Records concerning the S. Weir Mitchell Associates
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
The Office of the Librarian of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia was established in 1854, Before 1851, the chairman of the Library Committee was responsible for the administration of the Library, and from 1851 to 1854, the Secretary of the College acted as librarian, In 1863, the Librarian became an officer of the College, and the by-laws of this year established his official duties: the "preservation, arrangement and cataloguing of the books belonging to the Library of the College", This position was part-time; the Librarian was required to be present in the Library for an hour before each meeting and an additional hour each week.
A major change in the Library's administration occurred in 1882. At this time, two new positions, "Honorary Librarian" and "Assistant Librarian" were created. The Honorary Librarian served as an "ex officio" member of the Library Committee and was responsible for the Library's funds and employees. The Assistant Librarian, who worked full-time and did not have to be a Fellow of the College, was responsible for the daily administration of the Library. His other duties included acting as secretary of the Library Committee and keeping records of all books purchased or donated to the Library.
In the 1914 by-laws, the title of Assistant Librarian was changed to Librarian. Also in 1914, the Librarian became the "Superintendent of the College building", This responsibility was omitted from the 1925 by-laws, and by 1935, the by-laws were again amended to state that the Librarian "shall keep a record of all acquisitions of the Library, with the names of the donors".
A new position, Curator of the Historical Collections of the Library, was added to the staff in 1953. In 1982, the title of "Librarian" was changed to "Director of the Library". In 1990, the responisibilities of the Director of the Library were divided between the Director of the Library for Public Services and the Director of the Library for Historical Services.
This collection consists of the records of Elliott H. Morse, Librarian of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia from 1954 to 1981, concerning the S. Weir Mitchell Associates. The collection, spanning 1959 to 1988, includes correspondence with S. Weir Mitchell Associates, business correspondence, minutes of the S. Weir Mitchell Associates Committee, financial records, materials pertaining to annual meeting banquets and recruiting dinners, George I. Blumstein papers, and miscellaneous material.
Series 1 consists of original incoming letters and copies of outgoing letters from Morse and his assistants, Mary E. Feeney and Beatrice F. Davis; also included are copies of outgoing letters from the presidents of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia to the S. Weir Mitchell Associates. This correspondence documents the process of becoming an S. Weir Mitchell Associate, including making an initial payment, selecting a journal to endow, and deciding on the text for a bookplate legend. The business correspondence in Series 1 concerns the printing of bookplates and the engraving of plaques that were presented to the associates.
Series 2 contains Morse's copies of the minutes of the S. Weir Mitchell Associates Committee and the Library Committee. Morse's holograph notes appear on the verso of some of the minutes.
Financial records of the S. Weir Mitchell Associates are in Series 3. Present is a list of receipts and expenditures, with Morse's holograph notes on the verso, and copies of payment letters sent by the treasurer of the College of Physicians to the S. Weir Mitchell Associates to notify them of their payment schedules.
Series 4 contains records pertaining to the recruitment dinners and annual meeting banquets sponsored by the S. Weir Mitchell Associates Committee. The recruitment dinners were hosted by members of the committee; they invited friends and colleagues who were likely to become associates. Also present are records pertaining to annual meeting banquets of the S. Weir Mitchell Associates. Elaborate invitations and programs were prepared for these events, which were held in recognition of the generosity of the S. Weir Mitchell Associates. Annual meetings were held in 1962, 1964, and 1967; Series 4 contains photographs of the 1962 banquet.
Papers of George I. Blumstein are contained in Series 5. Blumstein, who was chairman of the S. Weir Mitchell Associates Committee from 1960 to 1968, was actively involved in organizing the committee's annual meeting banquets and recruiting dinners, Much of the correspondence and other items in this series contain Blumstein's holograph notes.
Miscellaneous material, consisting of information on the S. Weir Mitchell Associates and the journals they endowed, is contained in Series 6.
The original folders in which this material was housed were discarded; holograph notes appearing on the folders were photocopied, and the photocopies were placed in the appropriate folder of the collection.
These records from the Office of the Librarian concerning the S. Weir Mitchell Associates were transferred by May Tiffany from the Office of the Executive Director to the Historical Collections of the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia on 24 August 1990.
The collection was processed and cataloged in 1992.
- Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia