Paul E. Bechet papers
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
Paul Esnard Bechet was born July 28, 1881 and died January 3, 1962. In 1903, he received his medical degree from Tulane University. Early in his career, Bechet assisted during the yellow fever epidemic of 1905 in New Orleans. From 1909 to 1934, Bechet worked at the New York Skin and Cancer Hospital as a clinical assistant, assistant physician, and physician. In his later life, he owned a medical practice in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Bechet was also an educator. He served New York University School of Medicine as an instructor in 1924 and later in 1924 as an assistant clinical professor. He was also an associate professor at the New York Post-Graduate Medical School from 1934 to 1942.
Bechet's professional interests included dermatology, syphilology, and medical history. This led to his election as historian of the American Dermatological Association in 1948. He was also president of the New York Dermatological Society in 1927 and 1929 and the Manhattan Dermatological Society in 1919, 1935, and 1950. In 1952, Bechet received a Golden Merit Award from the Medical Society of New Jersey.
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia acquired his personal papers along with a substantial collection of books and memorabilia in 1973.
The Paul E. Bechet papers date from 1899 to 1952, and consist of mainly of Bechet's correspondence with colleagues in the United States, France, Germany, and Austria. Also included are certificates and awards, records of his medical practice, and historical photographs.
The collection is arranged in four series: Correspondence, Certificates, Records of medical practice, and Photographs.
Series 1: Correspondence spans the years 1899 to 1947 and consists of letters and additional postcard, calling card, and manuscript page. Bechet corresponded with other physicians in the United States, France, Germany, and Austria. Topics generally include requests for reprints, compliments for papers, research, and exhibits, and personal letters. Highlights include a letter from Gerherd Henrik Armauer Hansen and a letter from Sigmund Pollitzer featuring a diagram demonstrating genetic inheritance.
Series 2: Certificates document awards, memberships, and certifications received by Bechet during the years 1905 to 1952. Of particular note is the certificate documenting Bechet's service to public health during the yellow fever epidemic of New Orleans in 1905.
Series 3: Records of Medical Practice, some dating from 1905 and some undated, are documents relating to Bechet's medical practice. They include examples of his appointment cards, prescription sheets, and a journal of his medical observations.
Series 4: Photographs (undated) include two historical medical photographs collected by Bechet: a portrait of Rudolf Virchow and a photograph featuring James Nevins Hyde.
- Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
- Finding Aid Author
- Allison Shanafelter
- Finding Aid Date
- June 2018