George Packer Berry Dean Records Open to Research

By , May 22, 2018
George Packer Berry

George Packer Berry

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the records of the Office of the Dean of Harvard Medical School, during the tenure of George Packer Berry from 1949 to 1965.

George Packer Berry (1898-1986) A.B., Princeton University, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, came to Harvard Medical School from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, where he served as Head of the Department of Bacteriology and Associate Dean. As Dean of Harvard Medical School, Berry oversaw the development of the Harvard Medical Center in 1956, which brought Harvard Medical School and its affiliated teaching hospitals together under one corporate organization, and also served as the Center’s first President. The Program for Harvard Medicine was created in 1960 to raise funds for Harvard Medical School. In addition, Berry oversaw the development and construction of the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. He was President of the Association of American Medical Colleges (1951-1952) and earned the Association’s Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education in 1961. Berry was a trustee of both American University of Beirut and Princeton University.

George Packer Berry and Otto Krayer

George Packer Berry and Otto Krayer

The records of the Office of the Dean are the product of the activities of the Dean of Harvard Medical School, during the years 1949-1965 under the tenure of Dean Berry. Included are records from the administrative activities of the Office of the Dean, including administrative staff meetings, the planning and construction of Countway Library, and correspondence, reports, meeting records, and promotional materials for the Program for Harvard Medicine. Also included are records related to the Dean’s interactions with Harvard-affiliated hospitals and records from his tenure as a trustee of American University of Beirut, his tenure as Vice President and President of the Association of American Medical Colleges, as well as his roles as Director of the Commonwealth Fund and Director of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. The collection includes records resulting from the activities of standing and ad hoc committees at Harvard Medical School and records of the interactions of the Office of the Dean with Harvard University offices, departments, and organizations.

The finding aid for the Office of the Dean of Harvard Medical School can be found here.

For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

Staff Finds: Yakovlev, Freeman, and Lobotomy

Paul Yakovlev

While processing the Paul Ivan Yakovlev papers, Center staff came across correspondence, below, between Yakovlev and Walter Freeman regarding lobotomy. The first three images contain discussions between the two about lobotomy, and the last three contain a request from from Freeman for a letter of support, due to an issue with his recommendation of lobotomy for child at Palo Alto-Stanford Hospital, and Yakovlev’s letter of support. Freeman performed the first prefrontal lobotomy in the United States in 1936 (a modified version of one developed by neurologist Egas Moniz) and later performed the first transorbital lobotomy in the United States in 1946. The first image below contains this statement from Freeman, about a month after the first prefrontal lobotomy:

Our latest excitement down here is the Moniz operation of prefrontal lobotomy in the treatment of certain cases of mental disorder like agitated depressions. The results are quite promising. Indeed, one case of agitated depression is better now than she has ever been in her life. I believe that it has great possibilities in the treatment of the disabling anxiety neuroses and early dementia precox.

Unfortunately the psychiatrists in Washington are not sympathetic to the procedure and we shall have to wait for a considerable period before assembling enough material really to be able to talk about it in terms of large numbers of patients treated.

Paul Ivan Yakovlev was a neurologist, researcher, and Clinical Professor of Neuropathology at Harvard Medical School, as well as Curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum (1955-1961). His research was focused on the physiology of early acquired or congenital cerebral defects. Yakovlev’s Collection of Normal and Pathologic Anatomy and Development of the Human Brain was started in 1930 at Monson State Hospital and numbered nearly 1,000 normal and abnormal brain specimens at the time of his death.

The finding aid for the Yakovlev papers can be found here.

For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

Paul Ivan Yakovlev Papers Open for Research

By , April 25, 2018

Paul Ivan Yakovlev

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the Paul Ivan Yakovlev papers, 1912-1983. The papers are the product of Yakovlev’s activities as a researcher, author, and professor and Curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum at Harvard Medical School. The papers include Yakovlev’s professional correspondence, writings, photographs and biographical records, and collected reprints.

Paul Ivan Yakovlev was a neurologist, researcher, and Clinical Professor of Neuropathology at Harvard Medical School. His research was focused on the physiology of early acquired or congenital cerebral defects. Born in Russia in 1894, Yakovlev escaped the fighting of the Russian Revolution, ending up in France in 1920. There he worked with Pierre Marie at the Salpêtrière Hospital (1920-1921) and with Joseph Babinski at the Hôpital de la Pitié in Paris (1921-1924), and he earned his M.D. from the University of Paris in 1925. Yakovlev came to the United States in 1925, working with Stanley Cobb at Boston City Hospital and then the Monson State Hospital and the Walter E. Fernald State School. Yakovlev moved to Yale University School of Medicine (1947-1951), serving as Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of Research and Training at Connecticut State Hospital. He returned to Harvard Medical School in 1951, serving as Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology (1951-1955), Curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum (1955-1961), Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology (1955-1957), and Clinical Professor of Neuropathology (1957-1961, Emeritus 1961). Yakovlev’s Collection of Normal and Pathologic Anatomy and Development of the Human Brain was started in 1930 at Monson State Hospital and numbered nearly 1,000 normal and abnormal brain specimens at the time of his death.

The finding aid for the Yakovlev papers can be found here.

For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

Paul Ivan Yakovlev, Alfred Pope, Bert Vallee

Albert Warren Stearns Papers Open for Research

By , April 25, 2018

Albert Warren Stearns

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the Albert Warren Stearns papers, 1912-1959. The papers are the product of Stearns’ activities as a private practice psychiatrist, author, Dean of Tufts College Medical School, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, and officer in the medical corps of the United States Navy. The papers include Stearns’ correspondence and patient records from his work in psychiatric private practice, records from Stearns’ tenure as Dean at Tufts, and records from Stearns’ service as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction. Also in the collection are evaluations and classifications of the mental health of recruits for naval service, from Stearns’ service in the United States Navy, as well as and his professional writings and research records.

Albert Warren Stearns, 1885-1959, earned his M.D. from Tufts College Medical School in 1910. He worked at Danvers State Hospital and Boston State Hospital before opening a private practice in 1913, and during the First and Second World Wars, he served in the medical corps of the United States Navy. From 1927 to 1945, Stearns was the Dean of Tufts College Medical School and Professor of Psychiatry. After returning to Tufts from military service in 1945, Stearns became a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Sociology. He also served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (1929-1933). Stearns died unexpectedly on September 24, 1959. The Stearns Research Building at the Tufts Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine was dedicated in 1963.

The finding aid for the Stearns papers can be found here.

For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

Harvard Cancer Commission Records Open for Research

By , April 4, 2018

Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the Harvard University Cancer Commission records, 1888-1945. The records include correspondence, administrative reports, meetings minutes, and financial ledgers and statements. The collection also contains records related to patient treatment, including the therapeutic use of radium and x-rays, ledgers detailing the treatment of patients, correspondence regarding autopsy results, and microscopic and diagnostic results.

The Harvard University Cancer Commission began with a donation of $100,000 from the Caroline Brewer Croft Fund. The donation was made after her death in 1899 and was placed under the control of physicians Henry K. Oliver and J. Collins Warren, who placed the funds with Harvard University in order to develop and endow an organization dedicated to the study and treatment of cancer. The Caroline Brewer Croft Cancer Commission was founded on June 16, 1899, and was changed to the Harvard University Cancer Commission in 1909, in order to allow for the consolidation of funding. In 1910, fundraising began for a new hospital to be operated by the Commission to aid in its research. A donation of $100,000 from Mrs. Collis P. Huntington allowed for the construction of the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital in 1912. Also affiliated with the Commision were William T. Bovie, William Duane, Joseph Aub, Shields Warren, Edward D. Churchill, and Nobel Prize winner George Richards Minot. With the Commission facing financial difficulties, the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital was closed on January 1, 1942, with its records, clinical work, and laboratories being transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

The functions of the Cancer Commission were taken over by the Harvard Medical School Commission on Special Diseases in 1947 and by the Committee on Research and Development in 1949.

The finding aid for the Commission records can be found here.

For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

Staff Finds: Vanderbilt Hall Field

By , April 3, 2018
George Packer Berry

George Packer Berry

While processing the records from the Office of the Dean from the tenure of George Packer Berry, Center staff came across correspondence and a site plan for a proposed softball and playing field (along with renovations to existing tennis facilities) to be constructed adjacent to Vanderbilt Hall. The plan was presented to Berry by members of the Aesculapian Club in December 1950. Despite concerns voiced by the Department of Buildings and Grounds that the plan may have been in violation of building restrictions imposed by the federal government due to the Korean War, the 1952 edition of the student handbook appears to note the existent of the field:

In addition to eight regulation squash courts and the basketball court there is an exercise room equipped with punching bags, weights and bars, and a matted wrestling room…. Outdoor facilities consist of a tennis court–newly rebuilt–and the field behind the parking lot, for softball, touch football, and the like.

The 1951 Aesculapiad references funds for the “cost of improving the school’s athletic field and tennis court” and the 1953 edition mentions the “building of a ball field”, both from the Aesculapian Club sections of the yearbook.

The site plan and accompanying correspondence are located below.

The finding aid for the Office of the Dean of Harvard Medical School can be found here.

Thanks to Public Services Librarian Jack Eckert for his assistance with this post. For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

Staff Finds: Richard Warren in the Warren Museum

By , March 22, 2018
Richard Warren

Richard Warren

While processing the records from the Office of the Dean from the tenure of George Packer Berry, Center staff came across images, below, of Richard Warren in the Warren Anatomical Museum. The images were taken as a part of the Program for Harvard Medicine, a fundraising initiative undertaken in the early 1960s. Given this time period, the images show the Warren Museum both as it was nearing the end of its primarily exhibition function at Harvard Medical School, and before repeated reductions in space allotment narrowed the museum from its original space in the top three floors of Building A (now Gordon Hall).

Richard Warren (1907-1999), M.D., 1934, Harvard Medical School, was a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, specializing in cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders. He was a nephew of John Warren (1874-1928), a professor in the Anatomy Department at Harvard Medical School. Other ancestors include John Warren (1753-1815), Revolutionary War surgeon and a founder of Harvard Medical School, and John Collins Warren (1778-1856), Hersey Professor of Anatomy and Surgery and Dean of Harvard Medical School, whose personal collection of anatomical specimens, along with an endowment of $5,000 in railroad stock, helped establish the Warren Anatomical Museum. Richard Warren donated books, manuscripts, and artifacts from his family to the Boston Medical Library and Harvard Medical School. After retiring from medicine, Warren pursued the study of conifers at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum, which houses records related to his work.

The finding aid for the Office of the Dean of Harvard Medical School can be found here.

The finding aid for the Warren Anatomical Museum records can be found here.

The Center for the History of Medicine also holds the Richard Warren papers.

For information regarding access to these collections, please contact the Public Services staff.

In Memoriam: T. Berry Brazelton, 1918-2018

By , March 19, 2018

T. Berry Brazelton

The Center was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. T. Berry Brazelton on Tuesday, March 13 at his home on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Brazelton was perhaps best known as the developer of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS), which uses visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli to assess the physical and neurological responses of newborns, as well as their emotional well-being and individual differences.

Born on May 10, 1918 in Waco, Texas, he received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1940 and an M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1943. In 1972, Brazelton established the Child Development Unit, a pediatric training and research center, at Children’s Hospital Boston. The Child Development Unit offered doctors the opportunity to conduct research on child development and train for clinical work with parents and children. While at the Child Development Unit, Brazelton developed the NBAS in 1973. Brazelton served as Director of the Child Development Unit from 1972 to 1989. At Harvard Medical School, Brazelton became Associate Professor of Pediatrics in 1972, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics in 1986, and Professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus in 1988. In 1992, the T. Berry Brazelton Professor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital was established.

Brazelton with newborn

During the course of his career, Brazelton authored over thirty books, including Infants and Mothers: Individual Differences in Development (1969), What Every Baby Knows (1987), and Touchpoints: Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Development (1993). From 1984 to 1995, Brazelton hosted the television program “What Every Baby Knows,” for which he won an Emmy in 1994, and authored monthly columns in Redbook and Family Circle, as well as a weekly newspaper column. In 2012, Brazelton was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Barack Obama.

Obituaries for Dr. Brazelton can be found in the Boston Globe, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

OnView, the Center’s online digital collections site, contains a letter from Mister Rogers to Brazelton.

The Center holds the T. Berry Brazelton papers and the finding aid can be found here. For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

Staff Finds: Hertig, the Pathology Lab, and the Warren Museum

By , January 2, 2018

While processing the Arthur Tremain Hertig papers, Center staff discovered images of Hertig instructing Harvard Medical School students in the Pathology laboratory. Included are two images (first two below) that show Hertig using Warren Anatomical Museum specimens as part of the instruction, as the Pathology Department utilized the collection for teaching purposes. The Warren Anatomical Museum was established at Harvard Medical School in 1847 through a gift from John Collins Warren (1778-1856), and from the time of its founding until the late 1960s, the museum served a significant role as a resource for the teaching of medicine.

Arthur Hertig (1904-1990) was a pathologist, human embryo researcher, and professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. He joined the Department of Pathology in 1931, was promoted to Professor of Pathology in 1948, and in 1952 was named Shattuck Professor of Pathological Anatomy and Chairman of the Department of Pathology. As chairman, teaching was a priority for Hertig:

His own lectures were clear and laced with a sense of humor … His regard for his students was manifested by his practice of having every one of them attend a tea in small groups in his office, although this consumed a great deal of time. The students awarded him two prizes for excellence in teaching and made him an honorary member of one of the graduating classes.

The finding aid for the Hertig papers can be found here.

For information regarding access to this collection, please contact the Public Services staff.

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