Category: Newly Open to Research

Elizabeth B. Connell Papers Now Open

By , December 5, 2016

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the Elizabeth B. Connell papers, 1960-2010 (inclusive), 1970-1990 (bulk) are now open to research.

Elizabeth B. Connell was born in 1925 in Springfield, Massachusetts. She received her A.B. and M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and 1947 and 1951 respectively. During the late 1950s, she worked in general practice in Blue Hill, Maine; Connell later said that this was when she first became acutely aware of the health issues affecting her female patients, particularly contraception and fertility. Connell and her family moved back to Philadelphia from Maine for her further medical training and, in 1960, she moved to New York City to take an obstetrics residency in gynecology.

After completing her residency, Connell received an American Cancer fellowship which allowed her to gain experience in radical cancer surgery. During the early 1960s in New York, she worked to open family planning clinics in Spanish Harlem. Connell held faculty positions at New York Medical College, Columbia University, and Emory University as well as being on the staff of the Rockefeller Foundation for five years. She was the first woman to chair a Food and Drug Administration panel in 1973.

Connell held positions on many advisory boards and committees including for Planned Parenthood, the Food and Drug Administration, the New York City Department of Health, and the Human Resources Administration. She was a member of a large number of professional organizations, including the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American College of Surgeons, the American Public Health Association, the American Fertility Society, the American Medical Women’s Association, the Medical Women’s International Association, the Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society of Health.

The collection reflects Connell’s work primarily between the 1960s and the 1990s. Connell worked on multiple levels to promote open access to birth control and adequate reproductive health care for women in the United States and, to a lesser extent, internationally. Materials in the collection reflect Connell’s work with hospitals, private organizations, and government institutions on a variety of women’s health topics, primarily birth control and breast implant safety. Papers include correspondence, clippings, reprints, publications, and manuscripts, transcripts of court proceedings, and subject files on pharmaceuticals and clinical trials of intrauterine devices. The bulk of the collection is made up of subject files and reprints or publications.

Topics include birth control methods, including early testing and release of the birth control pill and development of intrauterine devices, women’s health outside of the United States, and a large amount of material reflecting Connell’s involvement in the legal activity around the safety and use of silicone breast implants. Researchers should note that Howard J. Tatum, Connell’s second husband, developed an early prototype of the intrauterine device form of contraception: the Tatum-T.

The finding aid for the Elizabeth B. Connell papers can be found here.

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

 

 

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Robert Latou Dickinson Papers Open to Research

By , June 27, 2016
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Robert Latou Dickinson

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the  Robert Latou Dickinson papers, 1881-1972 (inclusive), 1926-1951 (bulk). Dickinson (1861-1950, MD, 1882, Long Island College Hospital) was a gynecologist and obstetrician, sex researcher, anatomist, author, and artist. Dickinson worked with Margaret Sanger in promoting contraception and was also known for his medical illustrations and work with Abram Belskie developing anatomical models, in particular Norma and Normman.

The papers are the product of Dickinson’s activities as a sex researcher, obstetrician and gynecologist, author, and artist. The papers include: Dickinson’s professional and personal correspondence; case histories and subject files related to his research interests; writings for both books and articles, including records related to his unpublished book Doctor as Marriage Counselor; biographical records including diaries, obituaries and related correspondence, photographs, and an unpublished biography written by Dickinson’s son-in-law, George Barbour; and Dickinson’s medical and non-medical artwork.

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

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

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Robert Latou Dickinson

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The Francesc Duran i Reynals Papers are open for research

By , May 27, 2016

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the Francesc Duran i Reynals Papers, 1913-1960. Francesc Duran i Reynals (1899-1958), M.D., University of Barcelona, Spain, was a Research Associate and Lecturer in the Department of Microbiology at the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Duran i Reynals was known for research regarding the viral etiology of cancer and the mechanisms of spread of infectious diseases and cancer.

Duran i Reynals’s experiments related to the viral etiology of cancer, looking at the responses of the ground substances of tissues and necrotizing and tumor-producing cancers. He demonstrated the capacity of the Rous virus to adapt to different types of bird by the infection of embryos or recently hatched birds. These experiments led to the idea of the increased sensitivity of very young animals to tumor-producing viruses, which in turn has led to the detection of viruses causing leukemia and other tumor diseases in mammals. These experiments opened the field of virus-tumor research, and led to progress in the understanding of cancer and the mechanisms of spread for infectious agents in the body. Duran i Reynals was a consultant for multiple professional organizations as well, including the American Cancer Society, the National Research Council’s Panel on Viruses, Committee on Growth, and the United States Public Health Service. For his research, he was awarded medals from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France; the University of Liege, Belgium; and the University of Brussels, Belgium. He won the Claude Bernard Medal of the University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and the 1952 Anna Fuller Memorial Prize, Yale University, for his research on viruses in relation to cancer. After his death, he was given the Public Health Cancer Association of America award in 1958.

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The papers contain files relating to his professional activities, correspondence with peers on the topics of his research, scientific experiments, and proposed research by others, raw and analyzed research data, including illustrations and images, as well as materials relating to his writings and publications and a group of research reference files containing citations for texts used to develop research projects.

The Maximizing Microbiology: Molecular Genetics, Cancer, and Virology, 1936-2000 project is funded by a Hidden Collections grant from the Harvard University Libraries. In addition to the Frances Duran i Reynals papers, the project will has already opened the Bernard D. Davis papers, and will open the following  collections of other scientists and professors whose work relates to the origins of molecular genetics, virology, and microbiology: the Luigi Gorini papers, 1922-1988; the Arthur B. Pardee papers, 1949-2001; the Myron Essex papers, 1949-1996; the Harold Amos papers, 1949-2003; and the Dennis L. Kasper papers, 1971-2013. For more information on the project, please contact Emily Novak Gustainis, Deputy Director, or Elizabeth Coup, Processing Assistant.

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The Bernard D. Davis Papers are open for research

By , April 22, 2016

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the Bernard D. Davis papers, 1909-1995 (inclusive), 1939-1994 (bulk). Davis (1916-1994) A.B., Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, was the Chair of the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology from 1957-1968 and the Adele Lehman Professor of Bacterial Physiology from 1968-1984, both at Harvard Medical School. He was a microbiologist who focused throughout his career on biochemical and genetic mutations, microbial and bacterial physiology, and the impact of science on society and culture.

Davis is most known for his scientific research in microbiology and bacterial physiology, focusing on the ribosome cycle, streptomycin, protein secretion vesicles, studies of Escherichia coli, bacterial membrane transport systems, and mechanisms of drug resistance and chemotherapy. Early in his career, Davis created the penicillin enrichment method for obtaining nutritional mutants of Escherichia coli, as did Joshua Lederberg (1925-2008), independently. While at Harvard Medical School, his key scientific findings included the details of the ribosome cycle; protein secretion vesicles; the dominance of susceptibility to streptomycin (due to the misreading of the genetic code); and in 1987, with colleague P.C. Tai, a unified mechanism of streptomycin killing. His work with Werner Maas foreshadows later findings in genetics, as well, though he did not focus primarily on genetics. Davis authored or coauthored more than 200 scientific papers, most of which are included in the Bernard D. Davis Papers.

In the latter portion of his career, Davis became an advocate for the role of science in culture, the ethics of genetic engineering, evolution and human diversity, the implications of affirmative action, and the defense of fellow scientists accused of fraud and misconduct. Davis was also a passionate teacher, and co-authored multiple editions of a new textbook for medical students, Microbiology (first edition, 1967), along with R. Dulbecco, H. Eisen, H. Ginsberg, and initially W.B. Wood. In his role as advocate, he published a collection of essays concerning contemporary controversies facing science and scientists, entitled Storm Over Biology: Essays On Science, Sentiment, and Public Policy, in 1986. Many of the papers relate to these moral and ethical issues, including correspondence, articles, and manuscript and chapter drafts.

Overall, the papers include correspondence and subject files, administrative, teaching and professional records, unpublished writings and drafts, and reprints and volumes written by Davis, as well as the collected publications of colleagues and students. This includes the manuscript of an unpublished book on the topic of scientific fraud written late in his life, and several chapters of an unpublished autobiography.

The Maximizing Microbiology: Molecular Genetics, Cancer, and Virology, 1936-2000 project is funded by a Hidden Collections grant from the Harvard University Libraries. In addition to the Bernard D. Davis papers, the project will also open the collections of other scientists and professors whose work relates to the origins of molecular genetics, virology, and microbiology: the Luigi Gorini papers, 1922-1988; the Arthur B. Pardee papers, 1949-2001; the  Francesc Duran i Reynals papers, 1913-1960; the Myron Essex papers, 1949-1996; and the Harold Amos papers, 1949-2003. For more information on the project, please contact Emily Novak Gustainis, Head, Collections Services or Elizabeth Coup, Processing Assistant.

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John B. Little Papers Open to Research

By , December 4, 2015

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the John B. Little papers are open to research.

John B. Little received his B.A. in 1951 from Harvard University and his M.D. in  1955 from Boston University. Little interned at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He joined the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health in 1965.

The collection includes correspondence, reports, grant applications, newspaper clippings, manuscripts, meeting minutes, agendas, photographs, contact sheets, negatives, slides, 3.5” and 5.5” diskettes, and X-rays. Included are materials covering student activism at Harvard during the 1970s and 1980s, re-organization of the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health during the 1970s and 1980s, work done at the Kresge Environmental Health Center and his faculty teaching and administrative work at Harvard Medical School and the School of Public Health. Also included are teaching materials, research records, and reports and records of Little’s activity as an expert advisor at non-Harvard institutions.

Topics include the work done at the Kresge Environmental Health Center, and Little’s faculty work as a teacher of radiology and physiology. The collection also reflects Little’s activities as a consultant and member of professional or radiology-focused organizations such as the Radiation  Effects Research Council, the American Cancer Society, and the New England Roentgen Ray Society.

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Lawrence Lader Papers Open to Research

By , September 9, 2015

Book Cover

The Lawrence Lader papers, 1948-1996 (inclusive), 1969-1991 (bulk), are the product of Lader’s activities as an abortion rights advocate, founder and president of Abortion Rights Mobilization (ARM), co-founder of National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, which later became the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), and author and journalist. The papers contain records related to the administration of ARM and NARAL, ARM’s legal activities regarding RU-486 and the Catholic Church’s tax-exempt status, as well as Lader’s writings on abortion rights and family planning, with related research records.

Lawrence Lader (1919-2006), AB, 1941, Harvard University, was a journalist and abortion rights activist, co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws and founder of Abortion Rights Mobilization (ARM). He wrote extensively on abortion and reproductive rights. Lader was born in New York City in 1919 and served with Armed Forces Radio in the Pacific Theater during World War II, where his dispatches were published in the New Yorker. In Abortion, published in 1966, Lader argued that the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision, which extended privacy to sexuality and family planning, could also be applied to abortion. The book was cited multiple times in the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Lader was among a group that co-founded the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws in 1969. After the Supreme Court decision, the group was renamed the National Abortion Rights Action League. Lader left NARAL in 1976 to found Abortion Rights Mobilization (ARM). The group actively sought the legalization in the United States of the abortion drug RU-486 (mifepristone). Also through ARM, Lader sued the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church, because of its political lobbying on abortion.

Lader authored The Bold Brahmins: New England’s War Against Slavery (1961), Power on the Left: American Radical Movements since 1946 (1980), Politics, Power and the Church (1987), and A Private Matter, RU-486 and the Abortion Crisis (1995) .

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

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

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Miriam Menkin Papers Open to Research

By , July 17, 2015
Miriam Menkin

Miriam Menkin

The Center for the History is pleased to announce the opening the of Miriam F. Menkin papers, 1919-2003 (inclusive). Menkin was a laboratory assistant and researcher at the Free Hospital for Women in Brookline, Mass. The papers include records from her research with John Rock on reproductive health, as well as her professional correspondence. Menkin’s professional writings, notes and commentary on John Rock’s writings, and collected subject files and clippings on topics related to reproductive health are included as well. The Menkin papers were discovered in two accessions (2009-045, 2009-053) of the John Rock papers and were combined with a series of Menkin’s papers from the existing Rock papers to form this new collection.

Miriam Friedman Menkin (1901-1992), BA, Cornell University, 1922, MA, Columbia University, 1923, was a laboratory assistant to John Rock at the Free Hospital for Women. She was born in Riga, Latvia in 1901 and immigrated with her family to the United States in 1903. Menkin is best known for performing the first in vitro fertilization of a human egg, in 1944. Prior to joining Rock in 1938, Menkin had worked on fertility research with biologist Gregory Pincus.

Archives for Women in Medicine Fellow Sarah Rodriguez recently published an article in Women’s Studies about Menkin’s research career.

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

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

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Online Now!: “The Alumnae Journal” (1920–1946) of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing

By , July 15, 2015
Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing, Alumnae, probably

Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing Homecoming, May 1941.

The Alumnae Journal

“…mud, so deep that it did not fully dry between the rains” recalled instructor S.A. Watson of the day in November of 1912, when the superintendent’s house, the only completed building of the new Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, opened as the first home of the PBBH School of Nursing. Five intrepid young women, willing to pick their way through the mud and construction debris, baggage in hand, moved into the house with their teachers to become the first students of the newly established school.

Eight years and 88 graduates later the school’s Founder and Director, Carrie M. Hall, R.N., thought it was time to start a 004419142_1920_00001apublication for the alumnae “ …to keep the graduates of the School in close touch with each other and with the hospital, to provide channels for the exchange of ideas, and columns for the telling of the experiences of all.”

With a bit of prescience Miss Hall went on to say, “It is expected that the doings of the school will be chronicled in such fashion as may in after years be regarded as an authentic history of the activities and progress of the School.” It did progress to become one of the 20th-century’s preeminent training schools, graduating 2618 nurses before it closed in 1985. Ninety-five years after the creation of the first volume, the school’s current Alumni Association has made Hall’s anticipated “authentic history” accessible by sponsoring the online publication of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing, The Alumnae Journal, from the collections of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Archives.

From our perspective in 2015, the Alumnae Journal offers a chance to watch the steps toward the professionalization of 004419142_1937no1_00019anursing in the first half of the 20th century, but from 1920 to 1946, the Journal served a threefold function in the world of the PBBHSoN alumnae, and also to a larger audience of career nurses. As an alumni newsletter it contained the expected minutes of 004419142_1923no1_00005ameetings, news of class marriages, births, deaths; and chummy notes about individuals’ lives and job status. It was also the de facto yearbook—listing graduates, and containing reminiscences about school life, poems, and anecdotes. The third function of the Alumnae Journal was as a forum for issues in the field of nursing. With editorials and articles on wages, working conditions, and education standards, plus articles and case studies on medical advances that affected nursing practice, the Journal was a way for nurses to keep up to date as their chosen careers evolved.

A small sampling of Alumnae Journal articles:

004419142_1921no2_00025aThe Alumnae Association seems to have had no trouble finding advertisers for its biannual volume. 004419142_1937no1_00032aIt is fascinating to look through the ads pitched at nurses of the time. They include everything from sterile catgut and artificial limbs to girdles and beauty shops.

Although there is no record of why the Alumnae Journal stopped publication after its 1946 issue, it may be safe to surmise that the school in the postwar years let it go, as other, similar publications began to cover the same territory. For alumni, The Alumnae News, a small typewritten newsletter, began circulation in 1947. For graduates, the “White Caps,” a more traditional student yearbook, also began publication in 1947. Many more nursing journals had entered the field to offer articles of interest to professional nurses.

With many thanks to the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association for making it possible, The Alumnae Journal, 1920–1946, will always be available online via Hollis, the Harvard library catalog, and via links on the BWH Archives page on the Countway Library site.

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Center Opens Collections Related to Physicians of Social Conscience

By , June 17, 2015
Jonathan Beckwith.

Jonathan Beckwith, undated. Harvard Medical School Office of Public Affairs, M-AD06. Publication Visual Resource Records, Series 00297. From the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that three collections related to physicians and social activism are now open to research, as part of the Center’s Access to Activism Project. These collections are the records of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (founded 1980), and the papers of Jonathan R. Beckwith (born 1935) and Sanford Gifford (1918-2013).

The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War is an association of national medical organizations that seek to educate the international community of the dangers of nuclear war and weaponry.  Founded in 1980 by cardiologists Bernard Lown (born 1921) and Evgueni Chazov (born 1929), the organization was awarded the 1984 UNESCO Peace Education Prize and the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.  The records, 1957-1989 (inclusive), 1980-1987 (bulk), include administrative records, international congress records, petition campaign records, writings and publications, and audiovisual recordings of meetings and lectures, among other records.

Jonathan R. Beckwith is a microbiologist and geneticist at Harvard Medical School whose focus is on bacterial genetics; he is credited with isolating the first gene from a bacterial chromosome in 1969 with James Shapiro (born 1943) and Lawrence J. Eron (born 1944). He has advocated throughout his career for social responsibility in scientific and genetic research, and has also protested genetic, racial, and gender discrimination in science and society.  The papers, 1933-2011 (inclusive), 1965-2004 (bulk), include: Beckwith’s Harvard Medical School teaching and administrative records; research, lectures, and publications concerning the lac operon, disulfide bonds, membrane proteins, and other areas of bacterial genetics and microbiology; and administrative records of Science for the People and various other activist groups.

Finally, Sanford Gifford was a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, focusing on the psychiatry of twins, sleep deprivation, stress, psychophysiology, and the history of psychoanalysis, among other topics.  He was also a strong advocate against the Vietnam War, and was an early member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Medical Aid for Indochina.  The papers, 1895-2013 (inclusive), 1950-2000 (bulk), include: Gifford’s psychiatric research records, lectures, and publications; oral histories and publications on the history of psychoanalysis; professional appointments records; and administrative and conference records for various professional and activist organizations.

The project, funded by a Hidden Collections grant by the Harvard University Libraries, sought to increase visibility and access to collections created by physicians of social conscience in order to reach a broad audience across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.  For more information on the project and these collections, please contact Emily R. Novak Gustainis, Head, Collections Services.

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