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John Harper Girvin notes on zoology lectures


Held at: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia [Contact Us]19 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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John Harper Girvin was born in Philadelphia, September 17, 1869, a son of Dr. Robert M. Girvin, who was a graduate of Jefferson Medical College in the class of 1862. John Girvin's mother was Susan Bell Harper. After receiving his preliminary education at Lawrenceville Academy, New Jersey, John Girvin became a student in the Biological Department of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1889. He then entered the Medical Department of the University, receiving his degree of M.D. in 1892. After graduating, he served three months as an intern on the surgical service in the Presbyterian Hospital. He then spent four months abroad. On his return from abroad, Girvin served for eighteen months as resident physician in the University Hospital. On the expiration of his term, Dr. Charles B. Penrose gave him a position in the Gynecological Dispensary of the University. Later he became chief of the Dispensary, and Instructor in Gynecology and Demonstrator of Obstetrics in the University. Upon the death of Dr. Robert Girvin in 1900, John Girvin succeeded to his position as Physician for Diseases of Women to the Presbyterian Hospital, and four years later was given the position of Gynecologist-in-Chief to the institution. Girvin retired from undergraduate teaching after some years, but continued to serve the University as Associate Professor of Gynecology in the Graduate School.

Girvin was elected a Fellow of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1897, and served as Clerk of the Gynecological Section of the College. On May 2, 1917, he assumed the duties of acting Secretary of the College and served as such until February, 1919, when he was elected Secretary and continued in that capacity until January, 1934.

Girvin never married. He died of coronary thrombosis on October 23, 1938, at his home in Philadelphia.

Source: Packard, Francis R. "Memoir of John H. Girvin." Transactions and Studies of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, series 4, volume 7 (1939-1940): 111-113.

This small collection consists of unbound notes on zoology lectures, presumably from Girvin's undergraduate studes in the Biology department at the Univserity of Pennsylvania, dating to circa 1887. Topics include the anatomy of frogs, crayfish, and crabs.


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

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