.25/ $1.00 per page. Copies are intended for personal use only. Researchers wishing to publish materials from the Archive’s collection must submit a request for permission to do so and pay associated fees.