The Archives for Women in Medicine actively acquires, preserves, promotes, and provides access to the professional and personal records of outstanding women leaders, starting with the Harvard-affiliated community. We are eager to broaden our scope, and to continue collecting, preserving, sharing, and celebrating the work of these pioneers.
Here are some of our recent acquisitions, all of which are in queue to be processed for scholarly access.
- The Elizabeth B. Connell, M.D. Papers
- The Francine M. Benes, M.D., Ph.D. Papers
- The Tayyaba Hasan, Ph.D. Papers
- The Bertha K. Madras, Ph.D. Papers
- The Patricia Donahoe, M.D. Papers
- The Malkah T. Notman, M.D. Papers
- The Mary Ellen Wohl, M.D. Papers
- The Anne B. Young, M.D. Papers
Mary Ellen Avery, M.D., was appointed Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in 1974, and served as Physician-in-Chief at The Children’s Hospital, Boston, from 1974-1985, the first woman to serve as clinical chief of Children’s Hospital. Avery is known for her 1959 discovery of the cause of respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants: the lack of lung surfactant. Avery also established the Joint Program in Neonatology, a training, patient care, and research program which formed “one nursery in three locations:” Children’s Hospital, Boston; Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center); and the Boston Hospital for Women (now Brigham and Women’s Hospital).
Leona Baumgartner (1902-1991), was the first woman commissioner of the New York City Department of Health, 1954 to 1962, and was later a national advocate and adviser to the federal government on the expansion of public health efforts in maternal health, preventive medicine, and international aid.
Throughout her prominent career in public health administration, Baumgartner was dedicated to health education as a cornerstone of building a healthier community. After becoming district health officer in 1939, she coordinated a growing number of health services, such as school health programs, parenting classes, and clinics on venereal disease.
This collection was processed under the Foundations in Public Health Policy Grant.
Grete L. Bibring, (1899-1977), noted psychoanalyst, was one of the members of the "second generation" of Freudian Scholars, and played a leading role in the integration of psychiatry with general patient care.
She worked as a training analyst and instructor at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute from 1933-1938. In 1938, she and her family left Vienna for London with Sigmund and Anna Freud in advance of the Nazi takeover of Austria. They soon emigrated to Boston.
In Boston, Bibring's career flourished. She was appointed head of the department of psychiatry at the Beth Israel Hospital in 1946, the first woman head of a clinical department at Harvard Medical School. She worked in that role until 1955, at which time she was appointed psychiatrist- in-chief. She remained there until her retirement in 1965.
Myrtelle M. Canavan's medical research led to the identification of a rare disorder of the central nervous system in 1931 that would later be named Canavan’s disease.
Canavan became resident pathologist at the Boston State Hospital in 1910 and four years later was appointed pathologist to the Massachusetts Department of Mental Diseases. During this time she studied the neuropathological basis of mental disease. In 1920, Canavan became acting director of the laboratories of the Boston Psychopathic Hospital. Canavan worked as curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum, Harvard University Medical School from 1924 to 1945. While curator, Canavan strengthened the collections of the Warren Museum, acquiring some 1500 specimens for research and teaching.
Lydia Dawes (1896-1990) was a pioneer in child psychiatry and the first child analyst and child psychiatrist at Children's Hospital. The collection includes her lectures, drafts of publications, records of the Wellesley Project, and her extensive correspondence with Anna Freud.
Ethel Collins Dunham, 1883-1969, graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1918, and completed an internship in pediatrics under Dr. John Howland in 1920. Dunham then was appointed instructor at Yale Medical School in 1920, was promoted to assistant and then associate clinical professor in 1927. During this time, Dunham became a consultant to the United States Children’s Bureau.
In 1935, Dunham left Yale and was appointed chief of child development at the Children’s Bureau, where her life partner, Martha May Eliot, was appointed assistant chief. From 1949-1951, Dunham worked at the World Health Organization, studying premature birth with an international group of experts in Geneva. When Martha May Eliot was appointed head of the Children’s Bureau in 1951, she and Dunham moved to Washington, D.C.. In 1957, the American Pediatric Society awarded Dunham their highest honor, the John Howland Medal, the first woman pediatrician to receive the award. When Eliot resigned in 1957, the two women relocated to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Carola Eisenberg (b. 1917), B.A., 1933, Liceo Nacional De Senoritas, Buenos Aires, Argentina; M.A., 1935, School of Psychiatric Social Work, Hospicio De Las Mercedes, Buenos Aires, Argentina; M.D., 1944, University of Buenos Aires, is a psychiatrist and medical educator. Eisenberg served as Dean for Student Affairs at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1972 to 1978 (the first woman to hold that position) and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, from 1978 to 1990.
Anne Pappenheimer Forbes (1911-1992) was Clinical Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. While at Massachusetts General Hospital, Forbes collaborated with Fuller Albright and contributed to the discovery of several diseases including Forbes-Albright Syndrome, a dysfunction of the pituitary gland, which bears their names. Much of her research focused on Cushing’s, Turner’s, and Klinefelter’s syndromes, as well as calcium and phosphorous metabolism, amenorrhea, kidney stones, bone diseases, estrogen use, parathyroid glands, and the link between osteoporosis and menopause. Her ovarian research contributed to the study of reproductive endocrinology within internal medicine rather than obstetrics, and the development of the Ovarian Dysfunction Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Elizabeth D. Hay (1927-2007), B.A., 1948, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts; M.D., 1952, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland, was chair of the Department of Anatomy (later the Department of Cell Biology) at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and the first woman to be made a full professor in a preclinical department at Harvard Medical School.
E. Tessa Hedley-Whyte (1937- ) is an anatomic pathologist, neuropathologist, Harvard Medical School professor (1991- ) and researcher for organizations such as the Alzheimer Disease Research Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The E. Tessa Hedley-Whyte papers (1956-2006) are the product of her career and include her lectures and writings, professional records, research records, professional correspondence, and personal and biographical materials. Materials in this collection cover topics such as cholesterol, myelin, the kidneys, infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy, cytomegalic inclusion disease, AIDS, dexamethasone, pituitary adenomas and the Epstein-Barr virus.
Mary Lee Ingbar, Ph.D., MPH, is a health economist who developed theories concerning interaction between managerial structures of health care programs, and their effectiveness in meeting constituency needs. As Research Associate at the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration from 1961 to 1966, she undertook, with Lester Taylor, the first econometric study of hospital costs using United States data. Among her many appointments, Ingbar has served as Associate Program Director of The Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Program at the University of California, San Francisco; Professor of Family and Community Medicine in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; and Principal Associate in Medicine and Health Policy at Harvard Medical School. Throughout her career, Ingbar consulted on government projects concerning economic aspects of health care policy, and held many city, state, and federal directorships and consultancies.
Joanne S. Ingwall (1941-), B.S., 1963, LaMoyne College; Ph.D., 1968, Cornell University, was Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Laboratory. Her main areas of research include 31P-NMR studies of normal and diseased hearts and she is known for being the first person to put a heart in an NMR machine.
Ingwall was the founder and Director of the NMR Laboratory for Physiological Chemistry at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at Harvard Medical School. In addition to her professional activities, Ingwall served on multiple committees while at Harvard Medical School. She served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Medical Area Joint Committee on the Status of Women, Co-Chair of the Research Career Development Committee (RCDC) of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Research Council, and Vice Chair for Faculty Development in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Ingwall also became the first director of the Office for Faculty Development at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Irma Seijo Jarcho (nee Irma H. Seijo, b. 1918) MPH, 1945, Harvard School of Public Health, was a graduate student at the Harvard School of Public Health from 1944 to 1945. Jarcho was a bacteriologist, medical researcher, and science educator. Jarcho chaired the science department at New York’s New Lincoln School, where she co-founded the Teacher’s Clearing House for Science and Society Education in 1982. The collection contains Jarcho’s four notebooks from her courses taken while a student at the Harvard School of Public Health.
This collection was processed under the Foundations in Public Health Policy Grant.
The Fanny Bowditch Katz Papers, 1901-1934, consist of Katz's correspondence and papers relating to her psychoanalysis treatment by Carl Jung. The collection contains ten letters from Jung and twenty-six letters from neurologist James Jackson Putnam dating from the course of her treatment. Additional items include include Katz ’s notebooks with notes from Jung and Alfred Adler’s lectures, and other personal records such as accounts of her fantasies, poems, drawings, and clippings.
Janet Ward McArthur (1914-2006), was Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology (1972-1984) and co-director of the Vincent Memorial Laboratory (1977-1979) at the Massachusetts General Hospital. McArthur was the first woman appointed to a full professorship at MGH.
McArthur published 113 articles from 1939 to 1995 on endocrinology and gynecology. Her research interests included the thyroid gland, use of bioassays, menstruation, ovulation, polycystic ovary syndrome, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and the hormonal effects of exercise. Among other accomplishments, McArthur discovered that levels of LH peak during the middle of the menstrual cycle, triggering ovulation. McArthur served on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism from 1965 to 1970. In 1976, she helped found Women in Endocrinology, a national association which seeks to advance the careers of female endocrinologists.
Miriam Friedman Menkin (1901-1992), BA, Cornell University, 1922, MA, Columbia University, 1923, was a laboratory assistant to John Rock at the Free Hospital for Women in Brookline, Mass. She was born in Riga, Latvia in 1901 and immigrated with her family to the United States in 1903. Menkin is best known for performing the first in vitro fertilization of a human egg, in 1944. Prior to joining Rock in 1938, Menkin had worked on fertility research with biologist Gregory Pincus.
Christiana Drummond Morgan (1897-1967) was a lay psychoanalyst and research associate at Harvard's Psychological Unit (1926-1960's) and a patient of Dr. Carl Jung. Morgan was married to William Morgan from 1919 until his death in 1934. She also had a forty-year professional and romantic relationship with psychoanalyst Henry Murray, whom she met in 1926, and subsequently worked and collaborated with at Harvard's Psychological Unit. Morgan and Murray co-authored the Thematic Apperception Test, a widely used tool in clinical psychology, and published A Clinical Study of Sentiments, which focused on personality study.
Eva Julia (Augenblick) Neer (1937-2000), B.A., 1957, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Barnard College, New York, New York; M.D., 1963, Columbia University, New York, New York, was a Professor of Biochemistry at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts and a researcher in biochemistry and cytology with a specialization in proteins. Neer was the second woman at Harvard Medical School to receive a tenured professorship.
Marian Cabot Putnam (1893-1971) A.B. 1917, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts; M.D. 1921, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland, was a child analyst and child development specialist and one of the founders of the Judge Baker Children’s Center, later the James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center.
Lynne M. Reid (1923-), M.B. and B.S., 1946, University of Melbourne School of Medicine, was a resident at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Melbourne, Australia (1949-1951); research assistant and founder of the Department of Research in Morbid Anatomy at the Brompton Hospital, London, England; the first person to serve as Dean of the Cardiothoracic Institute at London University (1973); Head of the Department of Pathology at Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (1975-1989); and S. Burt Wolbach Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Her research interests include lung growth and how it is affected by childhood diseases including cystic fibrosis, scoliosis, and respiratory distress syndrome. She also studied chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and pediatric pulmonary and arterial hypertension.
Priscilla Ann Schaffer (1941-2009), B.S., 1964, Hobart and William Smith College, Geneva, New York; Ph.D., 1969, Cornell Medical College, New York, New York was Professor of Medicine in the Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Schaffer's research focused on herpes simplex virus (HSV) viral gene expression, DNA replication, glycoproteins, and drug mechanisms and resistance. Schaffer is also credited with isolating and characterizing temperature-sensitive mutants of HSV 1 and 2, as well as mutants resistant to immune cytolysis and antiviral drugs for research use. Schaffer also held appointments as Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas (1969-1976) and Chair of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia (1996-2000).
Kathryn Lyle Stephenson, 1912-1993, was one of the first female plastic surgeons to practice in the United States and the first woman to be editor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. She received her BA from the University of Arizona in 1936, and her MD from the University of Kansas Medical School in 1941. Stephenson was certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 1950 and in 1951 became the first woman to join the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. She served on the board of directors of the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (1961-1963) and was a founding member and president (1967-1968) of the California Society of Plastic Surgeons. She was also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Nancy J. Tarbell (born 1951), B.A., University of Rhode Island, 1973; M.D., State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, is Dean for Academic and Clinical Affairs and C.C. Wang Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Tarbell has held positions at Massachusetts General Hospital (Director, Pediatric Radiation Oncology Unit, Department of Radiation Oncology; Director, Center for Faculty Development; Director, Office for Women's Careers; and Professor of Radiation Oncology) and Children’s Hospital (Chief of the Division of Radiation Therapy), both in Boston. Tarbell’s research focuses on pediatric oncology, specifically, pediatric brain tumors. Nancy Jane Tarbell was born in 1951 in Hudson, Massachusetts to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stone Tarbell. Tarbell was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2002, and in 2011, she received the Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine’s Award of Excellence. She has authored numerous articles on proton radiotherapy for pediatric tumors.
The Women in Medicine Oral Histories were an initiative of the Joint Committee on the Status of Women to document the experiences of women in the Harvard Medical community, in their own words, and to capture data about the history and development of this community.
The online Women in Medicine Oral History Portal was created by the Archives for Women in Medicine in celebration of the JCSW's 35th Anniversary in 2008. At this portal, you can freely search, browse, and watch oral history videos from the 1980s through the present, and hear these luminaries discuss their lives and careers, including their research, how they've balanced work and family life, what inspired them to enter the medical field, their relationships with mentors, and the challenges and triumphs they've experienced as women in medicine.
View digitized letters, photographs, research records, and other materials from the Archives for Women in Medicine at our online collections site: OnView.