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Archives for Women in Medicine (AWM)

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View digitized letters, photographs, research records, and other materials from the
Archives for Women in Medicine at our new online collections site: OnView.


New Collections »
Collections Open for Research »
Women in Medicine Oral Histories »


New Collections

Here are some of our recent acquisitions, all of which are in queue to be processed for scholarly access. 

  • The Patricia Donahoe, M.D. Papers
  • The Nancy Tarbell, M.D. Papers
  • The Carol Nadelson, M.D. Papers
  • The Malkah T. Notman, M.D. Papers
  • The Anne B. Young, M.D. Papers

Help us open these important collections for research.
Find out how you can support the Archives for Women in Medicine.



Collections Open for Research

The Mary Ellen Avery Papers, 1929-2002 »
The Leona Baumgartner Papers, 1830-1979 »
The Grete L. Bibring Papers, 1882-1977 »
The Myrtelle M. Canavan Papers, 1898-1945 »
The Lydia M. Gibson Dawes Papers,1926-1959 »
The Ethel C. Dunham Papers, 1952-1965 »
The Carola Eisenberg Papers, 1945-2006 »
The Anne Pappenheimer Forbes Papers, 1930-1991 »
The Elizabeth D. Hay Papers, 1922-2007 »
The E. Tessa Hedley-Whyte Papers, 1956-2006 »
The Mary Lee Ingbar Papers, 1946-1996 »
The Joanne S. Ingwall Papers, 1961-2009 »
The Irma S. Jarcho Student Notebooks, 1944-1945 »
The Fanny Bowditch Katz Papers, 1901-1934 »
The Janet Ward McArthur Papers, 1939-2005 »
The Christiana Morgan Papers, 1925-1974 »
The Lynne M. Reid Papers, 1933-1997 »
Related Collections »


The Mary Ellen Avery Papers, 1929-2002

Mary Ellen Avery, circa 1960

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. Her main areas of research were in lung biochemistry, surface tension, neonatology, and pulmonary physiology. Avery is known for her 1959 discovery of the cause of respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants: the lack of lung surfactant, a foamy fluid which creates surface tension and allows the lungs to inflate. Avery also had a keen interest in training young physicians, and while at Children’s Hospital she 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).


The Mary Ellen Avery Papers consist of personal and professional correspondence, teaching materials, professional activities records, grant records, diaries, articles and drafts, and lectures from Avery’s life and career as a pediatrician, researcher, educator, and administrator.


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The Leona Baumgartner Papers, 1830-1979

Leona Baumgartner

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.


Maternal and child health care was an important focus throughout her years in public services and informed her decision to promote family planning practices and birth control. She is credited with convincing President Lyndon Johnson to reverse government policy on funding for international programs providing birth control to make contraception more widely available. She was an early advocate using the Salk vaccine to immunize against polio and was an integral advocate for fluoridation of New York City’s water supply.


As health commissioner, Baumgartner continued in the vein of Dr. S. Josephine Baker, who began a tradition of home health visits, by giving weekly radio and television addresses that tackled topics such as home safety and sanitation practices. The recipient of numerous honors, Baumgartner was awarded the Sedgwick Medal, the Albert Lasker Award, the Elizabeth Blackwell Award, the Samuel J. Crumbine Award, and the Public Welfare Award from the National Academy of Sciences.


This collection was processed under the Foundations in Public Health Policy Grant.


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The Grete L. Bibring Papers, 1882-1977

Grete L. Bibring

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 soon 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.


Bibring also held leadership roles in many other organizations and professional associations, serving as president of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and the American Psychoanalytic Association. In 1968 she was selected to be a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was affiliated with numerous other organizations, including the Radcliffe Institute, Brandeis University, and the International Psycho-Analytic Association, until her death in 1977.

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The Myrtelle M. Canavan Papers, 1898-1945

Myrtelle M. Canavan

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.


She attended Michigan Agricultural College, 1898-1899, University of Michigan Medical School, 1899-1902, and Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1903-1905; M.D., 1905.


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. With Southard and others Canavan authored a monograph series, Waverly Researches in the Pathology of the Feeble-minded. After Southard's death 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.

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The Lydia M. Gibson Dawes Papers,1926-1959

Lydia M. Gibson

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. The collection had been sought by researchers in the past; now, with improved description in Harvard and national catalogs, the collection will be more visible to interested researchers.


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The Ethel C. Dunham Papers, 1952-1965

Martha May Eliot (left) and Ethel Collins Dunham, 1915. Photo courtesy of The Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

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. Dunham, whose specialty was in newborn babies, and in particular, premature babies, established national (US) standards for the care of newborns. These standards were published as Standards and Recommendations for the Hospital Care of Newborn Infants, Full Term and Premature (1943). In Premature Infants: A Manual for Physicians, she expanded on her research to include information from other countries.

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.

In addition to her public advocacy work and developing standards for newborn infant care, Dunham also championed research. In the mid-to late 1950s, Dunham became interested in opossum babies to see if correlations could be made between opossums (who as marsupials, are born very pre-mature, and develop in the mother's pouch), and premature human babies.

More biographical information about Ethel Collins Dunham is available on the National Library of Medicine's Changing the Face of Medicine's website.

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The Carola Eisenberg Papers, 1945-2006

Carola Eisenberg

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.

The Carola Eisenberg papers (1977-2006) consist of lectures given by Eisenberg at conferences, commencements, and other events primarily on the topic of women in medicine, often accompanied by related records. The collection also includes letters of recommendation and associated correspondence between Eisenberg and students, admission committees, and employers, and assorted personal papers, including correspondence, photographs, and newspaper clippings from her period of service as the Dean of Student Affairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Harvard Medical School.

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The Anne Pappenheimer Forbes Papers, 1930-1991

Anne Pappenheimer Forbes

Anne Pappenheimer Forbes (1911-1992) was Clinical Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. 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.

More information on Dr. Forbes can be found in the online exhibit, The Stethoscope Sorority: Stories from the Archives for Women in Medicine.

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The Elizabeth D. Hay Papers, 1922-2007

Elizabeth D. Hay

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.

The Elizabeth D. Hay papers are the product of Hay’s work as a cell biologist and related professional activities, including attendance at conferences, manuscript preparation, laboratory research, teaching, and collaboration with other researchers. The papers reflect Hay’s involvement in the field of cell biology and embryology as a research scientist, including her work as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and her activities as a member of various professional organizations, such as the American Association of Anatomists, the National Academy of Sciences, the Society for Developmental Biology, and the American Society for Cell Biology. Hay was a frequent speaker at conferences and lectured as a guest faculty member at other educational institutions; her papers reflect invitations to speak at national and international conferences and medical schools. Hay kept extensive reference files of reprints, both her own and those authored by others in her field of interest. The papers also include a small amount of personal material reflecting Hay’s fondness for cats and interest in mycology.

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The E. Tessa Hedley-Whyte Papers, 1956-2006

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.

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The Mary Lee Ingbar Papers, 1946-1996

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. Subsequently, she worked for several years on many national and regional committees, addressing such issues as medical costs, hospital planning, day care organization, and alcoholism. 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.

The collection, which consists of case studies, correspondence, grant applications and proposals, lecture and speech notes, reports, syllabi, writings, and photographs, reflects and documents Ingbar's research in health economics topics such as efficient record-keeping, cost of nursing services, and cost containment in medical schools.

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The Joanne S. Ingwall Papers, 1961-2009


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 is known for her use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the study of cardiac energetics. During the course of her career, Ingwall studied normal cardiac development and major cardiac diseases such as myocardial ischemia and hypertrophy. 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 1972 she was awarded the Louis N. Katz Basic Science Research Award from the American Heart Association. Ingwall also served on numerous editorial boards and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Basic Science Council of the American Heart Association, the International Society of Heart Research, and the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 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. Besides her research in the NMR laboratory and professional responsibilities, much of Ingwall’s time was spent mentoring post-doctoral students.

The Joanne S. Ingwall Papers, 1961-2009, consists of correspondence, research records, writings, reports, grant records, professional records, personal records and administrative records produced by Ingwall while a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Papers also contain records from her work at the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital, from her work as a faculty member at the University of California, San Diego. Correspondence includes letters of recommendation, faculty evaluations, reports from meetings, and committee correspondence. Writings include unpublished data from Ingwall's research at the NMR Lab on hypertrophy, infarcation and ischemia in rat and human hearts, as well as research on creatine kinase. Professional records consist of Ingwall's research data from her sabbatical, as well as lecture notes and teaching materials, in addition to reports from her time served on various committees. Travel and meeting records consist of reports from multiple Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine conferences, as well as numerous symposiums. Administrative records include correspondence, policies and manuals, reports and invoices from the activities at the NMR Lab.


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The Irma S. Jarcho Student Notebooks, 1944-1945


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.

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The Fanny Bowditch Katz Papers, 1901-1934

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.

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The Janet Ward McArthur Papers, 1939-2005

Janet W. McArthur

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.

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The Christiana Morgan Papers, 1925-1974


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.

The Morgan Papers include professional writings, diaries, and correspondence that are the result of Morgan's work as a lay psychoanalyst, as well as her romantic relationship and professional collaborations with Henry Murray. Diaries, notebooks, and writings about trances and Jung's Vision Seminars chronicle Morgan's experiences as a patient of Carl Jung in the 1920s.

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The Lynne M. Reid Papers, 1933-1997

Lynne M. Reid

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.

The Lynne M. Reid papers are a product of Reid’s work as a medical researcher and instructor in the field of thoracic medicine and her related professional activities, including her membership in professional organizations (such as the Society of Pediatric Pathology, the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, and the Fleischner Society) and service as a frequent speaker at local, national, and international meetings and conferences. Papers include draft manuscripts and outlines for speeches and presentations; records related to her research at the Brompton Hospital in London and at Children’s Hospital in Boston, including her work as principle investigator for the Specialized Center of Research at Children’s Hospital and research focused on issues related to the development of the lung, such as bronchiectasis, pulmonary hypertension, primary pulmonary hypertension, and meconium aspiration in newborns; and travel materials, including personal sightseeing and touring plans. Also included are materials reflecting Reid’s work as an invited evaluator of staff and programs at other institutions, including the Children’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada and as a dedicated manuscript reviewer for professional journals.

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Related Collections

National Committee on Maternal Health Records, 1923-1959
   View the online catalog record
   View the finding aid

The Free Hospital for Women Records, 1875-1975
   View the online catalog record
   View the finding aid
The Free Hospital for Women Records, 1879-1969
   View the online catalog record

The Boston Hospital for Women Records, 1926–1983
   View the online catalog record
   View the finding aid

The Boston Women's Health Book Collective Subject Files,1980-2000
   View the online catalog record
   View the finding aid

The Geraldine K. Martin Scrapbook, 1915
   View the online catalog record

Isabella Harkom photograph album, circa 1917
   View the online catalog record


Women in Medicine Oral Histories

Watch the oral histories online

» Visit the Oral History Portal to watch the videos


The Women in Medicine Oral Histories are part of an ongoing 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.



Oral history project, Joint Committee on the Status of Women, 1982-1983

Oral history project, Joint Committee on the Status of Women, 2005-2008




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