[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HMS.Count:med00110View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement
RG M-DE01 Series 00266

Harvard Medical School. Office of the Dean. Records, 1828-1904 (inclusive), 1869-1874 (bulk):Finding Aid

Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.Center for the History of Medicine.
Harvard Medical Library and Boston Medical Library

[link]


May 14,2008

© 2008 The President and Fellows of Harvard College


These records were processed with financial support from the Office of the Dean of Harvard Medical School.

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Call No.: RG M-DE01 Series 00266;
Location: AA1.
Creator: Harvard Medical School. Office of the Dean.
Title: Harvard Medical School. Office of the Dean records,1828-1904 (inclusive), 1869-1874 (bulk)
Quantity: 2.55 cubic feet in 4 document boxes, 1 half document box, 1 half legal document box, and 2 flat oversized boxes.
Abstract: The records of the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine are the product of the administrative activities of the Deans of Harvard Medical School, during the years 1828-1904. The collection consists of correspondence, petitions, reports, financial records, and certificates chronicling education, administration, and committee activities at Harvard Medical School.

Processing Information:

Processed byBryan Sutherland, May 2008.
Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the records and created a finding aid to improve access to the collection. To enhance preservation, processing staff re-housed the collection and, where necessary, photocopied documents onto acid-free paper.

Access Restrictions:

The records are stored onsite. There are no restrictions on this collection. Please contact the Public Services Librarian for further information.

Use Restrictions:

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 the Public Services Librarian. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Public Services Librarian are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright. Reference Services and Access Information.

Preferred Citation:

Harvard Medical School. Office of the Dean. Records, 1828-1904 (inclusive). 1869-1874 (bulk). RG M-DE01. Series 00266. Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.

Related Papers in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Center for the History of Medicine

Related Records at Harvard University

Series and Subseries in the Collection

Biographical Notes on the Deans of Harvard Medical School, 1826-1907

Walter Channing
Walter Channing (1786-1876) was Dean of Harvard Medical School from 1826 to 1847. An obstetrician, Channing received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1809. At Harvard Medical School Channing was a Lecturer, before being appointed the first Professor of Midwifery and Medical Jurisprudence in 1815. In 1847 the Medical School, known as the Massachusetts Medical College of Harvard University from 1816 to 1846, relocated to North Grove Street, next to Massachusetts General Hospital, from its previous location on Mason Street. Channing was a founder of the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery and the Boston Lying-In Hospital. He was a strong advocate of the use of anesthesia during childbirth.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
A noted literary figure, Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) served as Dean of Harvard Medical School from 1847 to 1853. Holmes received his A.B. from Harvard in 1829 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1836. At the Medical School Holmes was the Parkman Professor of Anatomy and Physiology and was one of the first educators to introduce microscopy to medical education. As Dean, Holmes and the faculty debated admitting women and blacks to Harvard Medical School. Three black men were admitted in 1850, though they were later dismissed after protests from white students. The first black student did not graduate from Harvard Medical School until 1869, and not until 1945 were women admitted on an equal basis with men. In 1843 Holmes wrote “The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever,” arguing that the fever, contracted by women during childbirth, was passed from patient to patient by their doctors and nurses. He was a founder of the Atlantic Monthly journal as well as the author of the poem “Old Ironsides,” which rallied public support for the preservation of the Navy ship USS Constitution.
John Barnard Swett Jackson
John Barnard Swett Jackson (1806-1879) received his B.A. from Harvard in 1825 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1829. He served as Dean of Harvard Medical School from 1853 to 1855, as the first Professor of Pathological Anatomy (1847-1854) in the new Pathological Anatomy Department, and as the Shattuck Professor of Morbid Anatomy (1854-1879). As Dean, he proposed that M.D. candidates pass an examination based on their course of study. Jackson, interested in the study and description of the gross pathologic anatomy of diseased organs, was the first curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum at Harvard Medical School and wrote A Descriptive Catalogue of the Warren Anatomical Museum in 1870. He also served as curator for the museum of the Boston Society for Medical Improvement.
David Humphreys Storer
David Humphreys Storer (1804-1891) served as Dean of Harvard Medical School from 1855 to 1864 and also as the Chair of Obstetrics and Medical Jurisprudence from 1854 to 1868. He received his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College in 1822 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1825. Storer, a visiting physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (1849-1858) and the Boston Lying-In Hospital (1854-1868), lectured against the procedure of induced abortions in his teachings. He also served as President of the American Medical Association (1866-1867), was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society. In addition, Storer was a naturalist and member of the Boston Society of Natural History.
George Cheyne Shattuck
Dean of Harvard Medical School from 1864 to 1869, George Cheyne Shattuck (1813-1893) also served as Professor of Clinical Medicine and later as Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic. Shattuck received his A.B. from Harvard in 1831 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1835. From 1838 to 1839, Shattuck worked in Paris with the French Pathologist Charles Louis, defining the difference between typhus and typhoid fever. He was a visiting physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (1849-1885), President of the Massachusetts Medical Society (1872-1873), and a founder of the Boston Medical Library.
Calvin Ellis
Calvin Ellis (1826-1883) earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1850 and served as Dean of Harvard Medical School from 1869 to 1883. Prior to his tenure as Dean, he served as Assistant Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine (1863-1865), Adjunct Professor of Clinical Medicine (1865-1867) and Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine (1867-1883). During Ellis’ tenure as Dean, several reforms were implemented to medical education at Harvard Medical School, as directed by Harvard President Charles Eliot, including a three-year course sequence and required examinations in each department. These changes were implemented at the start of the fall term in 1871. Ellis also oversaw the planning for the 1883 move of the Medical School from its North Grove Street location to facilities on Boylston Street in Copley Square in Boston, Mass. He was an admitting physician, pathologist, and visiting physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Henry Pickering Bowditch
Henry Pickering Bowditch (1840-1911) was the Dean of Harvard Medical School from 1883 to 1893. He received his A.B. from Harvard in 1861 and served with Massachusetts cavalry units during the Civil War. Bowditch returned to Boston to earn his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1868. While at Harvard Medical School, Bowditch was also Assistant Professor of Physiology, Professor of Physiology, and the first George Higginson Professor of Physiology in 1902. He was granted Emeritus status in 1906. During Bowditch’s tenure as Dean the Medical School enrollment and faculty increased and Harvard Medical School became the first American medical school to offer courses in pathology and bacteriology. A four-year course of study was also adopted during Bowditch’s term. Bowditch’s medical career focused on the research side of medicine and he was a defender of animal experimentation. He was also one of the founders of the American Physiological Society and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
William Lambert Richardson
William Lambert Richardson (1842-1932) earned his A.B. from Harvard in 1864 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1867. He served as Dean of Harvard Medical School from 1893 to 1907 and during his tenure advanced entrance examinations were introduced. In 1906 the Medical School moved from its location on Boylston Street to the Quadrangle on Longwood Avenue. While at Harvard Medical School Richardson also served as Instructor in Obstetrics (1871-1882), Assistant Professor of Obstetrics (1882-1886), and Professor of Obstetrics (1885-1907). He was granted Emeritus status in 1907. Richardson practiced medicine at the Boston Dispensary, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Children’s Hospital. He was also associated with the Boston Lying-In Hospital for over 50 years, helping to revive and enlarge the institution, retiring as president in 1922. Richardson was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and a surgeon in the First Corps of Cadets, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, from 1870 to 1905.

Resources on the History of Harvard Medical School

Scope and Content

The records of the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine are the product of the administrative activities of the Deans of Harvard Medical School, during the years 1828-1904. The collection consists of correspondence, petitions, reports, financial records, and certificates and chronicles education, administration, and committee activities at Harvard Medical School, as well as the interactions of the Medical School with Harvard University. Correspondence regarding the reorganization of education at the Medical School, as directed by Harvard University President Charles Eliot, is contained in the collection, as well as correspondence and petitions relating to the admission of women and blacks. In particular, the collection contains recommendations written on behalf on Martin Delany, the first black student to be admitted to the Medical School, who was later dismissed after protests from white students. The collection also contains correspondence from women requesting to be admitted to lectures at Harvard Medical School and correspondence from the Harvard Corporation to the Medical Faculty denying the request.
The bulk of the collection covers the tenure of Dean Calvin Ellis (1869-1883). Records produced from the tenures of the following deans are also included: Walter Channing (1826-1847), Oliver Wendell Holmes (1847-1853), John Barnard Swett Jackson (1853-1855), David Humphreys Storer (1855-1864), George Cheyne Shattuck (1864-1869), Henry Pickering Bowditch (1883-1893), and William Lambert Richardson (1893-1907).
The records of the Office of the Dean consist of three series: Series I contains the Executive Files, including three subseries, A. Administrative Records, B. Correspondence, and C. Medical Education Records. Series II contains the Committee Records. Series III contains the Harvard University Records. Oversized items are housed in boxes 6, 7, and 8.

Series and Subseries Descriptions and Box and Folder Lists


med00110