Category: Collections

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.

John E. Hoopes papers are open for Research

By , January 29, 2018

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the John E. Hoopes papers, 1940-2012. Hoopes, (1931-) was a plastic surgeon specializing in reconstructive, rehabilitative, and cosmetic plastic surgery, and was part of the founding staff of the Gender Identity Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.

John E. Hoopes was born in 1931, and attended Rice University, Houston, Texas, for his undergraduate education from 1949 to 1953. He then received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, in 1957. Hoopes then became an Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and was the founding Chairman of the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the first academic institution in the United States to perform sex reassignment surgeries, from 1965 to 1968. From 1968 to 1970, he was the Chairman of the Plastic Surgery Division at the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri. He returned to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1970, and served as the Chairman of Plastic Surgery until his retirement in 1990. He founded the John E. Hoopes Foundation for Plastic Surgery, and remains a consultant on topics of plastic surgery.

Hoopes’s research throughout his career focused on different subjects within the larger field of plastic surgery. He published numerous scientific journal articles on the topics of his scientific study, including but not limited to degenerative diseases of the hand and surgical management; surgical rehabilitation after radial maxillectomy and orbital extension; immediate forehead flap in resection for oropharyngeal cancer; organic synthetics for augmentation mammoplasty and their relation to breast cancer; the “insatiable” cosmetic surgery patients; the psychiatric-surgical approach to adolescent disturbance in self-image; issues of cleft palate reconstruction and speech; psychiatric aspects of transsexual surgery management; sex reassignment or reconstruction surgeries; reduction mammoplasty; skin wounds and scars and the relation of enzymes and metabolism to their healing; facial fractures and reconstruction; and drug injection injuries, among others.

John E. Hoopes was involved with numerous professional organizations throughout his career. He was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow in 1970. From 1982 to 1983, Hoopes was the Chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and from 1989-1990, the President of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. He was also involved with organizations such as the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons.

The papers are a product of Hoopes’s career as a plastic surgeon, researcher, professor, and administrator. The papers contain: professional organizations records; research records; Johns Hopkins University and other professional records, which include both administrative records as well as a small group of Gender Identity Clinic records.

The finding aid for the Hoopes papers can be found:

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.

Hermann Lisco papers are open for research

By , December 18, 2017

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the Hermann Lisco Papers, 1899-2000 (inclusive), 1940-1974 (bulk) to research. Joseph Giese, a Center intern who completed his studies at the Simmons College School of Library and Information Sciences in December, processed this collection and wrote this post with the supervision of Betts Coup.

Herman Lisco (1910-2000), M.D., 1936, University of Berlin, was a German-born pathologist who first worked as an assistant at the University of Berlin at the Charite-Krankenhaus briefly the year he graduated, before departing Germany due to its political climate for the United State – he was married to a Jewish woman. After immigrating, he began working as an assistant and instructor at Johns Hopkins University Medical School and Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, where he remained for four years.  In 1940, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to work at Harvard Medical School, and served as an instructor of pathology there for another four years. At that time, he was recruited by the Biology and Health Division of the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan District of the U.S. Army, also known as the Manhattan Project, where he became the first doctor to perform an autopsy on an individual who had died of acute radiation poisoning.  In 1947, he went to work for the Argonne National Laboratory until 1957.  In 1967, he returned to work at Harvard Medical School as a professor, and worked as an Associate Dean (1969), Associate Professor of Anatomy (1970-1977), Deputy Chairman of Medical Sciences (1977-1982). He formally retired in 1981 as an Associate Professor of Anatomy.

Lisco’s research focused on the carcinogenic effects of plutonium and the radiotoxicity of other elements and chemicals on humans and lab animals, as well as radiation’s effects on the formation of tumors and lymphoma.  He wrote often on the “acute radiation syndrome” provoked in organisms by excessive exposure to radiation, and much of his research focused on cancer, and the side effects of radiation therapy on patients being treated for cancer.  He conducted a number of trips to Europe that dealt with studying the incidence of leukemia in women treated with radiotherapy for cervical cancer.  Much of his work was devoted to the study of the pathological effects of atomic radiation, and the importance of radiological protection and importance of medical supervision in radiation work.

The collection reflects Lisco’s professional, research, and publishing activities, but also his personal activities and interests.  Contained within are research records, selected reprints, notes, medical images, speeches, and programs from meetings of organizations of which he was There is also correspondence of a more personal nature, including letters concerning conscientious objector status, letters to specialist physicians and former students who were not particularly connected to research Lisco was undertaking, newspaper updates on the political situation in Germany 1989-1990, information about his inner life, photographs of Lisco himself and a number of people with whom he had interacted over the course of his career, and scrapbooks with grade reports from his life in Germany between the years of 1918 to 1936, dating back to as early as when he was eight years old.

The finding aid can be found at:

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

Jeffries Wyman papers are open for research

By , December 18, 2017

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the Jeffries Wyman, 1814-1874, papers are open for research. Jeffries Wyman was the Hersey Professor of Anatomy at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1847 to 1874, as well as the first curator of what came to be known as the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology (1866-1874), also in Cambridge. He was the President of the Boston Society of Natural History (1856-1870), and a councilor of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Though a graduate with a medical doctorate from Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, following graduation Wyman chose to focus on naturalist research, including but not limited to studies of human and comparative anatomy, physiological observations, as well as paleontological and ethnological examinations of fossils, and observations of animal habits. The papers include records relating to his work as a researcher, professor, and author, as well as related professional activities.

Wyman was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts on 1814 August 11 to Ann Morrill Wyman and Dr. Rufus Wyman (1778-1842), the first physician at the McClean Asylum for the Insane and professional partner of Dr. John Jeffries, after whom his son was named. He attended Philllips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and entered Harvard College in 1829, graduating at age nineteen in 1833. Wyman went on to attend Harvard Medical School, acting as house pupil at Massachusetts General Hospital during his four years of study. He graduated with his medical doctorate in 1837. He became a Demonstrator for John C. Warren at Harvard Medical School (1838), and began to shift the focus of his career away from medicine towards anatomy. Wyman then became the Curator at the Lowell Institute, Boston, in 1839, where he delivered a series of public lectures, and remained an affiliate until 1842. Over the next several years, Wyman traveled to Europe to study with doctors, anatomists, scientists, and naturalists such as Richard Owen (1804-1892), P. (Pierre) Flourens (1794-1867), Francois Magendi (1783-1855), H.-M. Ducrotay de (Henri-Marie Ducrotay) Blainville (1777-1850), Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1805-1861), and H. (Henri) Milne-Edwards (1800-1885). Wyman then returned to the Boston area, and on 1847 April 03 was appointed the first Hersey Professor of Anatomy at Harvard University, as this position was moved from Harvard Medical School in Boston to Harvard University in Cambridge following the resignation of John C. Warren. He returned to the Lowell Institute for a series of twelve lectures on Comparative Physiology in 1849. Wyman was involved with the formation of the Museum of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, and in 1866, when George Peabody (1795-1869) founded what became known as the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology in 1866, Wyman became its first curator.

Wyman is known for his work on topics that span human and comparative anatomy, physiological observations, paleontological and ethnological studies of fossils, observation of animal behaviors and habits, and the study of cells, muscular, and bone structures of various animals. He wrote papers on large apes and was responsible for naming the gorilla, and studied the eye and hearing organs of fish in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. He examined the passage of nerves throughout the body and carried out various experiments relating to the impact of heated or boiling water on organic matter and living organisms. Wyman furthermore studied the development of mold, the impact of light on tadpole development, and created methods for measuring the velocity and force of ciliary movements. He went to the Dutch colonized islands in the Guianas to study various species of fish, and traveled down the east coast of the United States and into Florida examining the natural landscape and its flora and fauna. Additionally, he was involved with the trial of Dr. John White Webster for the murder of Dr. George Parkman; for which he studied bone fragments and assisted with the identification of the body of the deceased. He also studied the brain and skull of Daniel Webster, examining the arrangement of the spiculae of bone in the neck of the femur and making observations on the cranial structure.

Wyman married Adeline Wheelright in 1850, and they had two daughters, Mary (1855-) and Susan (1851-1907). Wheelright died in 1855. Wyman then married Anne Williams Whitney in 1861, with whom he had one son, Jeffries Wyman, Jr. (1864-1941). Whitney died in 1864. Wyman, who had suffered from pneumonia during his undergraduate study at Harvard College, dealt with pulmonary infections throughout his life. He died from a related illness on 1874 September 04 in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. His grandson, Jeffries Wyman III (1901-1995) was a molecular biologist and biophysicist, and was also a professor at Harvard Medical School and later the University of Rome.

The papers are the product of Wyman’s professional activities during his career as a naturalist and anatomist, carrying out scientific research during travels and research in residence at Harvard University and the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, and teaching at Harvard University and the Lowell Institute. The papers include numerous diaries, sketches, and anatomical drawings recording his observations, and correspondence with peers and colleagues including Charles Darwin on topics of anatomy and evolution, as well as correspondence with family members and friends. T

The finding aid for the Wyman papers can be found:

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


William T. Bovie Papers Open to Research

By , December 8, 2017

William T. Bovie

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the William T. Bovie papers, 1890-1953 (inclusive). Bovie earned a Ph.D. in plant physiology from Harvard University in 1914, moved to the Harvard Cancer Commission as a research fellow, and in 1920 became Assistant Professor of Biophysics. While at Harvard, Bovie developed his electrosurgical device, a scalpel that could cut and seal using the effects of high frequency current, which minimized blood loss, infection, and tissue damage. This work was done in collaboration with Harvey Cushing, Surgeon-in-Chief at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. Bovie later taught at Northwestern University and Colby College, and worked in the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1920.

William T. Bovie Bookplate

The papers are the product of Bovie’s activities as biophysicist, researcher and author, and professor. The papers contain records from Bovie’s research activities, lecture notes from courses in biophysics and social technology given by him at Harvard University and Northwestern University, and speeches on a variety of topics given to public audiences and professional societies. The collection also contains collected films, drafts and notes related to his professional writings, and personal correspondence and biographical records.

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

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

Leslie Silverman Papers Open to Research

By , December 8, 2017
Leslie Silverman

Leslie Silverman

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the Leslie Silverman papers, 1920-1967 (inclusive). Leslie Silverman (1914-1966), was an engineer specializing in air pollution and industrial hygiene. At Harvard School of Public Health he was Professor of Engineering in Environmental Hygiene, and Head of the Department of Industrial Hygiene (1961-1966). While a student at Harvard in the Graduate School of Engineering, Silverman was a Gordon McKay Scholar and Research Fellow. At the Harvard School of Public Health, he was appointed Assistant Professor (1945), Associate Professor (1948), and Professor (1958), and succeeded Philip Drinker as Head of the Department of Industrial Hygiene (1961). He was the Director of the Radiological Hygiene program and the Harvard Air Cleaning Laboratory at Harvard School of Public Health. During World War II, Silverman worked with Drinker and his brother Cecil Drinker on the development of the L-12 aviation oxygen supply mask, as well as on chemical warfare masks. After the end of World War II, he worked on research related to atomic power and served on the Statutory Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, the principle safety advisor to the Atomic Energy Commission. Silverman also worked as a consulting engineer, on issues regarding air pollution control, industrial hygiene, and industrial ventilation.

Leslie Silverman and Philip Drinker

Leslie Silverman and Philip Drinker

The Leslie Silverman papers, 1920-1967, are the product of his activities as a consultant, researcher, and Harvard School of Public Health faculty member. The papers include records from Silverman’s work as a consultant, records related to his patent applications, and his professional writings on topics in air pollution and industrial hygiene. The collection also contains records related his involvement with national committees and his attendance at professional conferences, subject files and publications related to his research interests, as well as personal correspondence and biographical records.

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

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

Zerka T. Moreno papers are open for research

By , December 6, 2017

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce the opening of the Zerka T. Moreno papers, 1930-2010 (inclusive), 1957-2000 (bulk) to research.

0004864_refBorn in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on 1917 June 13, Zerka T. (Toeman) Moreno attended secondary school in the Netherlands before relocating to London, England, in 1932, where she attended technical school. At that time, she planned to become an artist or fashion designer, with a special interest in designing for the stage. Moreno moved to the United States in 1939, shortly after the beginning of World War II, and in 1941, arranged for her sister to move to Beacon, New York, for treatment at the Beacon Hill Sanatorium with J. L. (Jacob Levy) Moreno (1889-1974). That same year, Zerka T. Moreno became interested in J.L. Moreno’s study of psychodrama and group psychotherapy, and began studying under him, acting as his private secretary to earn her scholarship. When J.L. Moreno opened the Sociometric Institute in New York City, she became his research assistant and moved to work at the Institute (which was later renamed the Moreno Institute, and eventually relocated back to Beacon). Zerka T. Moreno continued to develop as a leader of group psychotherapy workshops and instructor, and worked directly alongside J.L. Moreno throughout the latter decades of his life.

In 1947, the two founded the journal Sociatry, which later became known as Group Psychotherapy, which published research regarding the social sciences of sociatry, psychodrama, and sociometry. During the 1950s, both Zerka and J.L. Moreno served as adjunct professors at New York University, teaching courses about psychodrama. She was the cofounder of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy and the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, and spent much of her career traveling for psychotherapy and psychodrama workshops. After J.L. Moreno’s death in 1974, Zerka T. Moreno continued to work as a psychotherapist. With Merlyn S. Pitzele (1911-1995), she continued to attend to patients and offer teaching sessions in Beacon and New York City as well as countless American and international locations. In 1996, she moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, and in 2013, after breaking a hip, moved into a nursing home in 2013 in Rockville, Maryland. She continued to see patients from her bed at the nursing home until shortly before her death.

The collection reflects Moreno’s efforts to lead group psychotherapy sessions and provide instruction in the field of psychodrama. Records include workshop and training records, collected writings and publications, professional activities records, correspondence, personal papers, as well as records pertaining to the management of the Moreno Institute.

The finding aid for the Zerka T. Moreno papers can be found:

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

Rare Haitian Reports Donated and Digitized For Access

By , November 10, 2017

One of the four reports from the PISP Project, now digitized and available through the Internet Archive.

The Center for the History of Medicine was recently gifted two sets of the four-volume report, “Projet Intègre de Santé et de Population”, which was co-sponsored by the Division d’Hygiène Familiale of the Ministère de Santé Publique et de Population and the Harvard School of Public Health (now the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), and published in Port au Prince, Haiti between 1978 and 1982.

The reports follow three defined rural populations in Haiti (approximately 30,000 people) from 1974-1978, and include family census forms and vital sign data recorded by both resident home visitors and trained community health workers. The reports are often sought after for reference, although very few volumes exist and all have yet to be translated from the original French.

The first set of reports were donated to the Center by Dr. Gretchen Berggren as part of the Gretchen Glode and Warren L. Berggren Papers, 1967-2010 (inclusive). Gretchen and her late husband Warren launched groundbreaking community health programs in several countries in the developing world, most particularly in Haiti at the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles. Both have been affiliated with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Warren was an associate professor of tropical public health and population sciences from 1972 to 1981, and Gretchen was affiliated with the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies from 1974 to 1989.

A second set of the reports were later donated to the Center for the History of Medicine by Dr. Henry Perry (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health), in recognition of their connection to the Berggrens and the Harvard Chan community.

These four volumes are indeed rare. Prior to the Center’s receipt of the complete sets, only two of the four volumes were available at other institutions. Additionally, the Haitian printing press involved in their distribution had long ago been destroyed during an earthquake. After receiving the reports, the Center quickly cataloged them and financed their digitization, making them available electronically through the Internet Archive.

The reports can now be accessed through the following sources:

  1. Demographie et fecondite. Port-au-Prince, Haiti : Les éditions Fardin, [1978?]. (Link to digital version)
  2. Recherches sur la medecine traditonnelle : dans l’aire du projet integre de sante et de population du district sanitaire de Petit-Goave. [Haiti] : Departement de la santé publique et de la population, Division d’hygiène familiale, 1979. (Link to digital version)
  3. Enquete sur la nutriton et la sante. Port-au-Prince, Haiti : Les Ateliers Fardin, [1979?]. (Link to digital version)
  4. Administration et organisation d’un programme communautaire de sante? et de population en milieu rural. Port-au-Prince, Haiti : Les Ateliers Fardin, 1982. (Link to digital version)


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