[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HMS.Count:med00234View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement
B MS c25

Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879. Papers, 1770-1879 (inclusive), 1800-1879 (bulk): Finding Aid.

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

[link]


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

© President and Fellows of Harvard College


Preservation and description was supported in part by the Arcadia-funded Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: B MS c25
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Creator: Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1789.
Title: Jacob Bigelow papers,
Date(s): 1770-1879 (inclusive),
Date(s): 1800-1879 (bulk).
Quantity: 02.41 cubic feet (4 flat storage boxes and one legal size document box)
Language of materials: Papers are in English, with a small amount of material in French and Latin.
Abstract: The Jacob Bigelow papers, 1770-1879 (inclusive), 1800-1879 (bulk), contain correspondence with Jacob Bigelow's (1786-1879) colleagues concerning botanical specimens, publication of the Pharmacopoeia of the United States from 1820 to 1831, and general medical matters. There is also correspondence with his family, including his parents, siblings, and his son, physician Henry Jacob Bigelow (1818-1890).

Processing Information:

Processed by Brooke McManus, 2016 March.
Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, rearranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access in 2016. Call numbers where extant were eliminated from the finding aid, but the folder titles, as previously devised by staff, were retained.
Please note the following abbreviations have been used in folder titles: "A.D." for autographed document; "A.D.s." for autographed document signed; "A.L." for autographed letter; "A.L.s." for autographed letter signed; "A.M." for autographed manuscript; "A.M.s." for autographed manuscript signed; "MS.D." for manuscript document; "MS.L" for manuscript letter; "P.D." for printed document; "P.D.s." for printed document signed; and "P.L.s." for printed letter signed.

Conditions Governing Access:

Access requires advance notice. Contact Public Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Boston 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:

Jacob Bigelow papers, 1770-1879 (inclusive), 1800-1879 (bulk). B MS c25. Boston Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.

Related Records in the Harvard University Archives

Records of Jacob Bigelow, Rumford Professor and Lecturer on the Application of Science to the Useful Arts. UAI 15.1031.

Related Collections in the Gray Herbarium Archives, Harvard University Herbaria

Biographical Notes

Jacob Bigelow (1786-1879), a physician and botanist in Boston, Massachusetts, served as lecturer at the Harvard Medical School; Rumford Professor and Lecturer on the Application of Science to the Useful Arts; Professor of Materia Medica; and as a member of Harvard's Board of Overseers from 1846 to 1854.
Jacob Bigelow was born in Sudbury, Massachusetts, in 27 February 1787, to Elizabeth and Jacob Bigelow (1742-1816), A.B., 1766, Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. After graduating from Harvard College in 1806, the younger Jacob Bigelow received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1810. In 1811, he established a medical practice in Boston and began a series of botanical lectures at Harvard College with William Dandridge Peck (1763-1822), Massachusetts Professor of Natural History. From 1815 to 1818, he was a lecturer in medicine, and in 1815, he was appointed Professor of Materia Medica at Harvard Medical School, a position he held until 1855.
In 1816, Bigelow was appointed the first Rumford Professor and Lecturer on the Application of the Sciences to the Useful Arts at Harvard, a post he held until 1827. Bigelow coined the term "technology" to describe the use of scientific ideas in the useful arts, and in 1829, he published his Rumford lectures under the title Elements of Technology, taken chiefly from a Course of Lectures delivered at Cambridge, on the Application of the Sciences to the Useful Arts.
Bigelow was active in the preparation of the first United States Pharmacopoeia in 1820, along with Lyman Spalding (1775-1821). He also was president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences from 1847-1863, and was a member of the Academy for 67 years. He additionally helped establish and design of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. From 1846 to 1854, he was member of Harvard's Board of Overseers.
Bigelow published several works on botany, Florula Bostoniensis (1814) and American Medical Botany (1817-1820). He began work on a flora of New England with Dr. Francis Boott, but the project was abandoned.
Jacob Bigelow married Mary Scollay in 1817, and their children included anesthesia pioneer and Harvard Medical School Professor of Surgery Henry Jacob Bigelow (1818-1890). Jacob Bigelow died in Boston on 10 January 1879.

Resources on Jacob Bigelow

Series and Subseries in the Collection

Scope and Content

The Jacob Bigelow papers, 1770-1879 (inclusive), 1800-1879 (bulk), contain correspondence with Jacob Bigelow's (1786-1879) colleagues concerning botanical specimens, publication of the Pharmacopoeia of the United States from 1820 to 1831, and general medical matters. There is also correspondence with his family, including his parents, siblings, and his son, physician Henry Jacob Bigelow (1818-1890). Other material includes correspondence and records related to the Rumford Professorship at Harvard and his participation in medical and scientific associations; notes and lists relating to plants and flowers; patient medical records and case histories; drafts of lectures and revisions to the Pharmacopoeia; and accounts and bills. There is also correspondence of the Bigelow family after his death, compiled correspondence and records generated by medical colleagues, and newspapers and clippings.
Papers are in English, French, and Latin.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Anesthesia -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Botany, Medical -- United States -- 19th century.
Materia medica.
Medical care -- Massachusetts -- History -- 19th century.
Medicine -- Massachusetts -- History -- 19th century.
Medicine -- Societies, etc.
Medicine -- Study and teaching -- 19th century.
Pharmacopoeias -- United States -- 19th century.
Physics -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge -- 19th century.
Physicians -- Massachusetts -- 19th century.
Physicians' writings.
Plants, Flowering of -- Flowering time.
Science -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge -- 19th century.
Anesthesia -- history -- United States.
Botany -- history -- United States.
Delivery of Healthcare -- history -- Massachusetts.
Education, Medical -- history.
History, 19th century.
History of Medicine.
Materia Medica -- history.
Medical Records.
Pharmacopoeias as Topic.
Publishing -- history.
Schools, Medical -- history.
Societies, Medical -- history.
Boston (Mass.).
Cambridge (Mass.).
Sudbury (Mass.).
Certificates.
Correspondence.
Financial records.
Lists.
Manuscripts (document genre).
Medical records.
Natural history specimens.
Newspapers.
Physicians.
Professors.
Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873
Andrew, John Albion, 1818-1867.
Bartlett, Elisha, 1804-1855.
Bigelow family.
Bigelow, Henry, 1783-1815.
Bigelow, Henry Jacob, 1818-1890.
Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1789.
Boott, Francis, 1792-1863
Cleaveland, Parker, 1780-1858.
Coxe, John Redman, 1773-1863.
Davis, John, 1761-1847.
Everett, Edward, 1794-1865.
Hewson, Thomas Tickell, 1773-1848.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894.
Ives, Eli, 1779-1861.
Jackson, James, 1777-1867.
Kirkland, John Thornton, 1770-1840.
Lowell, John, 1769-1840.
Mitchill, Samuel L. (Samuel Latham), 1764-1831.
Quincy, Josiah, 1772-1864.
Rumford, Benjamin, Graf von, 1753-1814.
Shattuck, George Cheyne, 1783-1854.
Simpson, James Young, 1811-1870.
Spalding, Lyman, 1775-1821.
Ticknor, George, 1791-1871.
Winthrop, John, 1714-1779.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Boylston Medical Society.
Harvard Medical School -- Faculty.
Harvard Medical School -- Students.
Harvard University -- Rumford Professorship and Lectureship on the Application of Science to the Useful Arts.
Harvard University -- Faculty.
Mount Auburn Cemetery.

med00234