The Edwin J. De Costa Papers fill three boxes and span the period, 1925-1987. Most of the material dates from 1925 through the 1960s; only a small amount of material dates afterward. The De Costa Papers are arranged into five categories: biographical materials, undergraduate and medical college files, teaching files, speeches and paper presentations, and publications. Two folders of correspondence and two folders of materials related to the Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Central Travel Club of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are also included.
The biographical materials include curricula vitae, bibliographies, an appointment book, newspaper clippings, and professional organizations' programs at which De Costa was scheduled to give a speech. Many of the clippings document De Costa's views on such matters as the oral contraceptive pill, the sexual revolution, abortion, and venereal diseases.
The undergraduate and medical college files include one folder of undergraduate notes, three folders of medical college notes, and one folder of miscellaneous notes, primarily related to numismatics.
The teaching files, comprised mostly of lecture notes, relate to the courses De Costa taught at Cook County Hospital, Passavant Memorial Hospital, and Northwestern University Medical School.
Copies of several papers De Costa presented before professional organizations from 1949 to 1966 are included.
The publications consist mainly of article reprints from medical journals authored by De Costa.