Posts tagged: new AWM collections

Staff Finds: Pamphlets are a Parent’s Best Friend

By , November 22, 2011

During the processing of the Marian C. Putnam papers, Center staff discovered a trove of 1940s and 1950s child care advice pamphlets among Putnam’s files of reprints. The bulk of the reprints are from professional journals and were authored by Putnam or by her staff at the James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center. However, Putnam also collected pamphlets put out by other agencies in the United States and Britain to do with child care and early childhood development.

Putnam, a child analyst and child development specialist, traveled to Europe with her parents when she was young and met some of the leading figures in the development of psychoanalysis, including Ernest Jones and Sigmund Freud. She went on to study psychoanalysis formally in Vienna during the 1930s. Putnam was one of the founders of the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston, later renamed the James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center, which opened in 1943 and offered psychiatric services to troubled children. Putnam’s original plans for the Judge Baker Center included live-in nursery care for children in need of continuous psychological help, though this ultimately proved impractical and Putnam and her staff focused instead on day programs.

Putnam’s work at the Children’s Center was largely with children suffering from a variety of difficulties, from bedwetting or thumb sucking to severe depression and developmental disability. The pamphlets she collected cover myriad topics, such as preparing for the birth of a first child, toilet-training, and living with a three-year-old. While the pamphlets probably reflected top-notch child-rearing advice at the time, they have been superseded by the subsequent popularity of experts like Benjamin Spock (who also features in Putnam’s reprint collection.) Some problems, like thumb sucking, for example, would no longer bring a child to the attention of an expert like Putnam; however, the pamphlets also reflect more serious issues such as preparing a child for the arrival of a new baby or teaching appropriate social behavior.

The pamphlets featured advice like the following from Enjoy Your Child-Ages 1, 2, and 3 (1950):

“If your child is one, two, or three, he has passed his babyhood days. You are dealing with a real person—already reaching out into the world and perhaps into his neighbor’s. You are busy trying to keep up with him. This should not be too hard for you to do. After all, you are now something of an expert on children. You have lived with your child for a year or more. There is a lot you have learned about children…and about him in particular.” (1)

And from For Your Baby’s Mental Health (1950):

“ A Word To Fathers: You are just as important as mother in this job of raising a healthy baby. Plan with her for baby’s arrival and when you have him, get acquainted properly. Even the smallest baby needs a masculine as well as a feminine influence. And be sure to remember that you and mother are still people as well as parents. Get a babysitter now and then, and go out the way you used to do. If you are happy together, you’ll be better able to keep baby happy, too.” (back cover)

Collection in Process: Lynne M. Reid Papers

By , October 21, 2011

First page of "Tutoring Excellence" newsletter from 1991.

Center for the History of Medicine staff are finalizing the processing of the papers of Lynne M. Reid (1923-), S. Burt Wolbach Professor of Pathology, Emeritus, and formerly head of the department of pathology at Children’s Hospital (1975-1989). Reid was a specialist in the field of thoracic medicine, focusing for most of her career on development and diseases of the lungs, including pulmonary hypertension, bronchiectasis, primary pulmonary hypertension, and respiratory distress syndrome. Her papers reflect her work as a research scientist and collaborator with researchers around the world.

The papers also reflect Reid’s involvement with the development of the medical education program at Harvard. During the 1980s and 1990s, she assisted in the development and inauguration of the “New Pathways in General Medical Education” program at Harvard Medical School. “New Pathways” was designed to restructure the first two years of medical school education, shifting from large lecture-hall style classes based around the rote memorization of facts, to case study-based learning that gave students an opportunity to engage in smaller groups with expert tutors. The program was designed to allow students to ask questions, learn from each other, and learn medicine as a system that involved human beings living in a social network, not isolated cases of disease in a hospital ward.

Reid helped to design tutoring sessions and educate other medical school faculty in the tenets of the program. She also assisted with the evaluation of aspects of the program; reflected in her papers is work done on the tutoring sessions which became a valuable portion of the “New Pathways” approach. Students and expert tutors met together in small group sessions designed to alleviate the pressures of the lecture hall-style classes.

Center staff anticipate finalizing and making available the Reid papers for research by the end of 2011.

New collection: The Elizabeth D. Hay, MD papers

By , January 27, 2010
Elizabeth D. Hay

Elizabeth D. Hay, MD

Elizabeth D. Hay was named the Louise Foote Pfeiffer Professor of Embryology in 1969, and in 1975 was the first woman to be made full professor in a Harvard Medical School preclinical department.  She was the chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology from 1975-1993.

Dr. Hay’s greatest scientific achievement was her breakthrough understanding of the extracellular matrix.  Once thought to be an inert support structure, Dr. Hay found that it was in fact a a complex structure that has a large role in determining cell properties.  Dr. Hay’s research formed the foundation of an entire field in cellular biology.

Photo: Elizabeth Hay watching Brita von Gaudecker using a micromanipulator to inject radioactive precursors into the larva of a midge, in studies on the origin of the nucleolar RNA], 1967. Image: 00099.034, Countway Library.

New acquisition: Mary Ellen Avery, M.D. papers

By , January 5, 2009

Mary Ellen Avery, M.D., image courtesy Georgia Litwack.

Mary Ellen Avery (1927-), AB, 1948, Wheaton College; MD, 1952, Johns Hopkins University, was appointed Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in 1974, Thomas Morgan Rotch Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics in 1996, and Emerita in 1997. Avery served as Physician-in-Chief of Children’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. from 1974 to 1985. Avery is a specialist in pulmonary disorders of the newborn infant, and was the first woman to serve as clinical chief of Children’s Hospital. The papers describe Avery’s career as a pediatrician and administrator at Children’s Hospital and as a professor at Harvard Medical School through correspondence, photographs, trip correspondence, lectures, and teaching materials. Her service as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at McGill University and as Physician-in-Chief of Montreal Children’s Hospital is chronicled in correspondence and trip materials.

New acquisition: The Carola Eisenberg, M.D. papers

By , December 5, 2008

Carola Eisenberg (1917- ), Lecturer in Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and practicing psychiatrist, served as Dean of Student Affairs at Harvard Medical School for 12 years, beginning in 1978. Eisenberg received her MD in 1944 from the University of Buenos Aires, and completed a fellowship in child psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to her tenure at Harvard, Eisenberg served as Dean of Student Affairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.); she was the first woman to serve in that position and the first woman to serve on the Academic Council, its highest academic governing authority. Eisenberg participates in human rights missions around the world, and has served as Vice-President of Physicians for Human Rights, an organization dedicated to the championship of physicians subjected to persecution in other countries. The organization shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in the campaign against land mines.

New acquisition: The Lisa I. Iezzoni M.D., MSc papers

By , August 5, 2008

Lisa I. Iezzoni, M.D. Photo courtesy of the BIDMC division of General Medicine's website.

The Archives for Women in Medicine is delighted to announce that Dr. Lisa I. Iezzoni has donated her papers to the collection. Dr. Iezzoni is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and has been recently appointed Associate Director of the Institute for Health Policy at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Previously, she was Co-Director of Research in the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

New acquisition: The Mary Ellen Wohl, M.D. papers

By , June 5, 2008

Mary Ellen Wohl, M.D.

Wohl is a pediatric lung disease and Pulmonary Division Chief, Emerita at Children’s Hospital Boston.  Her research has been directed at optimizing care and outcomes for children with cystic fibrosis and, more recently, those with HIV infections.

For more information about Dr. Wohl and her work, you can go to  her biography on the  National Library of Medicine’s “Changing the Face of Medicine” website.

The Raquel Eidelman Cohen oral history

By , June 5, 2008

Raquel Cohen, M.D.

As part of the Joint Committee on the Status of Women oral history project, intern Lesley Schoenfeld conducted a videotaped oral history of Raquel Cohen, one of twelve women in Harvard Medical School’s first coeducational class, 1949.  A world-renowned authority in the field of psychological and social consequences from disasters and intervention methods, she has worked with victim relief government and non-government agencies around the world.  Her book, Mental Health Services in Disasters: A Manual for Humanitarian Workers, has been used to train disaster workers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

For more information about Dr. Cohen and her work, you can go to the website she maintains:, or the National Library of Medicine’s “Changing the Face of Medicine” Website.

Photo courtesey of

New acquisition: The Patricia Donahoe, M.D. papers

Patricia K. Donahoe, M.D.

Patricia Donahoe is director of the Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratories and continues also as Chief Emerita of Pediatric Surgical Services at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Donahoe’s specialties include developmental biology concentrating on Mullerian Inhibiting Substance as a potential anticancer agent against human ovarian carcinomas, the genetics of sex differentiation, and the genetics of other congenital anomalies such as Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Donahoe is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.  You can find a biography of her on the Harvard Stem Cell Institute‘s website.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy