Category: Newly Open to Research

Manfred S. Guttmacher Papers Open to Research

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the Manfred S. Guttmacher papers, 1928-1964 (inclusive), are open to research.

Manfred Guttmacher was born May 19, 1898, along with his twin brother Alan Guttmacher (1898-1974) in Baltimore, Maryland, to Adolph and Laura (Oppenheimer) Guttmacher. Manfred graduated from Student Park School in Baltimore in 1915. Both Alan and Manfred received their advanced degrees from Johns Hopkins University; Manfred received his B.A. in 1919 and his M.D. in 1923. Manfred held internships at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (1924-1925) and Boston Psychopathic Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (1927-1928).

Guttmacher specialized in criminal psychiatry, including patient care, and engaged in extensive writing and lecturing on crime and mental illness. His career included work on the definitions of insanity and the psychological requirements for responsibility for crime. He was also interested in the development of a revised penal code to replace state codes which were often inconsistent. He was involved in the development of the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code during the 1950s. This project, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, sought to establish a comprehensive penal code that could be applied across the United States. Guttmacher was an advocate of the court-appointed expert and the establishment of psychiatric clinics associated with the courts.

Guttmacher was a prolific author, publishing numerous articles and books on criminal psychiatry and psychiatry and the law. Titles include The Mind of the murderer (1960), Sex offenses (1952) and Psychiatry and the law (1952), the last two co-written with Henry Weihofen (1904-1993) who also worked on the Model Penal Code project. Guttmacher was also the author of numerous articles in medical and lay journals. The papers reflect Guttmacher’s personal and professional activities and include correspondence, writings and publications, lectures and speeches, and professional activities records.

 

Simmons Intern Processes the Elinor Kamath Papers

By , June 18, 2018
Charlotte Lellman, Simmons Processing Intern (Spring 2018). Charlotte processed the Elinor Kamath papers.

Charlotte Lellman, Simmons Processing Intern (Spring 2018). Charlotte processed the Elinor Kamath papers.

This is a guest post from our latest Simmons College intern, Charlotte Lellman, who recently processed the Elinor Kamath papers.

Over the past four months, my last semester as a student at Simmons School of Library and Information Science, I had the opportunity to intern at the Center for the History of

Medicine. During my time at the Center, I processed the Elinor Kamath papers under the supervision of Amber LaFountain. When I arrived, not much was known about Kamath or her records, but as I practiced my classroom knowledge on real records, I also got to know more about Kamath’s life and work.

Elinor Kamath (1915-1992) was a researcher at Stanford Medical School’s Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, and her major research focus was the events known as the “thalidomide crisis” or “thalidomide disaster.” The thalidomide crisis began in the 1950s and 1960s, when pregnant women with symptoms of morning sickness were treated with thalidomide. Many of these women gave birth to children with significant congenital conditions, such as absence of arms or legs. The people who had congenital conditions from thalidomide grew up to call themselves “thalidomiders,” and many continue advocacy for compensation and justice from pharmaceutical companies, particularly in countries outside the United States, such as Canada and England. In addition to learning a lot about the tragic injustices of the thalidomide crisis, I learned a lot about Kamath from studying the records she left. I discovered scraps of handwritten poetry written to her female colleagues in a male-dominated workplace; I discovered her tidy budgeting records, a necessity for reimbursement in the paper-based era; and I saw how her drive to document the thalidomide crisis forced her to self-advocate for research funding, which was often unstable.

Kamath’s records were my opportunity to practice each step of archival processing: surveying, refoldering, box listing, preservation photocopying, describing, and cataloging the collection. Throughout the process, I benefitted from the Center’s efficient and well-established protocols and templates, as well as the staff’s archival experience.

The Center for the History of Medicine is now pleased to announce the opening of the Elinor Kamath papers, 1838-1987 (inclusive), 1956-1984 (bulk). The papers, 1838-1987 (inclusive), 1956-1984 (bulk), were generated through Kamath’s many years of studying the events known as the “thalidomide crisis” or “thalidomide disaster.” Kamath’s research included correspondence with Widukind Lenz and William McBride, two doctors who were the first to recognize the connection between thalidomide and congenital conditions, as well as many other doctors, researchers, and pharmaceutical businesspeople. The papers represent Kamath’s research on legal cases in which a thalidomider or a family member brought litigation against a pharmaceutical company that distributed a thalidomide drug. The collection also includes papers from Kamath’s work as a journalist and translator, and a manuscript draft of Kamath’s unpublished book, Echo of Silence: The Causes and Consequences of the Thalidomide Disaster.

Processing a manuscript collection at the Center for the History of Medicine gave me a context in which to consider the implications of my archival decisions. With Amber, I discussed questions of terminology, provenance, arrangement, all of which were significant to how researchers will use and understand the Elinor Kamath papers.

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

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

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.

Darwin DeForrest Douglas and the Government Contract

In 1862, surgeon general William Hammond convened a medical board to discuss the question of providing prosthetic limbs to Union soldiers who had undergone amputation after being wounded. The number of these men was increasing quickly and, if nothing else, Hammond wanted to get those who could be rehabilitated for military life back to the front. Men who would be demobilized back to civilian life also required support since a missing arm or leg could incapacitate a man who had been an active farmer or mechanic.

By the beginning of the Civil War, there were several well-known limb manufacturers in the United States, mostly along the Eastern seaboard. Benjamin Franklin Palmer had one of the first full-scale manufacturing plants and more than one of his workmen, including William Selpho, Douglas Bly, E.D. Hudson, Benjamin Jewett, and Darwin DeForrest Douglass, had gone on to create businesses of their own. The designs, including Palmer’s own, were mostly variations on a model that had been created in the early years of the nineteenth century in Britain for veterans of the Napoleonic wars. Arguments between makers were heated, however, as each tried to defend his own design as unique and, of course, better than the competition.

Hammond’s board asked several major limb manufacturers, including B.F. Palmer but not Douglass, to submit limbs for inspection. The board then planned to select the best and work out some plan whereby limbs and soldiers could be brought together. The main difficulties, it soon became clear, would be money and time: who was going to pay for the limb? and how much time should the soldier have to spend in getting it? Most limb manufacturers, including Palmer and Douglass, advised that limbs needed personal fitting — it wasn’t simply a matter of shipping off two dozen medium-size legs to a hospital and letting the staff hand them out.

The medical board never decided upon a single supplier and the Union government never signed a contract with a particular manufacturer for supplies of limbs. Instead, suppliers were given charge of particular geographic areas and soldiers in need of limbs were supposed to apply to their closest hospital. In practice, of course, this might mean a man would have to travel 200 miles roundtrip in order to get a limb — and the government stipend for prostheses did not cover travel or housing while waiting to be fitted or the multiple trips that might be necessary in order to adjust a new prosthesis properly.

Indeed, the stipend itself could be part of the problem. Since there was no official contract to control how much manufacturers could charge for a limb, just an unofficial “agreement,” several manufacturers, including Palmer and Selpho, were accused of price-gouging. Selpho, in fact, was firmly rebuked by Surgeon General Hammond more than once for taking money from soldiers over what was allowed by the government stipend.

Douglass, on the other hand, managed to benefit from the unofficial nature of the government arrangement without directly imposing on the soldier. Since there was no official government supplier, he argued that men coming to him to be fitted were simply exercising their freedom of choice in an open marketplace and the government should reimburse him as promised. However, it may also have been because he sold so few limbs in comparison to suppliers like Palmer, Selpho, and Jewett, that whatever price-fixing Douglass indulged in was not worth tracking down.

~For more, see Guy R. Hasegawa’s Mending Broken Soldiers: The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artifical Limbs (2012) and the D. DeForrest Douglass papers.

Roderick Heffron Papers Open to Research

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the Roderick Heffron Papers, 1881-1977 (inclusive), 1923-1949 (bulk), are open to research.

Roderick Heffron (1901-1982) was a medical researcher and physician specializing in pneumonia. He was in born in Chicago, Illinois in 1901 and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1928. Between 1931 and 1935, Heffron was field director of the Massachusetts Pneumonia Study and Service and, in 1936, he and Frederick T. Lord (1875-1941) co-authored Lobar Pneumonia and Serum Therapy based on the research of the Service. Heffron took a position at the Commonwealth Fund in 1937 and served on the Pneumonia Committee of the United States Public Health Service in 1939. He retired from the Commonwealth Fund in 1966. Heffron married Catherine Haman and died in Falmouth, Massachusetts, in 1983 at the age of 82.
The collection consists of records reflecting Heffron’s work in researching and writing on pneumonia, particularly his work on and the critical reception of the books published from the data gatherd during the Massachusetts Pneumonia Study on pneumonia and serum treatment. Included here are clippings of book reviews, correspondence with co-authors and other pneumonological specialists particularly George N. Papanicolaou (1883-1962), a Greek specialist in cytopathology, and collected reprints of research materials. The collection includes a small number of books collected by Heffron, many with annotations, marginalia, and insertions including newspaper and magazine clippings

Darwin DeForrest Douglas Papers Open to Research

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the D. DeForrest (Darwin DeForrest) Douglass papers, 1820-1901 (inclusive), 1850-1900 (bulk), are open to research.

Darwin DeForrest Douglas (1828-1902) was an entrepreneur and artificial limb designer and maker during the last half of the nineteenth century. He began as a workman for Benjamin Franklin Palmer (b. 1828) and left Palmer’s company to start his own. Palmer was one of the first makers of prosthetic limbs in the United States, working with a design that had been created in England after the Napoleonic Wars.

Douglass was never a major maker of artificial limbs and did not establish his own company. He continued to work on his leg design, refit old legs, and provide new ones until the 1890s.

The papers include correspondence and financial records that reflect Douglass’s personal and professional lives. Correspondence and bills relating to his wife, Susan, and daughter, Jennie Grace, are included here as well as correspondence relating to Douglass’s professional work as a prosthetist. Financial records include household, personal, and professional items such as sheet music (presumably for Jennie Grace Douglass who was a student at the New England Conservatory of Music), wood, paint, clothing, food (tea, sugar, flour, vegetables, meat, milk, etc.), as well as promissory notes, bills for rentals, gas, coal, and ice bills, and property tax records.

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.

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