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Hurd-Mead, Kate Campbell, 1867-1941. Papers of Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead, 1939: 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

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: A-35
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead, 1867-1941
Title: Papers of Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead, 1939
Date(s): 1939
Quantity: .42 linear feet (1 file box) plus 14 photograph folders)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Manuscript and photographs for the History of Women in Medicine, and a short biography of Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead, physician and historian.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 52-9
The papers of Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead were given to the Schlesinger Library by her estate in 1952.

Processing Information:

Processed: June 1982
By: Sharon Owens

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead as well as 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:

Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead Papers, 1939; item description, dates. A-35, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Kate Campbell (Hurd) Mead, physician and historian of women in medicine, was born in Danville, Quebec, Canada, on April 6, 1867. She was the oldest of three children born to Edward Payson Hurd, a practicing physician, and Sarah Elizabeth (Campbell) Hurd. In 1870, the family moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts, where she attended public schools. She entered the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1885, earned her M.D. in 1888, and interned at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston. She then did post-doctoral work in Paris, Stockholm, and London.
She returned to America in 1890 and became the medical director for the new Bryn Mawr School for Girls. At about this time, she and Dr. Alice Hall founded the Evening Dispensary for Working Women and Girls of Baltimore City. In 1893, Dr. Hurd-Mead married William Edward Mead, Ph.D., professor of early English at Wesleyan University. She moved to Middletown, Connecticut, and became involved in many activities: she was one of the original incorporators of the Middlesex County Hospital and consulting gynecologist there (1907-1925); she helped to organize the Middletown District Nurses Association (1900); and was vice president of the State Medical Society of Connecticut (1913-1914), president of the American Medical Women's Association, and organizer of the Medical Women's International Association (1919).
In 1890, at a meeting of the Johns Hopkins Historical Club, she had become interested in the history of women physicians. After retiring in 1925, she traveled extensively, collecting data for her two published books: Medical Women of America (1933), and A History of Women in Medicine (1938).
Dr. Hurd-Mead died at the age of 73 as she was trying to help her caretaker, who had lost control of a brush fire near her home. Rushing down a hill to help him, she suffered a heart attack. They both died in the catastrophe.


The Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead papers include a short biography of Hurd-Mead by Dr. Esther P. Lovejoy and the typescript of a projected second volume of her History of Women In Medicine, with related photographs of women physicians arranged by country. The first volume of the History, published in 1938, is about women in medicine from ancient Egypt to the beginning of the 19th century. The unpublished manuscript for the second volume covers the 19th and early 20th centuries and is confined to women physicians in the eastern hemisphere. Hurd-Mead planned to write a third volume on the history of medical women in North and South America.
The photographs and halftone reproductions of photographs used to illustrate the History of Women in Medicine, Volme II, are in #33-46. The sequence of folders follows the (geographical) order of the chapters of the book.
The archivist has added a sheet listing the names of the women whose pictures are included. In cases in which the caption on the photograph is illegible, the full name and spelling were taken from lists of names found on the manila envelopes in which the photographs were previously filed. Biographical captions are included with most of the photos; some folders include printed matter with biographical information or news of hospitals and medical schools.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Manuscripts (for publication)
Women physicians--Portraits
Women in medicine--History
Women in science--United States
Lovejoy, Esther Pohl, 1870-1967