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B MS c77

Himes, Norman Edwin, 1899-1949. Papers, 1918-1956 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk).

Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)


Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: B MS c77
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Creator: Himes, Norman Edwin, 1899-1949.
Title: Norman E. Himes papers,
Date(s): 1918-1956 (inclusive),
Date(s): 1925-1950 (bulk).
Quantity: 132 boxes
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The Norman E. Himes papers, 1918-1956 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk), consist of correspondence files, manuscripts of books, articles, and speeches, and additional records produced by Himes' research, writing, and teaching activities.

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Preferred Citation:

Norman E. Himes papers, 1918-1956 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk). B MS c77. Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.

Biographical Note

The Norman E. Himes Archive is a collection of correspondence and related materials; manuscripts of books, articles, and speeches; and miscellaneous papers presented to the Countway Library in 1967 by Dr. Himes' second wife and widow, Mrs. Robert C. Weinberg of New York and Ridgefield, Connecticut. Norman Himes was a teacher-scholar in the field of sociology and economics, whose avid interest in social reforms and cultural developments led to study in the areas of population problems; history of contraception and the birth control movement; marriage and family relations. He was an immensely productive and creative man of great energy and the archive is rich in materials relating to his research, writing, and teaching activities. Dated items are from 1918 to 1956, but the bulk of the collection falls between 1925 and 1950--a neat 25-year period during which time attitudes toward the subjects of Dr. Himes' work changed in the most dramatic manner. For a man of modest financial means who rarely had the luxury of secretarial services, Dr. Himes (with the help of his first wife, Vera) carried on an amazingly extensive correspondence with a variety of people and organizations, and a number of subjects, and of both professional and personal natures. The flow of correspondence is with leaders in the academic world (sociologists, economists, historians, professional groups), the birth control and eugenics world (medical practitioners, lay figures, clinics, national and local organizations), the book world (dealers, collectors, libraries, publishers, editors of journals), and in many other areas (including religion, government, law). It reflects public and private sentiment and much "inside gossip" about subjects which were somewhat tainted, to say the least, but gradually became accepted and even respectable. During World War II, Dr. Himes left the scholarly world for government service which he continued in Germany during the postwar period, specializing in adult education and youth programs. He was on the verge of retirement and (hopefully) return to work on several of his unfinished research projects--chief among which were books on a Social and Economic History of Contraception and Preparation for Marriage--when he had his fatal heart attack in June of 1949.

Chronology of Norman E. Himes


Series and Subseries in the Collection

Scope and Content

The Norman E. Himes Papers, 1918-1956 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk), consist of correspondence files, manuscripts of books, articles, and speeches, and additional records produced by Himes' research, writing, and teaching activities. Correspondence is with sociologists, economists, historians, medical practitioners and lay figures prominent in the birth control movement, individuals in the publishing business, and other colleagues and personal friends. Subject files pertain to the medical history of contraception; the Carver festschrift; his contributions to Marriage Hygiene, a journal published in India; the course on marriage and the family that he taught at Colgate; and his books and research projects. Personal correspondence concerns his academic career, with some other material relating to his military and government service, and documents, photographs, and bibliographies. Manuscript files include typescripts, notes, drafts, and published and unpublished articles and books, pamphlets, and contributions to books. The collection also contains material, 1919-1925, from Harvard, such as lecture and reading notes, syllabi, and course papers; class record books, 1930-1940; student papers and course materials; clippings; reprints; and phonograph record, 1946, on German youth. Correspondents include: Percy Clark, Harry Cutner, Earl Hamilton, Stella Hanau, Frank Hankins (1877-1970), Marie Kopp, Emily Mudd, Margaret Sanger, Joseph Spengler, Christopher Tietze (1908- ), Robert Weinberg, and Joseph Zborowski.

Container List

Index of Correspondents