Guide to the Records of the Medical School Dean, Arthur R. Edwards

Collection Title: Records of the Medical School Dean, Arthur R. Edwards
Dates: 1905-1912
Identification: 18/7/4
Creator: Edwards, Arthur Robin, 1867-1936
Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Medical School
Extent: 1 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Records of the Medical School Dean, Arthur R. Edwards, consist of one box, spanning the years 1905 to 1912. The bulk of the records consists of correspondence to and from Dean Edwards. Also included are documents relating to faculty appointments and correspondence from the Junior Dean, W.S. Hall, a physiologist who was the first professor to hold the Nathan Smith Davis Professorship. The records are divided into two subseries, Correspondence and Faculty.
Acquisition Information: The Records of Medical School Dean Arthur R. Edwards were separated from Accession #97-113, transferred to the University Archives by Chris Simoni of the Gary Law Library on August 13, 1997.
Processing Information: Emma Maack, August 2005
Separated Materials: A small amount of duplicate and extraneous material was discarded. A few items were separated and added to the University Archives' General Files.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
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

Arthur Robin Edwards spent many years at Northwestern, first as a student and later as a member of the Medical School faculty and Dean of the Medical School. Edwards earned his B.A. in 1888, his M.D. in 1891, and joined the faculty of the Medical School in 1892. He served as Secretary of the Faculty for several years, then in 1907 he became Dean and held that position as well as his faculty position until 1916.

Among Edwards' priorities as Dean were obtaining endowments and increasing research activities. Discussion of endowments can be found in his correspondence, along with matters such as relationships between the Medical School and various hospitals and rearrangement of course requirements. During Edwards' tenure as Dean, the Medical School was in the process of adjusting to new and changing standards in the field; this is reflected in a new requirement for two years of college before entering the Medical School, discussion of a six year combined B.A. and M.D. program, and a required internship for students of medicine.

After a period of some controversy, Edwards resigned in 1916 to allow for the appointment of a Dean who would be a full-time administrator. The next Dean was Arthur I. Kendall, who had been a Professor of Bacteriology. Edwards continued to teach at the Medical School for one year, after which he left Northwestern altogether; he died in Boston in 1936.

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

Scope and Content

The Records of the Medical School Dean, Arthur R. Edwards, consist of one box, spanning the years 1905 to 1912. The bulk of the records consists of correspondence to and from Dean Edwards. Also included are documents relating to faculty appointments and correspondence from the Junior Dean, W.S. Hall, a physiologist who was the first professor to hold the Nathan Smith Davis Professorship. The records are divided into two subseries, Correspondence and Faculty.

Correspondence files, which span the years 1905 to 1912, include both incoming and outgoing correspondence on a variety of topics. Some of these topics, such as a lengthy controversy with the University of Kansas over transfer policies, are unique, but much of the correspondence deals with routine matters. These include prospective students, the cost of running departments, the needs of professors and departments, professors taking leave, the availability of internships and situations involving particular students. Documents are arranged chronologically within the folders. Correspondence from Junior Dean W.S. Hall is foldered separately. Hall's correspondence includes answers to inquiries on medical topics, recommendations and responses to notices of internships and employment for seniors, letters to graduates who had not repaid their loans, and considerable discussion of individual professional interests and activities.

Faculty files, all dating from the year 1911, relate to both old and new faculty. These files contain basic background information on nominees for faculty positions, documents indicating which nominees were given appointments, and also slips indicating the reappointment of faculty members and their positions. Both the folders and documents within the folders in this subseries are arranged alphabetically.

Arrangement of Materials

The records are divided into two subseries, Correspondence and Faculty.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Medical School

Personal Name

Edwards, Arthur Robin, 1867-1936

Subjects

Deans (Education)--Illinois--Chicago


Container List / Contents

  • Correspondence
    • Correspondence, 1905, 1908Box 1, Folder 1
    • Correspondence, 1909Box 1, Folder 2
    • Correspondence, 1910Box 1, Folder 3
    • Correspondence, 1911Box 1, Folder 4
    • Correspondence, n.d.Box 1, Folder 5
    • W.S. Hall correspondence, 1910-1912Box 1, Folder 6
  • Faculty
    • Faculty nominations, n.d.Box 1, Folder 7
    • New faculty appointments, 1911Box 1, Folder 8
    • Reappointment slips, 1911Box 1, Folder 9