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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

Collection Inventory

Letter from Gerhard Herik Armauer Hansen, 1899 March 5.
Box 1 Folder 1
Letter from Raimond Jacques Saboraud, 1929 March 2.
Box 1 Folder 2
Letter from J. Darier, 1929 March 5.
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter from Josef Jadassohn, 1929 March 6.
Box 1 Folder 4
Letters from George Henry Fox, 1930 March 14, 1934 April 19.
Box 1 Folder 5
Letter from Societe Francais de Dermatologie et de Syphilgraphie, 1931 March 12.
Box 1 Folder 6
Letter from Societe Francais de Prophylaxie, 1933 June 10.
Box 1 Folder 7
Letter from Sigmund Pollitzer, 1934 April 27.
Box 1 Folder 8
Letters from Frederick Deforest Weidman, 1934 June 19, 1938 December 12.
Box 1 Folder 9
Postcard from Lucien Marrie Pautrier, 1935 May 1.
Box 1 Folder 10
Letter from Charles J. White, 1935 December 15.
Box 1 Folder 11
Letters from Howard George Fox, 1937 October 15, undated.
Box 1 Folder 12
Card from Ernst Anton Franz Finger, 1937 December 22.
Box 1 Folder 13
Calling Card from Gaston Milian, 1937.
Box 1 Folder 14
Letter From Henry Howard Whitehouse, 1938 March 10.
Box 1 Folder 15
Letter from WM. Allen Pusey, 1938 July 18.
Box 1 Folder 16
Letter from Joseph L. Miller, 1938 September 28.
Box 1 Folder 17
Letters from Hamilton Montgomery, 1938 December 2, undated.
Box 1 Folder 18
Card from Erick Hoffman, 1939 February 15.
Box 1 Folder 19
Letter from William T. Corlett, 1941 March 28.
Box 1 Folder 20
Letter from Herman Beerman, 1941 June 7.
Box 1 Folder 21
Card Signed by Honorary Dinner Atendees, 1942 March 2.
Box 1 Folder 22
Letter from George Miller Mackee, 1942 May 1.
Box 1 Folder 23
Letter from Richard Lightburn Sutton, 1944 November 21.
Box 1 Folder 24
Letters from Oliver S. Ormsby, 1946 October 21, 1946 October 31.
Flat File A Drawer 4
Letter from Ira Leo Schamberg, 1947 July 8.
Box 1 Folder 25
Letters from Harry Maximilian Robinson, 1947 December 27.
Box 1 Folder 26
Lecture Notes and Card from James Clarke White, undated.
Box 1 Folder 27
Letter from William Harvey Guy, undated.
Box 1 Folder 28
Part of a Manuscript from Jay Frank Schamburg, undated.
Box 1 Folder 29

Public Health and Marine-Hospital Service Award, 1905.
Box 1 Folder 30
American Board of Dermatology and Syphilology Certifacte, 1933 April 7.
Flat File A Drawer 4
Societas Dermatologica Austriaca Certificate, 1938 January.
Flat File A Drawer 4
State Board of Medical Examiners of New Jersey Certificate, 1941 October 30.
Box 1 Folder 31
Osterreische Dermatologische Gesellschaft Membership, 1948 November 18.
Box 1 Folder 32
The Medical Society of New Jersey Award, 1952 September.
Flat File A Drawer 4

Journal of Appointment Notes, 1905.
Box 1 Folder 33
Appointment Reminder Cards, undated.
Box 1 Folder 34
Prescription Sheets, undated.
Box 1 Folder 35

Photographs, undated.
Box 1 Folder 36

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