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Archival collections of the Cushing/Whitney Medical Historical Library include a variety of materials related to the history of medicine and public health, with an emphasis on materials related to persons and institutions affiliated with the Yale Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, and Physician Associate Program; the city of New Haven; and the state of Connecticut. Collections in our archives include many types of materials, including personal papers, institutional records, pamphlets, printed materials, photographs, and ephemera.
Materials from unprocessed collections, which are not fully organized or described, may be requested by contacting the Medical Historical Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Researchers seeking archival materials pertaining to the history of medicine, public health, or Yale medical programs may also wish to search the holdings of Manuscripts and Archives, which include Yale records, faculty papers, and the Contemporary Health Care and Policy Collection.
The Medical Historical Library archives holds many collections of personal papers of physicians, medical historians, and affiliates of Yale medical programs. Our personal papers collections include:
Harvey Cushing Papers, John Farquar Fulton Papers, and Arnold Carl Klebs Papers at the Medical Historical Library. These collections of personal papers from the founders of the Medical Historical Library include scrapbooks, diaries, notebooks, reprints, correspondence, and photographs. The remainder of their personal papers are held by Manuscripts and Archives.
G. D. (Edith) Hsiung Papers, 1950-2006. Hsiung was a pioneer in establishing the field of diagnostic virology. The collection documents her work at Yale and the Veterans Administration Medical Hospital in West Haven, Connecticut and workshops she taught in Taiwan.
Stephen H. Malawista Papers, 1957-2013. Malawista was the co-discoverer of Lyme disease. The collection documents his work as Chief of Rheumatology at Yale and research and writings on Lyme disease.
Peter Parker Collection, 1823-1947. Parker studied theology and medicine at Yale and became the first Protestant medical missionary to China in 1834. The collection documents his work opening and operating an ophthalmic hospital in Canton, China, where he was the first physician to introduce the use of anesthesia and his work as an American diplomat.
- Martha H. Roper Papers, 1925-2016. Roper was one of the first female graduates of Yale College and an epidemiologist specializing in tropical diseases. The collection documents her work with multiple global health organizations.
Connecticut State Medical Society Records, circa 1792-2020. Founded in 1792, the CSMS is now a state entity of the American Medical Association with a membership of 7,000+ physicians. The collection includes proceedings, membership records, publications, office records, microfilm, newsletters, photographs, and scrapbooks, with the bulk of materials dating from 1920-2000.
Hall-Benedict Drug Company Logbooks and Ledgers, 1909-1980. The collection documents the business activities of a family-run pharmacy in New Haven, Connecticut. Materials include prescription logbooks, some with formulas for creating medications, and financial records documenting business expenses and income.
- Waltham Hospital Medical Records, 1889-1897s. The Waltham Hospital (Waltham, Massachusetts) was opened in 1887 as one of the first community hospitals in the United States. This collection of seven bound volumes of handwritten physicians’ notes documents treatment for a wide variety of conditions including illustrations of early appendectomies performed by hospital founder Alfred Worcester.
Our holdings include thousands of pamphlets individually cataloged or organized into collections. Individually cataloged pamphlets may be searched and requested using Orbis. Pamphlet collections may be searched and requested using Archives at Yale, which contains item level listings of collection contents. Access to pamphlet collections without finding aids in Archives at Yale can be arranged by contacting email@example.com. Some pamphlet collections of note include:
Hospital Annual Reports and Ephemera Collection, 1805-1969. Annual and biennial reports and other pamphlets from general, specialty, and homeopathic hospitals, asylums, and dispensaries in the United States, Great Britain, and China.
Medical Colleges Catalogs, Introductory and Valedictory Addresses, and Ephemera, 1820-1920. Published catalogs, bulletins, announcements, addresses by prominent physicians, and ephemera from medical colleges in the United States, including some homeopathic, osteopathic, and eclectic schools.
Spas and Mineral Waters Collection, 1839-1966. Pamphlets and ephemera on springs, hot springs, health resorts, and mineral waters in the United States and Western Europe.
Pamphlets on Public Health Issued by State Government Agencies, 1905-1942. Materials on infant and child health, infectious and chronic diseases, hygiene, and public health laws.
- Yale Child Study Center Reference Collection, 1886-1958. Pamphlets and articles on topics related to child welfare including childcare, child development, education, intellectual disability, nutrition, and materials published by New Haven and Connecticut child welfare organizations.
We have several collections of photographs, printed materials, and ephemera that provide visual documentation of the history and public perceptions of medicine and public health.
Robert Bogdan Disability Collection, cira 1820s-1890s. Real photo postcards, pamphlets, and printed materials documenting people with a range of disabilities, mostly in the United States.
Stanley B. Burns, M.D., Historic Medical Photography Collection, circa 1840-1979. Photographs collected by Dr. Burns that document the history of medical science and medical practice. Materials include early cased photographs, lantern slides, photographic prints, photograph albums, stereoscopic photographs, picture postcards, and photolithographs.
Comic Book Collection on Medical Themes, 1941-2013. Comic books about famous figures in medical history, medical and public health topics, and advertising medical and health products.
Bert Hansen Collection of Medicine and Public Health in Popular Graphic Art, 1850-2010. Publications, prints, and ephemera from the United States and Europe containing medical and public health imagery.
Sheet Music Collection on Medical Themes, 1762-1989. Sheet music for songs about the medical profession, songs advertising patent medicines and medical practitioners, and sheet music covers with illustrations using medical themes.
- William Van Duyn Tobacco Advertisement Collection, 1913-2002. Magazine advertisements, ephemera, and photographs depicting tobacco products advertising or using tobacco products for other promotions and materials about smoking cessation and litigation against tobacco companies.
The mission of the Yale Archives of Plastic Surgery is to form a corpus of material that presents a historic perspective of late-twentieth-century plastic surgery. Materials in these collections include correspondence, writings, patient records, photographs and optical media, drawings, financial records, and research.
M. Felix Freshwater Papers, circa 1940-2016. Materials document Dr. Freshwater’s education; fellowships and residencies; building a professional practice and establishing the Miami Institute of Hand and Microsurgery; research and writings; and affiliations with professional organizations.
- Gary C. Burget Papers circa 1963-2016. Materials document Dr. Burget’s medical practice in Chicago, publications, and teaching.
The official archives for the Yale Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, and Physician Associate Program is Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. However, the Medical Historical Library holds a large collection of Yale School of Medicine publications and photographs, as well as some manuscripts. For more information about Yale-related materials in the Medical Historical Library collections, see Yale Materials.
We are continually adding new collections or improving access to collections in the archives. Recent additions include:
- Stanley B. Burns, M.D., Historic Medical Photography Collection, circa 1840-1979
- Elias S. Cohen Collection of Sheet Music and Cartoons on Aging, circa 1799-1999
- Myron Genel Papers, 1974-2016
- Sally Hitchcock Pullman at the Yale School of Nursing Papers, 1941-1944
- Wilfrid Rall Computational Neuroscience Research Collection, 1963-2020
- Waltham Hospital Medical Records, 1889-1897