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George Edmund de Schweinitz Papers


Held at: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia [Contact Us]

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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George Edmund de Schweinitz was a prominent ophthalmologist, born in Philadelphia on October 26th, 1858. After attending Moravian College from 1872 to 1878 for his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, de Schweinitz received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1881.

Shortly after finishing medical school, de Schweinitz was appointed resident physician at both the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Also during this time, de Schweinitz worked as a surgeon at Philadelphia General Hospital, Orthopedic Hospital and the Infirmary for Nervous Diseases. In addition to these positions, de Schweinitz was a ophthalmologist to the Chester County, Bryn Mawr, and Philadelphia Polyclinic Hospitals during the 1880s.

De Schweintz also began his teaching career shortly after medical school, serving as quiz master in therapeutics at the Medical Institution of Philadelphia from 1882 to 1887. It was during this time that he was elected Prosecutor of Anatomy under Joseph Leidy at the University of Pennsylvania, serving in that position from 1883 to 1888.

From 1891 to 1892 de Schweintz served as lecturer on medical ophthalmoscopy at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as professor of ophthalmology in the Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates in Medicine from 1891 to 1894. In 1892, Doctor de Schweinitz was appointed clinical professor of ophthalmology at Jefferson Medical College.

Continuing his academic teacher career, de Schweinitz was promoted to professor of ophthalmology at the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania from 1902 to 1924, and then at the Graduate School of Medicine from 1924 to 1928, eventually gaining professor emeritus status at that institution.

During the First World War, de Schweinitz was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the Medical Reserve Corps. Succeeding in this position, he was appointed brigadier general in the Reserve Corps in 1922, and became a member of the editorial board of the Medical and Surgical History of the War.

Throughout his career, Doctor de Schweinitz made significant contributions to ophthalmic literature. He wrote several hundred articles and several notable books, including Textbook on Diseases of the Eye, published in 1892, reprinted several times. He also collaborated with B. Alexander Randall of Philadelphia to edit Textbook on Diseases of the Eye and Ear, Nose and Throat. He was the American editor of Haab's volumes on "Ophthalmoscopy", "External Diseases of the Eye" and "Operative Ophthalmology." He collaboratively edited The Ophthalmic Year Book with Edward Jackson for a number of years.

De Schweinitz was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1887 and served as President from 1910-1913. He was also a president of the American Medical Association and a member of many professional organizations, including the American Ophthalmological Society, the Pathological Society of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Neurological Society.

George Edmund de Schweinitz died on August 22th, 1938.

Sources: “In Memoriam,” printed in the New York Academy of Medicine Bulletin, 1939 January; 15(1): 58–60.

The George Edmunds de Schweinitz Papers collection documents portions of de Schweinitz’s professional medical career, largely from 1901 to 1918. Included in the collection is correspondence, essays, written addresses, reports, and case and surgery notes. The collection contains three series: “Correspondence,” “Writings,” and “Medical Practice Material.” Researchers interested in George Edmund de Schweinitz’s career, or ophthalmology practice in the early twentieth century will find significant material in this collection.

The “Correspondence” series contains letters primarily concerning ophthalmology topics and patient cases. Correspondents with whom de Schweinitiz exchanged numerous letters include Albert E. Bulson, Samuel G. Dixon, Samuel Ely Eliot, Henry Copley Greene, William R. S. Henry, Ida B. Hiltz, Edward Jackson, Francis Park Lewis, Howard Mellor, Elizabeth Monie, George H. Simmons, and Thomas Woodruff. The letters are arranged alphabetically by the correspondent’s last name, and then chronologically within that name. There are several letters from “unidentified senders” located at the end of the series. The series dates from 1903 to 1912, 1915 to 1918, 1921, 1933, and undated.

The “Writings” series contains written addresses, essays, articles, pamphlets, and reports largely written by George Edmund de Schweinitz. Many of the writings are unidentified, though they are likely written by de Schweinitz. In cases where the writer was clearly identified, it is noted in the folder title. Essays and articles represent the bulk of material in the series. These writings concern ophthalmological issues. Many of the writings include titles, in which case those titles appear in quotations on the folder. In cases where the writing is untitled, the folder is labeled without quotations. There series is arranged alphabetically by writing format, and dates from 1904 to 1906, 1911 to 1915, and undated.

The “Medical Practice Material” series contains medical case notes, surgical operation notes, and a report on ophthalmological clinics held at Jefferson Medical College. The case notes include three large volumes of ophthalmology cases seen by de Schweinitz between 1904 and 1919. The series is arranged alphabetically by folder title, and dates from 1899 to 1900, 1904 to 1919, and undated.

Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Forrest Wright
Finding Aid Date
September 23, 2011

Collection Inventory

T. H. Acheson, Joseph Allory, Herman Allyn, American Medical Association, Sarah B. Ashworth, J. D. Ballentine, Olin G. Barker, Barnes and Hille Chemists, John Hampton Barnes, H. Barkan, Daniel M. Barringer, Euphenia Bartlett, George W. Beemer, J. R. de Belleville, E. M. Bingham, H. P. Bingham, Edward Bok, Theodore Blippel, Nelson Black, William Ford Blake, Jenna Block, Lucetta Bollman, John G. Bowman, 1904-1908, 1916-1917.
Box 1 Folder 1
H. H. Briggs, Brockie and Hastings Architects, R. W. Brooks, C. C. Brown, William E. Bruner, H. D. Bruns, Bruns and Robin M. D., Logan W. Bullitt, Albert E. Bulson, 1904-1908, 1916-1917.
Box 1 Folder 2
Albert E. Bulson, O. H. Burritt, J. I. Burtt, P. H. Busbee, Business Men’s League, R. F. Cannon, Walter Carson, Carter, William Cattell, J. Emory Chapman, V. A. Chapman, A. F. Chase, Harold A. Clark, John G. Clark, T. R. Clark, J. V. Cleaver, Joseph Clothier, M. Coit, I. D. Cole, Fannie Cohen, N. P. Colwell, Douglas E. Compere, Frederick Cordes, Alexander Craig, George M. Crile, John V. Craven, Francis Crouch, Samuel G. Dixon, 1904-1909, 1915-1917.
Box 1 Folder 3
Samuel G. Dixon, George Dock, Loulie Donaldson, August J. Downing, Alexander Duane, Charles Dulles, Eckart Jewelry and Manufacturing, George A. Eckbert, E. F. Edmunds, Claude E. Eldridge, Samuel Ely Eliot, Ellegood, E. L. Elliott, Richard M. Elliott, 1905-1908, 1910, 1911, 1916-1917.
Box 1 Folder 4
Richard M. Elliott, C. P. Ellis, Henrietta Ely, Theodore Ely, Wilson Eyre, E. K. Fee, George Fetterolf, Fidanque Bros. and Sons, William A. Fisher, Arthur Fletcher, John R. Forst, C. P. Franklin, Charles H. Frazier, Walter J. Freeman, Charles Freniere, 1903, 1904, 1908-1911, 1916-1917.
Box 1 Folder 5
Harry Friedenwald, H. C. Gemperling, Harold Gifford, A. B. Gilliand, J. L. Goodale, J. F. Gray, Henry Copley Greene, R. W Greene, L. M. Gurley, S. Hagen, J. Halsey, F. Hanger, W. H. Harrison, Richard Harte, S. M. Hartzel, Clarkson Harves, Robert Hastings, Mary Hauton, Eugene Hazel, Mary Heazelton, J. F. Hellweg, Carl van Helmolt, 1905-1908, 1910-1912, 1916-1917, 1933.
Box 1 Folder 6
William R. S. Henry, Herbert Herbst, William Hereford, John Hermanson, Naomi Heslop, E. T. Hicks, Ida B. Hiltz, Barton C. Hirst, Mrs. William Horner, J. Howard, H. S. Howell, Alvin A. Hubbell, C. W. Hutchinson, 1904-1908, 1911, 1916-1917.
Box 1 Folder 7
Edward Jackson, 1903-1912, 1903.
Box 1 Folder 8
Jahn and Ollier Engraving Company, Robert Jewett, George Ben Johnston, Emlyn Jones, Joseph De F. Junkin, Bayard Kane, H. P. Kaskin, Dora Keen, William Williams Keen, R. B. Kernohan, A. H. Kershner, John L. Kilbuck, S. Kirkpatrick, Arnold Knapp, T. H. Ladd, Henry G. Langworth, D. T. Laine, Joseph Leidy, M. Levitan, J. Leonard Levy, Francis Park Lewis, 1905-1908, 1911, 1916-1917.
Box 1 Folder 9
Francis Park Lewis, S. M. Lindenbaum, Stephen T. Lockwood, F. B. Lund, T. J. Lynch, D. N. Maclennan and James McCallum, 1906, 1911-1912, 1916-1917, undated.
Box 2 Folder 1
Wilbur B. Marple, Philip Marvel, Daniel E. Maxfield, G. Madison Maxwell, William J. Mayo, George McFadden, John Bache McMaster, John McMullen, John B. McOleison, Douglas C. McMurtie, John O. McReynolds, Arthur Meigs, Harry B. Meller, Howard Mellor, J. Hartley Merrick, B. F. Miller, Charles K. Mills, Herbert Moffitt, Elizabeth Monie, 1905-1908, 1911, 1916-1917, undated.
Box 2 Folder 2
Elizabeth Monie, R. W. Montague, William F. Muhlenberg, W. L. Murdoch, Thomas J. Murphy, John H. Musser, John H. Musser and A. O. J. Kelly, Herbert M. Nash, Joseph S. Neff, Jacob Newcomer, J. A. Nicholas, Charles Noble, 1904-1910, 1916.
Box 2 Folder 3
J. Walter Park, W. Rea Park, Francis D. Patterson, John Price Patterson, R. Pearce, Pennsylvania Electric Vehicle Company, William Pepper, Leo Perth, George M. Piersol, F. W. B. Pile, Henry S. Pole, Henry S. and Edgar Pole, W. Campbell Pole, H. B. Powell, James J. Putnam, Wendell P. Raines, Rand, B. J. Reemsnyder, Richard Reeser, Edward Reichert, E. B. Richards, W. D. Richmond, 1904-1908, 1916-1917.
Box 2 Folder 4
George H. Rights, S. B. Risley, Thomas Robins, W. G. Rohrer, Raudle Rosenberger, H. A. Rothrock, R. J. Rowe, E. E. Royer, John Sailer, W. B. Saunders and Company, George C. Savage, Joseph Scattergood, William Schlindwein, T. B. Schneidmann, Albert Seitz, L. M. Shear, Florence Shepherd, E. A. Shumay, George H. Simmons, 1903-1908, 1916-1917.
Box 2 Folder 5
George H. Simmons, Frank F. Simpsons, E. H. Siter, J. M. Smiley, George B. Smith, Marion Smith, William G. Spiller, William P. Spratling, Squire Sanders and Dempsey, Myles Standish, Thomas F. Staley, E. E. Staples, Alfred Stengel, H. E. Stevens, Reuel Stewart, Stiller, 1905-1906, 1908-1909, 1916-1917.
Box 2 Folder 6
Arthur Thomas, J. Thorington, H. H. Turner, University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Carolyn Van Blarcom, Edward Van Cleve, Paul L. Veeder, F. Vehrhoff, W. L. Waring, Harold W. Webb, Weringer and Brown Insurance, Thomas J. Whaling, Corltand Whitehead, F. H. Wick, William H. Wilder, De Forest Willard, James Wilson, Hartley Wolle, Casey A. Wood, N. L. Wood, E. E. Woodland, Thomas Woodruff, 1904-1908, 1916-1917.
Box 2 Folder 7
Woodruff Publishing Company, Alan Woods, Hiram Woods, John F. Woodward, R.W. Wordill, Hubert Work, unidentified senders, 1904-1908, 1910, 1916-1918, 1921, undated.
Box 2 Folder 8

Address: Banquet of the Medical Alumni of University of Pennsylvania, 1906 February 21.
Box 2 Folder 9
Address at a meeting, undated.
Box 2 Folder 10
Bibliography of writings by George Edmund de Schweinitz, undated.
Box 2 Folder 11
Correspondence: "A Handbook of Practical Treatment" editorial suggestions to contributors, including George Edmund de Schweinitz, 1904 December.
Box 2 Folder 12
Essays and Articles: Causes of blindness, undated.
Box 3 Folder 1
Essays and Articles: "Central Scotomas of Cortical Origin", undated.
Box 3 Folder 2
Essays and Articles: "Concerning Certain Scotomas in the Visual Field and that Relation to the Diagnosis of Intracranial Diseases" draft, by George Edmund de Schweinitz and Dr. Thomas Halloway, after 1911.
Box 3 Folder 3
Essays and Articles: "Macular Haemianopic Disturbance in Reading", undated.
Box 3 Folder 4
Essays and Articles: "Opthalmia abd Trachoma in the Mountains of Kentucky", after 1911.
Box 3 Folder 5
Essays and Articles: Optometry definition, undated.
Box 3 Folder 6
Essays and Articles: Protection of the eye, undated.
Box 3 Folder 7
Essays and Articles: "Some Remarks on the Ocular Symptoms of Pituitary Body Disease and the Results of Treatment: Being a Clinical Paper-Illustrated with Three Cases Histories" draft by George Edmund de Schweinitz, After 1911.
Box 3 Folder 8
Essays and Articles: "Structural Defects of the Eye and their Consequences", undated.
Box 3 Folder 9
Essays and Articles: "Studies in Opthalmic Therapeutics Based on Personal Observations," incomplete draft, by George Edmund de Schweinitz, undated.
Box 3 Folder 10
Essays and Articles: "Three Cases of Unusual Vitreous Opacities" by H. H. Stark, after 1912.
Box 3 Folder 11
Essays and Articles: "Tumor of the Pituitary Body; Complete Blindness Lasting Twelve Days; Restoration of the Bisoj of the Right Eye and Partial Restoration of the Vision of the Left Eye under the Influence of Large Doses of Thyroid Extract, Associated with Injunctions of Mercury" by George Edmund de Schweinitz and T. J. Fleming, undated.
Box 3 Folder 12
Essays and Articles: "Visual Phenomena in Pituitary Body Disease" draft, by George Edmund de Schweinitz, 1905.
Box 3 Folder 13
Essays and Articles: "Visual Phenomena in Pituitary Body Disease" published in the Transactions of the College of Physicians, by George Edmund de Schweinitz, 1915 June 2.
Box 3 Folder 14
"Illustrations for Dr. De Schweinitz's Article in Posey and Spiller" list, undated.
Box 3 Folder 15
Pamphlets: "The Eye and Nervous System: Their Diagnostic Relations" advertisement, undated.
Box 3 Folder 16
Pamphlets: New York State Divison of Communicable Diseases, literature on disease prevention in various foreign languages, undated.
Box 3 Folder 17
Reports: "Preliminary Report of the Sub-Committee on the Toxic Amblyopias Exclusive of Methyl-Alcohol of the Committee on the Prevention of Blindness of the American Medical Association", undated.
Box 3 Folder 18
Reports: Report on annual developments in optometry, undated.
Box 3 Folder 19

Case Notebook: "Records of the Results of the Examination of the Eyes of the Patients of George Edmund de Schweinitz", 1904 July-1909 April.
Box 3 Folder 20
Case Notebook: "Records of the Results of the Examination of the Eyes of the Patients of George Edmund de Schweinitz", 1909 April-1913 October.
Box 3 Folder 21
Case Notebook: "Records of the Results of the Examination of the Eyes of the Patients of George Edmund de Schweinitz", 1913 October-1919 October.
Box 3 Folder 22
Case and Specimen notes assembled by George Edmund de Schweinitz, 1916-1917.
Box 4 Folder 1
Eye operation notes, 1904 January-1909 October.
Box 4 Folder 2
Lecture invitation for ophthalmology course, undated.
Box 4 Folder 3
"Report of Ophthalmological Clinics Held at Jefferson Medical Hospital," by George Edmund de Schweinitz, 1899-1900.
Box 4 Folder 4

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