Medical History at the University of Pennsylvania
Physicians Papers

Prepared by Joseph - James Ahern
February 2013

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.



William Martin Papers, 1757 – 1796
UPT 50 M379, 24 Items

William Martin graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and established a practice in Georgetown, Virginia. Three years later he returned to Chester, Pennsylvania, where he continued his medical career. The William Martin Papers consist of miscellaneous manuscripts that were bound by his grandson, John Hill Martin, around 1865. The documents include legal cases, medical observations, correspondence, speeches, and literary extracts in Martin's handwriting.



William Edmonds Horner Papers, 1821 – 1969
UPT 50 H816, 18 Items

William Edmonds Horner was dean of the Medical School of Pennsylvania (1822-1852), Professor of Anatomy (1831-1853), and wrote the first pathology textbook published in the United States (Treatise on Pathological Anatomy, 1829). In 1816 Horner began his career at the University of Pennsylvania when he was offered the position of dissector by Caspar Wistar, eventually rising to the position of Dean of the Medical School, and professor of anatomy. He traveled to Europe in 1821, where in France he was impressed by their advances in pathology, which influenced him to write a textbook on the subject and introduce the topic to American medical schools. The Journals detail William Edmonds Horner's travels from the United States to Europe in 1821. Horner visited many of the usual sites of interest; he also visited many of the hospitals, physicians, and instrument makers - making notes on medical practices, anatomical collections, and other observations. He was particularly taken by the Hunterian Collection in London, and describes the method for making wax anatomical preparations which he learned from the curator.


Crawford Williamson Long Collection, 1842 – 1878
UPT 50 L848, 1 Item

Crawford Williamson Long was a member of the Medical Class of 1839, and was the first surgeon in American to use ether as an anesthetic in a surgical operation in 1842. Long's rural location and busy practice delayed his reporting of his findings until 1849. The Crawford Williamson Long Collection contains photographs of documents attesting to his use of ether as an anesthetic. The source of the letters is not indicated.


Nathan Francis Mossell Papers, 1873 – 1983
UPT 50 M913, 1.75 Cu Ft.

Dr. Nathan Francis Mossell serves as a pioneer among African American medical professionals in the late nineteenth century, paving an educational as well as professional path for both black men and women in Philadelphia as physicians and nurses. In 1879, Mossell became one of the first African Americans enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1882, Mossell was the first African American to receive a diploma from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. Roughly a decade late, in 1895, Dr. Mossell established the first private black hospital in the city and the second in the United States, the Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital and Nurse Training School at 1512 Lombard Street. The Nathan Mossell Papers document his medical career and social leadership from the 1890s to 1940s and they include professional and public writings by Dr. Mossell, specifically on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital and socio-political issues facing African Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Philadelphia Physicians Album, 1876
UPP 9504 P 544, 1 Cu Ft.

This album consists of "photographical portraits" taken at the time of the Centennial Exhibition in 1876. Some University of Pennsylvania faculty members are included among the prominent Philadelphians featured. Note that not all of the approximately 390 images are fully identified.



Virginia Margaret Alexander Record Group, 1920 – 1975
UPT 50 A374V, 2 Cu Ft.

Virginia Margaret Alexander was the younger sister of Raymond Pace Alexander. After attending the University of Pennsylvania, she attended the Medical College of Pennsylvania and completed an internship at Kansas City General Hospital. She returned to Philadelphia in 1923 to practice medicine, and in 1935 was instrumental in bringing Dr. Helen O. Dickens to Philadelphia. The collection contains biographical material, correspondence, and records for the Dr. Virginia M. Alexander Scholarship Foundation.


James Morton Boice Scrapbook, 1893 – 1915
UPT 50 B678, 1 Volume

James Morton Boice received his of Bachelor of Arts degree in 1899 from the University of Pennsylvania. After studying abroad, Boice returned to Philadelphia and resumed his medical research, receiving an M.D. from the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia in 1904. Following graduation, he practiced medicine, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, and assisted at many hospitals in Philadelphia. The James Morton Boice Scrapbook documents the social life of Boice and his involvement in a wide range of academic, professional, and social organizations. The scrapbook also contains items relating to Boice's post-graduate travels abroad, his work at the Medico-Chirurgical College in Philadelphia, his involvement in local hospitals, and his active social life in Philadelphia.


Helen Octavia Dickens Papers, 1934 – 2001
UPT 50 D548, 27 Cu Ft.

Helen Octavia Dickens was a 1934 graduate of the University of Illinois School of Medicine, the only African American woman in her graduating class. Later in her career she sought further training in obstetrics and gynecology, spending a year at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medicine. Dickens passed the board examinations in 1945, becoming the first female African American board-certified OB/GYN in Philadelphia. That year, Dr. Dickens became Director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy Douglass Hospital in Philadelphia. In 1951, Dr. Dickens joined the courtesy staff of Women's Hospital and would later be named chief of obstetrics and gynecology. When the University of Pennsylvania took over the Women's Hospital in 1956, Dr. Dickens became a member of the staff and faculty in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the School of Medicine, becoming the first black woman to serve in this position. In addition to her medical practice, she was professor of obstetrics and gynecology. The Helen O. Dickens Papers document the latter half of Dickens’ career in the field of medicine, medical education and public health. The collection contains correspondence, articles, reprints, grant proposals and some notes regarding Dickens’ work in teenage pregnancy during the 1960s and 1970s which can be found in the Medical and Correspondence series.


Samuel Bernard Hadden Papers, 1918 – 1988
UPT 50 H126, 4 Cu Ft.

Samuel Bernard Hadden attended the University of Pennsylvania and received an A.B., 1922 and M.D., 1924. He served his internship and residency with the Philadelphia General Hospital. Dr. Hadden served in several teaching capacities from 1926 to 1941 at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Department of Neurology. In 1941 he was appointed Associate Professor, 1941-1947. Early in his career Samuel Hadden's main interest was neurology. Gradually he became more interested in the neuro-psychology. By 1953 his professional attention turned almost exclusively to mental health. Hadden is best known as a pioneer in group psychotherapy. The Samuel Bernard Hadden Papers, 1918-1988, mainly document the professional contributions of Dr. Hadden in the field of Psychiatry, and in particular group psychotherapy.


T. Grier Miller Papers, 1946 – 1981
UPT 50 M651, 0.4 Cu Ft.

T. Grier Miller was a medical educator, researcher and practitioner who earned his the University of Pennsylvania in 1911. He was a member the faculty of the School of Medicine from 1913-1953 and is credited with instituting psychiatric services at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition Miller invented the Miller-Abbott Tube in 1934 with W. Osler Abbott which revolutionized gastrointestinal diagnosis, treatment and surgery. The collection includes correspondence with colleagues pertaining to the mechanics of providing psychiatric services at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; autobiographical recollections by Miller of those events which precipitated the establishment of the Psychiatric Clinic; and personal correspondence with family members.


Harold Glendon Scheie Papers, 1918 – 1990
UPT 50 S318, 41 Cu Ft.

Harold Scheie attended the University of Minnesota and received a B.S., 1931, and M.D., 1936. He completed his Internship, 1935-1937, and Residency, 1938-1940, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1940, he received a D.Sc., from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Scheie secured a position as Instructor and then Associate Professor of Ophthalmology in the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania, 1940-1942. During World War II, he served, with the other staff members of the Medical School, at the 31st Hospital Unit of the Army Medical Corps, located on the Ledo Road in the China, Burma, India Theatre. Scheie treated many patients while serving in the Army; his most memorable patient, however, was Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma. After the war, he returned to the Department of Ophthalmology in the Medical School, University of Pennsylvania. He remained connected the University for the remainder of his professional life. The Harold Glendon Scheie Papers mainly document the professional contributions and achievements of Dr. Scheie in the field of Ophthalmology. There is a small group of personal papers, but these papers, in large part, still reflect in some way upon his devotion to his profession.