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Douglas P. Murphy 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

Douglas P. Murphy was born March 3, 1893 near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served as a surgeon in the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during World War I. During his military service, Murphy worked in several medical hospitals in France from 1917 until the war's end in 1918. Surviving the war intact, and even managing to get married during his time overseas, Murphy returned home to Philadelphia and opened his own obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) practice. His clinical experience eventually branched into a teaching position as the Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Research Associate at University of Pennsylvania Gynecean Hospital Institute of Gynecologic Research. Murphy died in 1971.

The Douglas P. Murphy Papers span from 1917 until 1972. The collection includes several account books from Murphy's medical practice, which document patient visits, notes on their health, and any accrued fees. Murphy's paper-bound scrapbook contains four pages and numerous loose documents pertaining to his military service in France during World War I. Military documents include Murphy's AEF identification card, memos, special orders, telegrams, and health records. The Murphy Papers are an invaluable resource for researchers interested in MRC and AEF's involvement in World War I, as well as the management of small OB/GYN practices during the 1940-1950s.

The Murphy Papers collection contains two series: Account books and Scrapbook.

Series I: Account books date from 1946 to 1959. The series includes eight account books from Murphy's medical practice. The books entail patient visits, including names, owed fees, and any prescribed recommendations to or observations about their health.

Series II: Scrapbook dates from 1917 to 1972. The series contains Murphy's AEF identification card and various memos, special orders, telegrams, and health records related to his service in World War I. The series also includes an English language newspaper circulating in Europe ca. 1918 (Kaiser Wilhelm II's exile is front page news) and a condolence letter sent to Mrs. Murphy after her husband's death. Due to its fragile state, the scrapbook was disbound and each page (including loose documents) was transferred to its own folder.

Provenance: Gift of Julia Murphy.

Year acquired: 2005

Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Finding Aid Author
revised by Bonnie Small
Finding Aid Date
2012; revised May 2019
This collection-level EAD record is a product of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Consortial Survey Initiative, which was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Collection Inventory

Box 1 Volume 1
Box 1 Volume 2
Box 1 Volume 3
Box 1 Volume 4
Box 2 Volume 1
Box 2 Volume 2
Box 2 Volume 3
Box 2 Volume 4
Box 2 Volume 5

Page 1, 1917-1918.
Box 3 Folder 1
Page 2, 1918-1919.
Box 3 Folder 2
Page 3, 1917-1918.
Box 3 Folder 3
Page 4, 1918-1919.
Box 3 Folder 4
Loose Documents , 1917-1972.
Box 3 Folder 5
Loose Documents , 1917-1919.
Box 3 Folder 6
Loose Documents , 1917-1919.
Box 3 Folder 7
Loose Documents, 1917-1919.
Box 3 Folder 8

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