Guide to the Northwestern University Medical School Alumni Records

Collection Title: Northwestern University Medical School Alumni Records
Dates: 1860-1965
Identification: 18/1/8
Creator: Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Medical School
Extent: 2 Cardfiles
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Northwestern University Medical School Alumni Records consist of one cubic foot of 3” x 5” index cards containing information about deceased alumni/alumnae of the Medical School. The records, maintained by the Northwestern University Medical School Alumni Association, span the years 1860 to 1965. Records include those of graduates from the Northwestern University Woman's Medical School (1892-1902).
Note: Other Information:Because this series includes two organizational systems for certain years—chronological and alphabetical—both sections need to be searched for alumni who graduated before 1927, since there may be a card in each section.
Acquisition Information: The Northwestern University Medical School Alumni Records were transferred to the University Archives by Ron Sims of the Galter Health Sciences Library on August 13, 2001, as Accession Number 01-131.
Processing Information: Janet C. Olson, August 2001
Separated Materials: None.
Conditions Governing Access: Permission to use the Northwestern University Medical School Alumni Records must be requested from the University Archivist.
Related Materials: These records supplement other resources for information on Northwestern University Medical School students and alumni, including Series 51/6, Medical School Alumni Biographical files, 1860-1926; the records in Series 18/1/1-18/1/6 all consist of student records or transcripts, circa 1902-1984; and Series 18/1/7 consists of the Records of the Office of the Registrar, 1894-1927.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

The Northwestern University Medical School began as the medical department of Lind University (later Lake Forest University) in 1859, located at Randolph and Market Streets in Chicago. In 1864, the medical department became an independent school, the Chicago Medical College, housed in a building at 22nd and State Streets. The founder of the College, Nathan Smith Davis, was an innovator in medical education who wanted to establish a three-year program that went beyond the traditional lecture-and-apprenticeship program. In 1870, the medical school affiliated with Northwestern, becoming the first professional school to be added to the liberal arts college in fulfillment of the founders' goal of creating a university. The school moved to a building at 26th Street and Prairie Avenue, where it remained until 1893. The Chicago Medical College became the Northwestern University Medical School in 1891. The Medical School moved again in 1893, to a Northwestern University plot of land on the twenty-four hundred block of South Dearborn, where it remained until Northwestern opened its Near North Side Chicago Campus in 1926.

Chicago Medical College founder Nathan Smith Davis served as the school's first dean from 1870, after its union with Northwestern, until 1898. Davis was followed by Franklin Seward Johnson (1898-1901). The third dean was Davis' son, Nathan Smith Davis, Jr. (1901-1907). The younger Davis' tenure as Dean was followed by those of Arthur Robin Edwards (1907-1916), Arthur Isaac Kendall (1916-1924), and Irving Samuel Cutler (1925-1941).

The medical school went through a number of changes in admission and graduation requirements during the first two decades of the twentieth century. In 1908 requirements for admission were raised to include one year of college, rather than just a high school diploma. In 1911, applicants were required to have completed two years of college. The American Medical Association itself did not require this level of education until 1918. Nathan Smith Davis, Jr., who favored more stringent requirements, clashed with his more traditional faculty over this issue and resigned his deanship in 1907.

In 1915, the medical school became one of six schools nationwide to require a fifth-year internship to earn the M.D. degree. These changes caused a drop in enrollment over the next few years, from 470 students in the 1909-1910 academic year to a low of 181 students in 1913-1914. Registration was up again to 413 students in 1919-1920 and, in the long run, the changes served to enhance the medical school's reputation.

For more information on the history of the Northwestern University Medical School, see Leslie B. Arey, Northwestern University Medical School, 1859-1979 (Evanston and Chicago: Northwestern University Medical School, 1979).

Scope and Content

The Northwestern University Medical School Alumni Records consist of one cubic foot of 3” x 5” index cards containing information about deceased alumni/alumnae of the Medical School. The records, maintained by the Northwestern University Medical School Alumni Association, span the years 1860 to 1965. Records include those of graduates from the Northwestern University Woman's Medical School (1892-1902).

One set of file cards, spanning graduation years 1860 to 1926, is arranged chronologically, with dividers between the years. For the most part, records consist of cards with an alphabetical list of that year's deceased graduates; specific death dates, when known, are written or typed in after the alumnus' name. Occasionally an individual alumnus' card is included within the appropriate date-span.

The bulk of the series consists of file cards, one card for each alumnus/alumna, organized alphabetically by surname. These cards span the years circa 1877 to 1965. Information on each card includes graduation year, last known address, contributions to the Alumni Association, date of death, and, in many cases, attached obituaries, letters notifying the Alumni Association of the doctor's death, and other clippings.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Medical School--Alumni and alumnae

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Woman's Medical School--Alumni and alumnae


Container List / Contents

  • Chronological cards, 1860-1926
  • Alphabetical cards, Circa 1877-1965