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H MS c174

Castle, William B. (William Bosworth), 1897-. Papers, 1889-1991 (inclusive), 1925-1989 (bulk): 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 c174
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Creator: Castle, William B. (William Bosworth), 1897-
Title: William B. Castle papers,
Date(s): 1889-1991 (inclusive),
Date(s): 1925-1989 (bulk).
Quantity: 4.6 cubic feet (4 records center cartons, 1 document box, and 1 flat oversize box)
Language of materials: Records are in English.
Abstract: The William B. Castle papers, 1889-1991 (inclusive), 1925-1989 (bulk), consist of Castle's professional and personal correspondence, research records, personal and family papers, writings and publications, newspaper clippings, and assorted awards and honors.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

  • Donated by Alan Collachico in November 2002. Accession number 2003-024.
  • Processing Information:

    Processed by Jessica Gleason and Bryan Sutherland, July 2011.
    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. Duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine were discarded. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals. Oversized items are housed in Box 5 and 6.

    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 I. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series I, II and III. 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:

    William B. Castle Papers, 1889-1991 (inclusive),1925-1989 (bulk). H MS c174. 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

    Biographical Note

    William B. Castle (1897-1990), M.D., 1921, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, was a leading hematologist, discovering gastric intrinsic factor and how its absence in human digestion leads to pernicious anemia. Castle served as Director of the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory at Boston City Hospital from 1948 to 1968 and as Professor of Medicine (1937-1957), George Richards Minot Professor (1957-1963), and Francis Weld Peabody Faculty Professor (1963-1968) at Harvard Medical School. After his retirement from Harvard Medical School in 1968, he held the position of Distinguished Physician in the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital until his death in 1990.
    William Bosworth Castle was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on 21 October 1897 to William E. Castle (1867-1962), a professor of zoology at Harvard University, and Clara Sears Bosworth Castle (1870-1940). Castle attended Browne and Nicholas School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in 1914, entered Harvard College. At the end of his third year, Castle enrolled at Harvard Medical School and received his M.D. in 1921 without earning a bachelor's degree, though he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. Castle completed his internship with Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, from 1921 to 1923.
    Castle began his career at Boston City Hospital in Harvard Medical School's Thorndike Memorial Laboratory. It was there, in 1928, that he discovered the cause of pernicious anemia, then a fatal disease. Through experimentation, primarily on himself, Castle discovered that absence of the intrinsic factor in digestion did not allow patients to absorb much needed iron. Through this research, Castle also discovered that vitamin B-12 is a key ingredient for the treatment of pernicious anemia. In 1931, Castle led an expedition to Puerto Rico where he studied the diseases tropic sprue and anemia as Director of the Rockefeller Foundation Commission for the Study of Anemia in Puerto Rico. There, with Cornelius P. (Dusty) Rhoads, he introduced a new treatment for tropical sprue based upon his initial discoveries with iron and liver extract in pernicious anemia cases. In 1948, Castle became the third director of the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, and in 1957, he was appointed to the George Richards Minot Professorship at Harvard Medical School; in 1962, a professorship was named in his honor. In 1963, Castle became the first Francis Weld Peabody Faculty Professor of Medicine, a position he held until his official retirement in 1968. That year, he became Distinguished Physician in the West Roxbury Veterans Administration Hospital, a position which he held until his death in 1990.
    Castle received Honorary Degrees from Yale University, the University of Utrecht, the University of Chicago, Boston College, and the University of Pennsylvania. He was a Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Member of the National Academy of Science. In 1933, Castle married Louise Muller and moved with her to Brookline, Massachusetts. They had two children, Anne Castle Morris and William Rogers Castle. William B. Castle died on 9 August 1990.

    Resources

    Series and Subseries in the Collection

    Scope and Content

    The William B. Castle papers, 1889-1991 (inclusive), 1925-1989 (bulk), consist of Castle's professional and personal correspondence, research records, personal and family papers, writings and publications, newspaper clippings, and assorted awards and honors. The collection contains four series. Series I, Professional Records, consists of professional correspondence, Harvard Medical School records, and research from Castle's 1931 expedition to Puerto Rico. Series II, Writings and Publications, contains articles, drafts, and unpublished writings. Series III, Personal Papers, contains personal correspondence, the personal papers of his father, William E. Castle, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Series IV consists of medals, awards, and honorary degrees received by Castle.
    Materials are entirely in English.

    Container List

    Additional Index Terms

    Anemia.
    Tropical sprue -- Research -- Puerto Rico.
    Sprue, Tropical
    Hematologists.
    Castle, William B. (William Bosworth), 1897-
    Castle, Louise.
    Castle, William E. (William Ernest), 1867-1962.
    Firkin, Barry G., 1930-
    Leaf, Alexander, 1920-
    Rhoads, Cornelius P. (Cornelius Packard), 1898-1959.
    Wintrobe, Maxwell M. (Maxwell Myer), 1901-1986.
    Harvard Medical School -- Reunions.
    Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.
    Thorndike Memorial Laboratory.

    med00141