The David Shemin papers fill four boxes and span the period from 1938 to 1998. The bulk of the papers relate to Shemin's tenure at Northwestern University and date from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. The papers are arranged into four categories: biographical material, general correspondence, subject files, and publications.
Biographical material includes general items as well as clippings, press releases and curricula vitae. Other items document the tributes given upon his retirement and after death and include the Shemin Fellowship in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Shemin Memorial Lectureship, Shemin Scholars Research Fellowships, and a 1981 Symposium in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
General correspondence is chronologically arranged and covers the period 1965-1991. The volume of correspondence is small and reflects professional interests and relationships with colleagues.
Subject files form the major part of the collection. Like the general correspondence, the subject files relate to Shemin's professional and collegial interests as well as to research on porphyrins and enzymes. Included here are a number of files documenting Shemin's service to Northwestern University and its Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. These files are particularly important for the information they contain on the Department's early development, curriculum and seminar program. Subject files are arranged in alphabetical order according to keyword of folder title.
Shemin's scientific publications dating from 1938 to 1977 have been collected and bound chronologically in four volumes. A few loose publications and reprints supplement the bound items.