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Jacobi, Mary Putnam, 1842-1906. Papers of Mary Putnam Jacobi, 1851-1974: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: A-26
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Mary Putnam Jacobi, 1842-1906
Title: Papers of Mary Putnam Jacobi, 1851-1974
Date(s): 1851-1974
Quantity: .42 linear feet (1 file box)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, etc., of physician Mary Putnam Jacobi.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 46-14, 78-M92, 84-M86
The papers of Mary Putnam Jacobi were given to the Schlesinger Library by her daughter, Marjorie (Jacobi) McAneny, in June 1945, and by her granddaughter, Ruth (McAneny) Loud, in June 1978, and May 1984.

Processing Information:

Reprocessed: January 1981
By: Jane S. Knowles

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary Putnam Jacobi is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Mary Putnam Jacobi Papers, 1851-1974; item description, dates. A-26, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Mary (Putnam) Jacobi, physician, was born in England of American parents in 1842; the family returned to New York in 1848, where she was educated privately and in public school. She attended the New York College of Pharmacy, graduating in 1863, and received her M.D. from the Female (later Women's) Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1868, Jacobi became the first woman to gain admission to the Ecole de Medecine, Paris; she was graduated in 1871 with honors, receiving a bronze medal. As a physician in New York, she combined private clinical practice with research and teaching. She was affiliated with the New York Infirmary and the Mount Sinai Hospital. Her marriage in 1873 to Abraham Jacobi, physician, was followed by the birth of three children, of whom only her daughter Marjorie survived. Jacobi died in 1906 of a brain tumor.


The collection consists mainly of correspondence and writings, each arranged in a chronological sequence. Jacobi's personal, family and professional correspondence includes letters from Alexander Agassiz and Charles William Eliot on the admission of women to Harvard Medical School, and correspondence with Oliver Wendell Holmes, William James and Carl and Agatha Schurz. Her writings include an autobiographical fragment, essays written at school, ephemeral pieces written after 1873, and newspaper articles and addresses. A biographical sketch by Jacobi's sister, Ruth Putnam, photographs, various clippings and articles about Jacobi are also included.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Scientists--United States
Women in science--United States
Women physicians
Women scientists--United States
Youth and death
Agassiz, Alexander, 1835-1910
Eliot, Charles William, 1834-1926
Harvard Medical School--Admission
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894
Jacobi, A. (Abraham), 1830-1919
James, William, 1842-1910
Mitchell, S. Weir (Silas Weir), 1829-1914
New York Infirmary
Putnam, Catherine Palmer
Putnam, George Palmer, 1814-1872
Putnam, Ruth, 1856-1931
Schurz, Carl, 1829-1906
Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania