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Hiram T. Langston (1912-1992) Papers

Identifier: 18/3/20/1

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Scope and Contents

The Hiram T. Langston Papers, comprising five boxes and spanning the years from 1936-1982, are divided into five subseries: biographical materials; general correspondence; subject files; research and related materials on autologous blood transfusion including clinical outpatient and consultation reports, and lecture and research notes; and publications and speeches.

Biographical materials fill five folders and include vitae, army papers, travel itineraries, and appointment books spanning the periods 1963-1965 and 1978-1980. Also included here are patient case records that Langston maintained between 1939 and 1941 as required for a fellowship in the American College of Surgeons.

General correspondence is arranged in chronological order within four folders. The correspondence is both incoming and outgoing and spans the period 1946 through 1982. Much of the material deals with professional memberships and activities although some personal correspondence is included. Langston was the representative (1967-1972) of the American College of Surgeons on the Residency Review Committee for Thoracic Surgery and served as the Committee's chairman from 1969 to 1972. His interest in surveying residency training programs in thoracic surgery is reflected in the general correspondence and in greater detail in the subject files, particularly the folders entitled "AMA Interspecialty Committee," "Professional Standards Review Organization," and "National Thoracic Surgery Manpower Study." His involvement, from 1973 to 1978, in debates over cigarette smoking and lung cancer, and his position as consultant to Rothman's Ltd., also are documented in the general correspondence.

The subject files are arranged alphabetically by folder title. Within folders materials are arranged chronologically. The subject files mainly document Langston's professional interests and affiliations. Individual files are described briefly below.

The American Association for Thoracic Surgery (1958-1961)
Langston was secretary of the Association during this time and the materials reflect his activities in that position.

The American Association for Thoracic Surgery--Presidency (1969-1971)
The bulk of the file is correspondence with Leo Eloesser, whom Langston invited to speak at the Association's annual meeting in April, 1970.

AMA Interspecialty Committee (1971-1973)
Acting as alternate in 1972 and full representative in 1973, Langston was an advocate of the AMA's specialty section on thoracic surgery.

The American Trudeau Society (1951-1952)
Correspondence here reflects Lanston's interest in the activities of this society and in the study of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Chicago State Tuberculosis Sanatarium (1951-1971)
This file includes correspondence that pertains to Langson's move to Chicago from Detroit to become chief surgeon of the Sanatarium and his activities in that capacity to 1971. At the time he came to Chicago Langston also sought staff membership at Grant Hospital, Hines VA Hospital, and Presbyterian Hospital. The correspondence dating from May to July, 1971 deals exclusively with the closing of the Sanatarium. A gap in the correspondence exists for the period 1962-1970.

Economics in Thoracic Surgery (1954-1969)
Langston's involvement in a survey concerning thoracic surgery fee structure is reflected in this file of correspondence and in the paper he coauthored, "Problems of the Relative Worth of Surgical Procedures." This material is a product of his memebership in the Committee on Thoracic Surgery Fees.

Illinois Surgical Society, Inc. (1959-1960)
This file includes correspondence and meeting programs.

Lecture Notes (1936-194 ?)
Notes on a variety of clinical topics date from the 1930's and 1940's.

Multi-Hospital Consortium (1971-1976)
While on staff at Grant Hospital, Langston recommended that area hospitals should cooperate and specialize rather than duplicate services and facilities.

National Thoracic Surgery Manpower Study (1972-1975)
Langston took part in an extensive nation-wide manpower survey and evaluation leading to a published report. In addition to the report, the folders include correspondence and reports concerning the United States' quantitative needs for thoracic surgeons.

Outpatient Records (1946-1948)
Mainly examinations and laboratory reports from Langston's work at Passavant Memorial Hospital.

Professional Standards Review Organization (1973-1976)
This file reflects Langston's active interest in establishing standards in thoracic surgery, beginning with his service to the AMA Interspecialty Council in 1972-1973.

Research Notes (n.d.)
This folder of research notes pertains to bronchial adenoma, tumors, and metastasis.

Tri-State Case Conference (1971)
Langston presented a paper, "Surgery for Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Status, 1971." The correspondence reflects his preparations for delivery of this paper.

University of Illinois Faculty Appointment (February 1978-November 1978)
This file mainly concerns Langston's resignation from Illinois.

University of Missouri-Columbia (1975)
Correspondence here relates to the Missouri State Chest Hospital.

The subseries on autologous blood transfusion spans the years from 1961 to 1977 and consists of correspondence and draft reports and patient records. Langton's articles on the subject are filed separately in Box 3, Folder 5.

The publications and speeches subseries is divided into book publications and related materials individually foldered; published articles and reprints arranged alphabetically by title; published book reviews arranged alphabetically by title of book; speech materials; drafts of published articles, arranged alphabetically by title; and notes, drafts, and correspondence concerning apparently unpublished articles and papers presented at meetings. The drafts of published and unpublished articles and papers also are arranged by title alphabetically.

Addition, Box 5

This addition comprises one scrapbook of clippings, announcements, flyers, and programs pertaining to the career of Hiram T. Langston between the years 1952 and 1981. Most of the materials included concern professional meetings and Langston's speaking engagements. Items are arranged in a rough chronological order.


  • 1936-1982


Conditions Governing Access

Patient records are included in Box 1, Folder 5; Box 2, Folder 11; Box 3, Folders 4, 6, and 11; and Box 4, Folder 1. These folders contain sensitive information; consultation with University Archivist required prior to use.


5.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



Thoracic surgeon and Northwestern University Medical School professor Hiram Thomas Langston filled many roles in his career: operating a private practice, serving as faculty member, consulting, and chief surgeon. He joined the Northwestern University faculty late in his career, serving from 1978 until his retirement in 1981. The Hiram T. Langston Papers, comprising five boxes and spanning the years from 1936-1982, are divided into five subseries: biographical materials; general correspondence; subject files; research and related materials on autologous blood transfusion including clinical outpatient and consultation reports, and lecture and research notes; and publications and speeches. A scrapbook has also been added to the collection.


The Hiram T. Langston Papers are divided into: general correspondence (arranged by date); subject files (arranged alphabetically); autologous blood transfusion (in chronological order); publications and speeches (in chronological order, followed by drafts and unpublished materials); a scrapbook; and biographical materials.

Method of Acquisition

Donated to the University Archives by Dr. Hiram T. Langston in three accessions between July and September, 1982 (Accessions #82-84, #82-113, and #82-140).

Separated Materials

Photographs, mainly clinical and used as article illustrations, have been separated to the University Archives' photograph collection.

Processing Information

Beverly A. Ford; December, 1983. The addition was processed by Kevin B. Leonard; February 1, 1984.

Guide to the Hiram T. Langston (1912-1992) Papers
Beverly A. Ford
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US