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George Kelso Davis Papers

Identifier: Ms Coll. 024

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports, research notes and data, speeches, writings, and memoranda. The papers reflect his administrative and research activity throughout his tenure at UF. In particular, there are numerous files pertaining to the Nutrition Laboratory, Nuclear Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Sponsored Research at UF. The collection also contains important materials related to his professional activities outside the University. These include records related to the International Biological Programme, the American Institute for Nutrition, congressional legislation, scientific organizations, and his work with animal nutritionists in Latin America.


  • 1929-1982



University Archives collections are available for research. Portions of the collections may be restricted due to the requirements of applicable state and federal laws, including but not limited to FERPA and HIPAA, and in accordance with best practices as defined by the Society of American Archivists.

Biographical/Historical Note

George Kelso Davis was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 2, 1910. He attended Pennsylvania State University and was awarded the B.S. degree in Agricultural and Biological Chemistry in 1932. He received a Ph.D. in Animal Science from Cornell University in 1937. After four years as a faculty member at Michigan State University, Davis came to the University of Florida in 1942. He was appointed Animal Nutritionist in the Agricultural Experiment Station in Gainesville and was largely responsible for the expansion of the Nutrition Laboratory. Davis is probably best known for his work on trace element nutrition and was a pioneer in the utilization of radioactive isotopes in the study of trace element nutrition. These studies had a major impact on Florida's cattle industry.

In 1960, Davis was appointed Director of Nuclear Sciences with the responsibility of coordinating and administering nuclear programs in six colleges. He served in that capacity until 1965 when he was appointed Director of Biological Sciences and was a key player in the restructuring of the programs. In 1970, he was named Director of Sponsored Research and held that position until 1975. He retired from the University in 1979.


24.75 Linear feet (62 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Correspondence, reports, research materials and other papers of scientist George Kelso Davis.


The George Kelso Davis Papers are divided into ten records series.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Related Material

Photographs of Davis with the Florida Nuclear Commission, the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology, and a joint project between UF and the University of Costa Rica are located in the UF Archives Photograph Collection.

A Guide to the George Kelso Davis Papers
Finding aid prepared by John R. Nemmers
July 2004
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America