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H MS c68

Smith, George Van Siclen, 1900- and Smith, Olive Watkins, 1901-1983. Papers, 1917, 1928-1976, 1982, Finding Aid.

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

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

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: H MS c68
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Title: George V. Smith and Olive W. Smith papers,
Date(s): 1917, 1928-1976, 1982 (inclusive).
Quantity: 5 boxes
Language of materials: Records are in English.
Abstract: Contains mostly research material, reflecting Olive and George Smith's studies on diseases of the human reproductive organs, such as metastasizing breast cancer, and work on urinary estrogens among other concerns. Also includes their correspondence with colleagues, pharmaceutical firms, etc. Other material includes Olive Smith's Vassar alumnae papers.

Processing Information:

Processed by Jennifer Pelose and SPI, July 2007.
This finding aid has been posted as a product of converting a heritage finding aid to an electronic format for the purpose of facilitating collection access. Researchers should be aware that this finding aid has not been revised to meet current Center for the History of Medicine descriptive practices, nor nationally promulgated content standards. Please report any difficulties using this guide to Public Services.

Conditions Governing Access:

Access requires advance notice. Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series IV. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series II, Subseries B. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.
The Papers are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to contact Public Services for more information concerning retrieval of material.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collection. Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to Public Services. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from Public Services are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

Preferred Citation:

George V. Smith and Olive W. Smith papers, 1917, 1928-1976, 1982 (inclusive). H MS c68. Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.

Biographical Notes

George Van Siclen Smith (1900-1984) and Olive Watkins Smith (1901-1983) were personal and professional partners during their more than fifty years spent in research and patient care. Their work at the Fearing Research Laboratory and the Free Hospital for Women in Boston was centered on diseases of the female reproductive organs and the endocrinology of the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. They spent many years developing hormonal therapies to treat menstrual dysfunctions,complications of pregnancy, and cancers of the breast and reproductive organs. Their endocrinological investigations were also utilized by scientists in developing oral contraceptives and fertility drugs.
George V. Smith was born in New York City, and attended Phillips Andover Academy and Harvard University. Graduating with an A.B. in 1921, he entered Harvard Medical School the same year, and began working as a house officer at the Free Hospital for Women by 1923. He held various faculty positions at the Medical School, culminating in his appointment as head of the Gynecology Division in 1947. The Free Hospital for Women was his lifetime affiliation, and there he assumed various responsibilities, finally becoming Chief of Staff.
Olive W. Smith was born in Worcester, Mass., and attended Vassar College, graduating in 1923. The daughter of a surgeon who did not believe that women should attend medical school, Olive Smith became the first woman to obtain a doctorate in Biochemistry from the Division of Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School in 1928. In 1929, she was hired by George V. Smith as a biochemist at the Fearing Research Laboratory, and they married the following year. She was both a Research Associate and an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at Harvard Medical School, and also served on the Committee on Admissions for three years. She assumed directorship of the Fearing Research Laboratory from 1946 to 1960, and again from 1970 to 1980, after which time the facility closed.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

Scope and Content

Contains mostly research material, reflecting Olive and George Smith's studies on diseases of the human reproductive organs, such as metastasizing breast cancer, and work on urinary estrogens among other concerns. Also includes their correspondence with colleagues, pharmaceutical firms, etc.; George Smith's departmental correspondence about faculty appointments at the Harvard Medical School (especially about filling the Richardson Professorship), and other subjects; and memoranda and correspondence mostly about research matters at the Fearing Research Laboratory, Free Hospital for Women. Research notes;laboratory notebooks, 1964-1971; charts on urinary estrogens; drafts of papers and articles (some unpublished), the laboratory's collected reprints, and copies of seminar lectures and public talks document the Smiths' research, publishing, and lecturing activities. Other material includes Olive Smith's Vassar alumnae papers.
Materials entirely in English.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Endocrine gynecology.
Obstetrics -- Research.
Gynecology -- Research.
Estrogen.
Breast -- Cancer -- Research.
Smith, George V.
Smith, Olive Watkins, 1901-1983.
Free Hospital for Women -- Fearing Research Laboratory (Boston, Mass.)
Harvard Medical School. Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology -- Faculty.

med00084