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Records of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia Library II


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

Established in 1791, the Library of the College of Physicians was Philadelphia's central medical library for over 150 years, serving medical schools, hospitals, physicians and other health professionals. Today, it is an independent research library devoted to the history of medicine and serves hundreds of scholars, health professionals, students and popular writers each year.

In addition to its historical research resources, over the last half century the library has been involved in several medical library consortiums, providing both resources and administrative support to these projects. Some of these include: Mid Eastern Medical Regional Library Service (MERMLS), Medical Document Service (MDS), Health Science Library Consortium (HSLC), and Consumer Health Information Network (CHINET). These organizations aim to spread knowledge for the benefit of medical research and public health. The Library has also played a key role in providing material for exhibitions and publications by the College of Physicians. Rare books from the library stacks are regularly put on display for visitors, and images from their collections are reproduced for publications. The Library has kept consistent records of its functions from the 1960s until the early 2000s. These records not only include user requests, correspondence, and grant applications, but also the papers of several library directors throughout this period. In the Library Collection are the papers of the following directors: Anthony Aguirre, Ellen Gartrell, Charles Greifenstein, Lisabeth M. Holloway, Thomas A. Horrocks, Andrea Kenyon, Edward Morman, Christine Ruggere, and Marjorie Smink.

The College Library is also notable for its manuscripts and archives. Within its collection are the College's own archives; the archives of other Philadelphia medical institutions; and letters, case books, and student notebooks that document the personal life and professional practice of doctors in the Philadelphia region and around the world. Among the most important manuscript collections are the bulk of extant letters written by S. Weir Mitchell, a Civil War surgeon, neurologist, physiologist, novelist, and leading member of the College for more than fifty years.

The College Library also owns several collections of printed books associated with individual Fellows. The College offers research fellowships to candidates studying the history and culture of medicine. The Lewis collections, donated by College President Samuel Lewis over several decades in the nineteenth century, consist of several thousand books, many of them rare, whose acquisition clearly established the singular importance of the College Library. Most recently, forensic psychiatrist Robert L. Sadoff donated the Sadoff Library of Legal Medicine and Forensic Psychiatry to the College. Before arriving at the College in 2002, Dr. Sadoff's four thousand volumes comprised the world's largest private collection of books and pamphlets on these topics.

Care of the collections has always been of great concern to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The College recently installed a state-of-the-art climate control system in the library stacks, and several recent grants and gifts have been applied to an extensive preservation and restoration program.


Large portions of this historical note were taken directly from The College of Physicians of Philadelphia website: (accessed July 27, 2010).

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Library Records II date from 1923 to 2007. This is a small collection of loose, mostly unrelated material that was found during the 2015 archives survey. It includes correspondence of various Library employees, early incunabula catalogs, and materials related to the management of the Mütter Museum, some of which fell under the Katherine A. Shaw Public Services Division of the Library.

Series I includes informational brochures and pamphlets about the Library, as well as general information about its history and reading room policies. Most of this material is undated. Also included in this series are two early printed incunabula catalogs, dated 1923 and 1931, as well as a procedural manual for processing archival collections dated 1994.

Series II, dated July 1953, contains a typescript of W. B. McDaniel's talk, "The Role of the Medical Librarian," whlich he gave at the First International Congress of Medical Librarians in London, England. This series also holds other conference information.

Series III consists of correspondence and planning documents for the presentation of Elliott Morse's portrait to the College upon his retirement in 1981.

Series IV is comprised of correspondence to and from Ed Morman during the years 2002 to 2004.

Series V: Andrea Kenyon is the largest series in this collection. Much of the material dates from 2004 through 2007 and concerns the management of the Mütter Museum, including staff monthly reports; group tours; and small projects, such as the "Historical Collections Photo Book," published in 2007. Other files in this series relate to Kenyon's major job responsibilities in the Katherine A. Shaw Public Services Division of the Library, including projects and activities in 2005 and 2006.

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

Collection Inventory

Brochures and pamphlets, undated.
Box 1 Folder 1
Catalogue of Incunabula, 1923; 1931.
Box 1 Folder 2
Histories and policies, undated.
Box 1 Folder 3
Photograph of Tom Horrocks and Anne, undated.
Box 1 Folder 4

"The Role of the Medical Librarian," First International Congress of Medical Librarians, London, July 1953.
Box 1 Folder 5
Correspondence and reprints related to Johannes Mercurius Corrigensis, 1942.
Box 1 Folder 6
Series III. Elliott Morse retirement portrait, 1981.
Box 1 Folder 7
Series IV. Ed Morman correspondence, 2002-2004.
Box 1 Folder 8

"Assassins", 2007.
Box 1 Folder 9
Gretchen Worden memorial service, 2004.
Box 1 Folder 10
Lena Herzog photography project, 2007.
Box 1 Folder 11
"Lincoln DNA controversy", 1992.
Box 1 Folder 12
"Mutter archival photo book", 2007.
Box 1 Folder 13
Staff reports, 2005-2007.
Box 1 Folder 14
Tours, 2005-2006.
Box 1 Folder 15
Subseries b. Katherine A. Shaw Public Services Division activities and projects, circa 2000; 2004.
Box 1 Folder 16
Subseries c. Thank-you note, 2007.
Box 1 Folder 17

Print, Suggest