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Isaac Starr notebooks


Held at: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia [Contact Us]19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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Isaac Starr (d. 1989) was a pioneering researcher and teacher in the field of cardiovascular disease. Starr graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1920. He was noted for his use of physics to measure the efficiency of the heart and for his research on the physiology of congestive heart failure. In 1939 he developed the first practical ballistocardiograph, an instrument that measures the blood output of the heart and is used to predict and measure the course of heart disease. He retired in 1961 but continued his research until 1986. He received the Albert Lasker Award of the American Heart Association in 1957, the Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians in 1967 and the Burger Medal of the Free University of Amsterdam in 1977.

This is a collection primarily of laboratory notebooks relating to Starr's work with the ballistocardiograph. Notebooks include lists and graphs of experiment data, notes and calculations, patient information, typed summaries of experiments, notes for papers and presentations, and correspondence with other cardiologists and with medical records archivists. The collection also includes a number of rolled ballistocardiograph printouts on photographic paper; printing blocks for illustrations for articles; photographs of Starr in his laboratory; instructions for performing tests; illustrations of equipment; and reprints related to the history of cardiography.

Provenance: Gift of Isaac Starr.

Year acquired: 1986

Accession number: 1986-11

Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
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This collection-level EAD record is a product of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Consortial Survey Initiative, which was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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The collection is open for research.

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