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Dr. Russell F. Minton papers


Held at: African American Museum in Philadelphia [Contact Us]701 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA, 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the African American Museum in 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

Dr. Russell F. Minton, Senior was born in Philadelphia around 1900. He graduated from Penn State University in 1924 with a major in chemistry, after which he served as head of the Chemistry Department at Tuskegee Institute. In 1929 he obtained his medical degree from Howard University Medical School. Upon receiving his medical degree, Minton was affiliated with both Frederick Douglass Memorial and Mercy hospitals in Philadelphia. Minton became a radiologist in 1940, and once Douglass and Mercy hospitals merged in 1948 to form Mercy-Douglass Hospital at 50th Street and Woodland Avenue, he held many important posts there. He served as chairman of the intern and resident training program, chief of the medical staff, chief of the radiology department, and Medical Director of Mercy-Douglass Hospital from 1949 until 1953. Additionally, Minton was appointed as a medical officer of the Civil Service Commission's Philadelphia regional office in 1966, the first African American physician to hold this post in any regional office. He held this position until retiring in 1975. Minton's wife, Marion Roland, whom he married in 1927, passed away in 1980. Minton himself died in 1997.

Minton was part of several professional groups and medical societies including the Alpha chapter of Sigma Pi Phi, also known as the Boule. Sigma Pi Phi, founded in 1904, was the first Greek letter fraternity to be founded by African American men. Dr. Minton served as Alpha chapter Archon (President) in the 1950s.

The collection consists primarily of materials relating to Russell Minton's medical training and career, such as handwritten letters, notes, and journals; typed notes and reports; laboratory and hospital records; clippings about Minton's career; speeches and published papers/articles written by Minton; certificates; programs; and numerous photographs, many of Mercy-Douglass hospital circa 1940s-1960s. The notes about medicine, circa 1912-1914, are the largest subgrouping in the collection. There are also a quantity of later writings and articles by Minton, many pertaining to medical topics and African Americans in medicine. Some writings are about civil rights generally. Additionally, there are some documents from the Sick Committee of Golden Star Lodge #4 of the Independent Order of Good Samaritans and Daughters of Samaria, an organization which provided insurance for sickness, burial, and funeral expenses.

There is also a box of family related material including a Minton family Bible with genealogical information dating back to 1828, nineteenth century family photographs, and nineteenth century sheet music. Additionally, the collection includes three Louis Jordan records and a headless green army figure.

Some documents in the collection are associated with Dr. DeHaven Hinkson, another prominent African American physician in Philadelphia. It is unclear if any of these materials may have been created or collected by Hinkson instead of Minton.

Gift of Russell F. (Jr.) and Betty Ann Minton (AAMP.1987.029).

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact African American Museum in Philadelphia directly for more information.

African American Museum in Philadelphia
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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