New Manuscript Acquisition Highlights

By , October 27, 2016

Recent additions to our manuscript holdings span topics from mucosal immunology to gun violence as a public health hazard, and represent only a portion of new materials acquired so far in 2016. Three of the collections highlighted here are accompanied by objects simultaneously acquired by the Curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum. To learn more about individual collections, or to request access, click through to view the full library catalog record.

  • Marian R. Neutra papers, 1975-2016 (bulk). Marian R. Neutra, Ph.D. is the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Boston Children’s Hospital. Neutra taught Histology and Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) from 1974 to 2004. She was founding associate director of the Harvard Digestive Diseases Center (HDDC) from 1984 to 1998, and director of HDDC from 1998 to 2005. At HMS, Neutra served as the first Master of the Castle Society and chaired the curriculum committee from 1992 to 1998. She also held positions on scientific advisory committees for organizations including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) AIDS Research Advisory Committee, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Neutra was the second woman to be promoted to Full Professor at Boston Children’s Hospital. The collection consists of records reflecting Neutra’s laboratory research, teaching, and professional activities related to epithelial cell biology and mucosal immunology, including many original drawings and photographic prints and negatives taken utilizing electron microscopy.
  • Mark L. Rosenberg papers, 1970s-2016 (bulk). Mark Rosenberg, M.D., M.P.P. was president and CEO of the Task Force for Global Health from 1999 until his retirement in April 2016. Prior to his work at the Task Force, Rosenberg worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as the first director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). As director of NCIPC, he oversaw gun violence research until the 1996 enactment of the Dickey Amendment by the United States Congress prohibited the continued use of federal funds to promote gun control. The collection consists of records related to Rosenberg’s research on gun violence as a public health hazard; records reflecting initiatives undertaken by the Task Force and partnering global health organizations; and original photographic images (prints and negatives) and audio interviews conducted by Rosenberg for his 1980 publication Patients: the Experience of Illness.
  • Paul Goldhaber papers, 1950-2004 (bulk). Paul Goldhaber, D.D.S. was Dean of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine from 1968 to 1990 when he retired as Dean Emeritus. Goldhaber’s research in bone biology and bone growth laid the groundwork for later advancements in dental implants. A new accrual to the Paul Goldhaber papers was transferred to the Center for the History of Medicine from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine over the summer. This addition relates almost entirely to Goldhaber’s laboratory research and consists mainly of lab notebooks maintained by Goldhaber chronologically from the late 1950s to the 1990s. A sample of pathological specimens related to the experiments recorded in the notebooks were acquired by the Warren Anatomical Museum.
  • Nancy E. Oriol papers, 1989-2001 (bulk). Nancy E. Oriol, M.D. recently stepped down as Dean for Students at Harvard Medical School, a position she held from 1998 to 2016. Oriol was founding director of The Family Van, and is an obstetric anesthesiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where she pioneered  the Walking Epidural and developed a prototype for the Neo-Vac meconium suction catheter. The collection consists of project records related to the founding of The Family Van and the development of the Walking Epidural and the Neo-Vac in the 1980s, as well as records related to course development and curriculum building at Harvard Medical School from the 1990s to 2016. A prototype and early market product for the Neo-Vac were acquired by the Warren Anatomical Museum.
  • Sven Paulin papers, 1955-2014 (inclusive). Sven Paulin, M.D. was Radiologist-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) from 1970 to 1994 and the first Miriam H. Stoneman Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School from 1983 to 1993 (Emeritus, 1994 to 2014). Paulin contributed to the development of cardiothoracic imaging technologies in the second half of the twentieth century, particularly through his development of techniques for performing coronary angiography, which he laid out in his 1964 doctoral thesis, “Coronary angiography: a technical, anatomic and clinical study.” The Sven Paulin collection was established in 2014, with 5 cubic feet of additional correspondence, photographs, and writings acquired in 2016. The collection includes Paulin’s personal and professional correspondence; films, slides, and x-rays used in teaching; writings and lectures; grants files; annotated reprints; and photographs. Several objects were acquired by the Warren Anatomical Museum, including catheter molds used by Paulin and pictured in his 1964 thesis publication.

New acquisitions are cataloged in Hollis+ (the Harvard Library catalog) to enable discovery, but until collections are fully processed they may only be accessed by researchers via consultation with Public Services.

Collections are processed by Center staff when resources become available. Visit our website to learn how you can support processing of Center collections.

In addition to individual contributions, collection processing is supported by grant-funded initiatives. To learn about current and past funded projects at the Center for the History of Medicine, see blog posts related to: Access to Activism; Bridging the Research Data DivideFoundations of Public Health Policy; and Maximizing Microbiology.

2014-2015 Women in Medicine Fellow: Dr. Rebecca Kluchin

By , July 7, 2014

The Archives for Women in Medicine is pleased to announce our 2014-2015 Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine Fellow: Rebecca Kluchin, Ph.D.

Rebecca M. Kluchin, 2014-2015 Women in Medicine Fellow

Rebecca M. Kluchin, 2014-2015 Women in Medicine Fellow

Dr. Kluchin is an Associate Professor of History at California State University, Sacramento, and studies the history of women’s reproductive health in the United States.  Her first book, Fit to Be Tied: Sterilization and Reproductive Rights in America, 1950-1980 (Rutgers University Press, 2005), won the Francis Richardson Keller-Sierra Award for best monograph published in 2009 from the Western Association of Women’s Historians.  Her current project, Pregnancy and Personhood: The Maternal-Fetal Relationship in America, 1850 to the Present, examines the evolution of the public and private relationship between a woman and her pregnancy and explores the ways in which changing definitions of fetal rights, fetal personhood, maternal responsibility, and abortion have shaped the experiences and cultural understanding of pregnancy for millions of women across race and class.

Kluchin’s research shows that efforts to grant personhood rights to the “unborn” in the United States date back to the 1850s and have not always been embroiled in the politics of abortion. Pregnancy and Personhood considers the extent to which women’s experience with prenatal care, pregnancy, and motherhood has been influenced by maternal-fetal politics and studies how these politics have changed over time and why. During her time at the Countway, Kluchin will make use of numerous collections including the papers of Alan Guttmacher, Arthur T. Hertig, John Rock, Leona Baumgartner, Amalie Kass and Benjamin Osgood and as well as the records of the Boston Lying-In Hospital. Among other things, she will track the evolution of prenatal care and the language physicians used to describe the fetus and their pregnant patients’ relationship to it.  She will also consult the Countway’s collection of obstetrics guides from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as the papers of M. Judah Folkman as they relate to thalidomide.

The Women in Medicine Fellowships are offered in partnership with the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine.

May 7, 2014: “Irish, pauper patients and the American maternity hospital, 1860-1913”

By , April 2, 2014

The Archives for Women in Medicine, Countway Library of Medicine is pleased to co-sponsor with the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine:

Dr. Ciara Breathnach, 2013-2014 Women in Medicine Fellow

Dr. Ciara Breathnach, 2013-2014 Women in Medicine Fellow

Irish, pauper patients and the American maternity hospital, 1860-1913

featuring Ciara Breathnach, Ph.D.
Lecturer in History, University of Limerick, Ireland
2013-2014 Women in Medicine Fellow

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
4:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M., refreshments provided.

Lahey Room, Countway Library of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
10 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA

All are welcome.
Please RSVP to

ABOUT THIS LECTURE: Women in Medicine Fellow, Dr. Ciara Breathnach, will discuss her research using the archives of the New England Hospital for Women and Children (established 1862), held at the Countway Library’s Center for the History of Medicine.

Dr. Breathnach is a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and has published on Irish socio-economic and health histories in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Breathnach’s research focuses on how the poor experienced, engaged with and negotiated medical services in Ireland and in North America from 1860-1912. It builds on her wider studies on the family unit and the social history of medicine in Ireland and will help to advance her hypothesis that the rural Irish female was slow to medicalize, not only for socio-economic reasons, but also for reasons of personal agency. Using evidence from archival records, her research aims to show that Irish women continued to present as a problematic group long after the ethnic associations with cholera and typhoid outbreaks of earlier decades had dissipated.

Download the flier: Breathnach_Irish_Maternity.pdf

Questions? Contact Carolyn Hayes or call 617-432-1324.

New Archivist for the Archives for Women in Medicine

By , January 20, 2014

New Archivist for Women in Medicine, Carolyn Hayes

The Archives for Women in Medicine begins the new year with a new Project Archivist.  Carolyn Hayes is the third archivist to serve the AWM since the project’s launch in 2005.  Carolyn has been with the Center for the History of Medicine as an acquisitions assistant since the fall of 2011. In addition to her work with new manuscript collections, she has worked with Center staff to plan and prepare for a number of outreach events.

In her first weeks on the job, Carolyn has already surveyed the records of a long-running longitudinal growth study of children, accessioned new collections, and met with potential donors. Her near-term goals include opening the papers of Eva Neer and improving communications with supporters and potential donors… so you will be hearing from her!

Carolyn is a co-editor of the New England Archivists Newsletter and a proud member of the Countway Community Garden team.  She holds an M.S. in Library and Information Science and an M.A. in History from Simmons College in Boston, and a B.Mus. in Oboe Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio.



October 24: The Crackers and the Trick Cyclists: The Treatment of Mental Disorder in Royal Air Force Flying During the Second World War

By , September 25, 2013

The Supermarine Spitfire, 1938
From the Air Ministry Second World War Official Collection, Imperial War Museums.

Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education, McLean Hospital and the Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, present:


The Crackers and the Trick Cyclists:  The Treatment of Mental Disorder in Royal Air Force Flying During the Second World War

Lynsey Shaw, B.A. (Hons.), M.Sc.: D. Phil. Candidate in the History of Medicine, The Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford

October 24, 2013, 4:00 P.M.—5:30 P.M.
Ballard Room, fifth floor, Countway Library of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

The Colloquium on the History of Psychiatry and Medicine offers an opportunity to clinicians, researchers, and historians interested in a historical perspective on their fields to discuss informally historical studies in progress.

For further information contact David G. Satin, M.D., Colloquium Director,
phone/fax 617-332-0032, e-mail:


Image source:

38th Annual Joseph Garland Lecture, October 23, 2013: “Adventures at the Intersection of Medical Journalism & Public Health” with Lawrence K. Altman, M.D.

By , September 19, 2013



“Adventures at the Intersection of Medical Journalism & Public Health”

 Lawrence K. Altman, M.D.
Medical Journalist/Columnist, The New York Times
Clinical Professor of Medicine, New York University

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Carl Walter Amphitheatre
Tosteson Medical Education Center
Harvard Medical School
260 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA


Sponsored by the Boston Medical Library in the Countway Library of Medicine

Attendance is free. Registration is required.
Contact Roz Vogel: or 617-432-4807

Dr. Altman has been a member of The New York Times science news staff since 1969. In addition to reporting, he writes “The Doctor’s World” column in Science Times. Dr. Altman currently is a senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where he was the advertising manager and treasurer of The Lampoon magazine, and received his medical degree from Tufts University of School of Medicine.

Open Access Week event: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon @ the Center

By , September 12, 2013

The Center for the History of Medicine is collaborating with other special collections at Harvard and beyond to serve as a host site for Open Access to Mass History, a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon taking place during Open Access Week, October 21-26. On Tuesday, October 22, from 9-2, volunteers will be working with Center staff to build history of medicine Wiki content around Center collections. The event will take place at the Countway Library and includes a Wikipedia editing tutorial by a seasoned Wikipedian and a tour of the Center.

We are currently looking for volunteers to write and edit Wikipedia entries on topics related to Massachusetts and the history of medicine.  To sign up, send your name, email address, and affiliation to:

New Acquisitions: the Jeremiah Mead Papers

By , August 9, 2013

Jere Mead (center, seated) with collaborators (L to R) T. A. Sears, David Leith, Ronald J. Knudson, and Ralph Kellogg, circa 1965. H MS c413. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

The Center for the History of Medicine is delighted to announce the recent acquisition of Jeremiah Mead’s personal and professional records. The collection consists of research records, correspondence, subject files, and writings produced and collected by Mead during his nearly six decades of leading research in the field of Respiratory Mechanics while working in the Department of Physiology at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

Mead (1920-2009) was a graduate of both Harvard College (1943) and Harvard Medical School (1946).  He joined the faculty of the Department of Physiology at HSPH as Assistant Professor in 1950, was appointed Professor of Physiology in 1965, and was named the first Cecil K. and Philip Drinker Professor of Environmental Physiology in 1976 (Emeritus, 1987-2009).

By all accounts, Mead was a “tinkerer” and viewed lab work as “play”; he frequently built conceptual models out of household items and welcomed seemingly outlandish questions and hypotheses as the essential driving force of innovation.  Mead realized his passion for research while engaged in cold-climate physiology experimentation during a post-war Army assignment at Fort Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, a field station for the Quartermaster Corps Climatic Research Laboratory (CRL) then based in Lawrence, Massachusetts (now the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts).  Upon his return from service, Mead left clinical medicine and sought to build a career in the lab.  He found his place in the HSPH Department of Physiology under the leadership of James L. Whittenberger.

Mead’s interest in decoding the normal mechanisms of breathing inspired the growth of a new field of Respiratory Mechanics that continued to expand throughout the latter half of the twentieth century.  He and his collaborators developed methods and instruments for measuring air flow and evaluating pulmonary function with ever-increasing accuracy. In recent decades these tools have been applied to the treatment and relief of patients suffering from a host of medical conditions including, but not limited to, poliomyelitis, cystic fibrosis, and asthma.  Perhaps the most widely recognized result of Mead’s work was the 1959 discovery, alongside then-research fellow Mary Ellen Avery, that newborns with fatal respiratory distress syndrome exhibited abnormal surface tension in the lungs; this breakthrough facilitated Avery’s later discovery of lung surfactant and the implementation of life-saving surfactant replacement therapy in newborns.

Processing of Dwight E. Harken Papers has Begun

By , May 2, 2013

Western Union Telefax from President Lyndon B. Johnson to Dwight E. Harken, President of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), 19 February 1965, thanking the officers and members of the ACC for their immeasurable contribution to the "progress and well-being of the American people," and announcing the President's recommendation of legislation to "greatly facilitate the work of the cardiologist..."

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that processing of the Dwight E. Harken papers is now underway. Harken (M.D., 1936, Harvard Medical School) was Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the Peter Bent Brigham (PBBH) and Mount Auburn Hospitals, Clinical Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and a pioneer in cardio-thoracic surgical technique, medical instrumentation technology, and post-operative patient care.

While serving in London with the United States Army Medical Corps during World War II, Harken established his reputation as the first surgeon to perform consistently successful operations upon the interior of the heart when he removed shell casings, bone fragments, and other foreign bodies from in and around the hearts of 134 soldiers without a single fatality. Back in Boston following the war, he worked to adapt his technique for the treatment of mitral stenosis – cardiac valvular disease characterized by the tightening of the mitral valve, which regulates the passage of blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle. The first finger fracture valvuloplasty (a technique and term coined by Harken) was performed in June of 1948; by June of 1956, one thousand mitral valvuloplasty operations had been performed by Harken and his surgical team. On March 10, 1960, Harken achieved another first when he inserted a prosthetic aortic valve directly into a human heart at the site of the biological valve; the prosthesis was the first of several designed by Harken throughout his career. He was also the first to insert an implantable demand pacemaker – a device designed to avoid interference with the heart’s own natural electrical impulses by kicking in only when the heartbeat falls outside of a predetermined range. In addition to these and innumerable other surgical accomplishments, Harken pioneered the concept of the modern intensive care unit, the first of which opened at PBBH in 1951. He was also an early critic of tobacco smoking as a cause of lung cancer and heart disease. His papers reflect the diversity of his career within the field of cardio-thoracic medicine and illuminate the first decades of success in heart surgery.

The collection consists of records generated during Harken’s appointments in the United States Army Medical Corps and at Harvard Medical School, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (a predecessor of Brigham and Women’s Hospital), and the Mount Auburn Hospital, including his surgical notebooks, correspondence, research, writings, publications, professional activities, photographs, and audio-visual materials. The collection is currently scheduled to open in early 2014.

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