Gustavus Hinrichs immigrated to the United States in 1861, after studying science in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1864, he became a professor of chemistry and physics at the State University of Iowa, where he also researched meteorology and astronomy. Hinrichs founded the Iowa Weather Service, was active in the Iowa Geological Survey, and often provided scientific evidence for court cases, specifically regarding chloroform and phenacetine implications.
This collection contains materials relating to Hinrichs's life in both Denmark and the United States. They include his birth certificate, correspondence, school notebooks and texts, and informational booklets about his hometown. Later materials relate to his involvement with the weather service, a dispute with the university over administrative reorganization, and several court cases. The collection also contains science books collected by Hinrichs, and research by his son, Carl Gustav Hinrichs.
Hans Hinrichs, grandson of Gustavus Hinrichs, donated the collection to the Library in 1960.