Barry Shapiro’s NMR Newsletters Project

The NMR Newsletters were started in 1958 by Barry Shapiro and Aksel A. Bothner-By at was then the Mellon Institute, now part of Carnegie Mellon University. They were first known as Monthly Ecumenical Letters from Laboratories Of NMR (MelloNMR). With Barry’s move to the Illinois Institute of Technology they became the IIT-NMR Newsletter and later existed for the longest period of time as the Texas A&M University (TAMU) NMR Newsletters. After Dr. Shapiro retired he continued publication from his home in California from February 1995 to September 2001 as just the NMR Newsletter.

A more detailed history was published by Dr. Shapiro in the twentieth anniversary issue of September 1978.

Many NMR spectroscopists eagerly awaited each monthly issue, but also dreaded the reminder to contribute. Subscribers were expected to send in a contribution at least once every six month. On the seventh month a “reminder” was sent out after nine month an “ultimatum” which indicated that your next issue would be your last.

These Newsletters were governed by the following statement that was included in every issue.

"A monthly collection of informal private letters from laboratories involved with NMR spectroscopy. Information contained herein is solely for the use of the reader. Quotation of material from the Newsletter is not permitted, except by direct arrangement with the author of the letter. In which case the material quoted must be referred to as a 'Private Communication'. Results, findings. and opinions appearing in the Newsletter are solely the responsibility of the author(s). Reference to the NMR Newsletter or its previous names in the open literature is strictly forbidden. These restrictions and policies apply equally to both the actual Newsletter recipient/participants and to all others who are allowed access to the Newsletter issues. Strict adherence to this policy is considered essential to the successful continuation of the Newsletter as an informal medium for the exchange of NMR-related Information."

More detailed Policies and Practical Considerations were occasionally published in the Newsletters. The last version was published in the October 2000 issue.

This project started by a tweet by Dr. Frances Separovic (Melbourne U) in 2020 asking if an archive was in existence. This led to this project. After months and months of scanning issues by Dr. Clemens Anklin (Bruker), Alexandra Meng (University of Basel) and the Science History Institute, reaching out to the community for further missing issues, and getting side tracked by the reading, we are now able to make the complete series of all issues available here.

Thank you for your interest in this project.

Stephan Grzesiek, Frances Separovic, Clemens Anklin