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Records of the Section on Medical History III


Held at: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia [Contact Us]19 S. 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.

Overview and metadata sections

On 2 November 1904, the Secretary of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia announced that President Arthur V. Meigs had authorized the formation of a new section of the College, the Section on Medical History. The new section was formed according to the 1900 by-laws of the College of Physicians, which state that a section may be created when fifteen Fellows submit a written request to the President; when the President approves the request, a new section is formed. On 1 February 1905, President Meigs appointed Francis R. Packard, Charles Oliver, and Samuel McClintock Hamill to serve on the Executive Committee of the Section on Medical History, William Pepper became clerk of the section, and Roland G. Curtin was selected as chairman.

Starting in 1905, the section began holding meetings at which lectures on medical history were presented. The section invited papers from physicians and scholars from a variety of backgrounds; most of these papers were published in Transactions and Studies. Over the years, many notable figures lectured at section meetings, including Sir William Osler, John F. Fulton, and Karl Sudhoff. In the 1940s, the section embarked on a cooperative effort with area medical schools to present medical history lectures to Philadelphia medical students. By the 1970s, the section had become the sponsor of several annual lectures, including the Kate Hurd Mead Lecture (co-sponsored by the [Woman's] Medical College of Pennsylvania, now Drexel College of Medicine) which was started in 1952, the Samuel X. Radbill Lecture (1974), and the W. B. McDaniel Memorial Lecture (1976).

As of 2019, the Section on Medical History remains an active body of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The section continues to hold lectures on the history of medicine, including the Kate Hurd Mead Lecture and the Samuel X. Radbill Lecture.

The Records of the Section on Medical History III span the years 1966 to 2004, and consist of correspondence, annual reports, lecture announcements, speaker information, and Executive Committee minutes. It is divided into eleven series, one for earlier annual reports, and the other ten organized by Section Chair. Researchers should note that the majority of this collection only supplements materials found in Records of the Section on Medical History of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia I and II (CPP 12/003-01 and CPP 12/003-02). Executive Committee meeting minutes seem to exist only for the years 1990 to 1995. Section records for the years 1995 to 1998 are not present in this collection.

The original order of the records was kept wherever it was possible. Many folders were unlabeled, and some files were not in any folders.

Series I: Annual reports contains annual reports dating from 1905 to 1957; however, there are large gaps, and many years are not represented. Also included in this series are Section officer election results from 1936 and 1938, as well as a typescript copy of "Alexander Porfirivich Borodin: Physician, Chemist, and Composer," read by F. William Sunderman at the December 13, 1937, Section meeting.

The following six series span the years 1966 through 1987, and partially document the chairmanships of Roderick Trondeau, Harry Gianakon, Vaughan Simmons, Lawrence Parish, Steven Peitzman, and Allen C. Wooden. These files supplement the information found in Records of the Section on Medical History of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia I and II (CPP 12/003-01 and CPP 12/003-02). They consist mostly of correspondence concerning membership as well as the organizing of lectures, including selecting speakers and making their travel arrangements, planning the dinners usually held after each lecture, and sending out invitations and lecture announcements. Well-represented are files pertaining to the annual Kate Hurd Mead lectures and Samuel X. Radbill lectures.

Series V: Lawrence Parish (10972-1976), Series VI: Steven Peitzman (1982-1985), and Series VII: Allen C. Wooden (1985-1987) also include printed materials, including lecture flyers and programs, dating from 1971 to 1974, and 1982 to 1987. Annual reports from 1982 and 1983 are present, as well as Section letterhead and stationery.

Series VIII: Eleanora Gordon dates from 1987 through 1989, and similar to the previous series, consists of correspondence concerning membership as well as Section lecture and meeting planning. This collection is organized as Gordon herself kept it, and folder titles reflect her record-keeping. There is a great deal of correspondence with the speakers for various lectures, including travel arrangements. Researchers should note that although Gordon's time as Section Chair are not represented in earlier Section record collections, there are no meeting minutes or annual reports housed in this collection.

Series IX: Barbara Bates documents the chairmanship of Barbara Bates and covers the years 1989 through 1995. The organization mirrors Bates' original filing structure. Along with correspondence concerning membership and Section lecture and meeting planning, this series holds Executive Committee meeting minutes and memoranda for the years 1990 to 1995, Program Committee meeting notes (1991-1995), mailing lists dating to circa 1990, promotion files (including lecture flyers) dating from 1989 to 1994, and a clerk's handbook (1990). Much of the correspondence is between Bates and two Section clerks, David Krasner and Michael Broennle; however, the majority of it is between Bates and speakers for the Section lectures.

In 1991 and 1992, Bates was a member of an ad hoc committee to discuss the re-organization of the College's F.C. Wood Institute for the History of Medicine, and the activities of that committee are also held in this series. Bates was also involved in a 1990 survey of Section members, which concerned Section programming, and the questionnaires and responses sent and received can be found in this series as well.

Series X: Robert Kaiser, dating from 1998 to 2000 and Series XI: Deborah Goldstein, dating from 2001 to 2004, are small files which include correspondence concerning membership as well as Section lecture and meeting planning, flyers for lectures, and meeting notes. There are no Executive Committee meeting minutes included in these series.

Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Finding Aid Author
Chrissie Perella
Finding Aid Date
April 2019

Collection Inventory

1905; 1907-1909; 1913; 1915-1916; 1918; 1921; 1923; 1925-1928.
Box 1 Folder 1
1935; 1938-1941 and election results, 1936; 1938.
Box 1 Folder 2
1952-1954; 1957.
Box 1 Folder 3
Series II. Roderick Trondeau, 1966-1971.
Box 1 Folder 4
Series III. Harry Gianakon, 1970-1972.
Box 1 Folder 5
Series IV. Vaughan Simmons, 1969-1972.
Box 1 Folder 6

Correspondence, 1972-1974.
Box 1 Folder 7
Correspondence, 1975-1976.
Box 1 Folder 8
Kate Hurd Mead Lecture, 1972-1974.
Box 1 Folder 9
Printed material, 1971-1974.
Box 1 Folder 10
Samuel X. Radbill lecture, 1973-1975.
Box 1 Folder 11

General correspondence, 1982-1986.
Box 1 Folder 12
Kate Hurd Mead lecture, 1983-1985.
Box 2 Folder 1
Programs, 1982-1983.
Box 2 Folder 2
Programs, 1983-1984.
Box 2 Folder 3
Programs, 1984-1985.
Box 2 Folder 4
Reports, 1982-1983.
Box 2 Folder 5
Samuel X. Radbill lecture, 1982-1985.
Box 2 Folder 6

General correspondence, 1985-1987.
Box 2 Folder 7
Programs, 1985-1987.
Box 2 Folder 8
Stationery, undated.
Box 2 Folder 9

Correspondence, 1987-1989.
Box 2 Folder 10
Speakers, 1987-1988.
Box 2 Folder 11
Speakers, 1988-1989.
Box 2 Folder 12
Sepakers, future, 1987-1988; undated.
Box 3 Folder 1

By-laws, 1990-1991.
Box 3 Folder 2
Clerk's Handbook, 1990.
Box 3 Folder 3
Correspondence, Michael Broennle, 1989-1990.
Box 3 Folder 4
Correspondence, David Krasner, 1990-1995.
Box 3 Folder 5
Executive Committee, 1990.
Box 3 Folder 6
Executive Committee, 1991-1992.
Box 3 Folder 7
Executive Committee, 1992-1995.
Box 3 Folder 8
Mailing lists, 1989-1990.
Box 3 Folder 9
Program Committee, 1991-1995.
Box 3 Folder 10
Promotion, 1989.
Box 3 Folder 11
Promotion, 1990-1991.
Box 3 Folder 12
Promotion, 1991-1992.
Box 3 Folder 13
Promotion, 1992-1993.
Box 3 Folder 14
Promotion, 1993-1994.
Box 3 Folder 15
Speakers, 1989-1990.
Box 3 Folder 16
Speakers, 1990-1991.
Box 4 Folder 1
Speakers, 1991-1992.
Box 4 Folder 2
Speakers, 1992-1993.
Box 4 Folder 3
Speakers, 1993-1994.
Box 4 Folder 4
Speakers, 1994-1995.
Box 4 Folder 5
Special projects: Ad hoc Committee of Fellows to Save the Wood Institute, 1991-1992.
Box 4 Folder 6
Special projects: Section questionnaires, 1989; undated.
Box 4 Folder 7
Series X. Robert Kaiser, 1998-2000.
Box 4 Folder 8
Series XI. Deborah Goldstein, 2001-2004.
Box 4 Folder 9

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