Skip to main content

Records of the Dean of the Medical School, J. Roscoe Miller

 Collection
Identifier: 18/7/1

Scope and Contents

The records in this series span the years 1941 to 1949 and document J. Roscoe Miller's administration of the Northwestern University Medical School before and during the Second World War. Within the collection of correspondence, there is contact with students, staff, other Medical Schools, doctors, Trustees, University Administrators, Hospitals, municipal officials, and various organizations. The records illuminate Miller's tenure as Assistant Dean and as Dean.

The collection is divided into 18 subseries: alumni, assemblies, associations, buildings and grounds, city/state/federal organizations, correspondence, defense (military), dispensary, employment, faculty, faculty research and funding, fraternities, hospitals, Medical School (general), Medical School (departments), Northwestern University, students, and Veterans Administration. Folders are arranged alphabetically within each subseries, and materials are arranged in rough chronological order within each folder.

The Alumnisubseries, dating from 1936-1949, includes correspondence with alumni from the Medical School, materials for alumni bulletins, and letters concerning financial contributions. Items of interest include correspondence documenting efforts to create an independent alumni association solely for graduates of the Medical School.

The Assemblies and Lectures subseries consists of eight folders and includes material dealing with lectureships at the Medical School, dating from 1934-1949.

Within the Associations subseries (1934-1949) is found correspondence with various associations, societies, and companies. Much of the correspondence deals with donations by the Medical School to these organizations and invitations to meetings and/or dinners held by these groups.

Folders relating to Building, Grounds, and Equipment, spanning the years 1938-1949, deal primarily with the infrastructure of the Medical School campus.

The City/State/Federal Organizationssubseries includes correspondence with municipal officials and organizations.

The Correspondence subseries includes letters from doctors and laymen concerning issues about the Medical School. Also, there are correspondence with multiple universities and their respective medical schools. Items of special interest includes the correspondence with Dr. W.H. Holmes, Miller's partner in clinical practice. Another item of interest includes “Crank Letters” (box 3 folder 3), which are letters from “doctors” presenting fraudulent cures to specific diseases. Many other letters of a general nature are included in the “Medical School—General” sub-series.

The folders in the Defense subseries date between 1935 and 1949. Much of the material relates to faculty and student involvement within either the Navy or the Army. Other folders deal with subjects including Selective Service, Reserve Officers, and Training Programs.

The Dispensary subseries includes letters and correspondence concerning medical clinics set up by social service agencies. This subseries, spanning the years 1942-1945, is constituted of clinic and budget reports, patient and personnel information, and correspondence from various agencies.

The Employment subseries (1933-1946) primarily deals with positions within the Medical School. Requests, resumes, vacation schedules, and internship positions are included within these folders. Items of interest include the folder concerning the internships for woman.

The Faculty and Staffsubseries spans the years 1938-1949 and consists of alphabetically-arranged folders on Medical School faulty members and staff members. Contents include recommendations and information on research being conducted by the Medical School Faculty.

The Faculty Research and Funding subseries consists of correspondence and reports dealing with subjects such as funding for research, fellowships rewarded, and other gifts presented by outside organizations. Items of interest include research on whooping cough and studies on penicillin.

The Fraternities subseries, spanning 1939-1949, relates to the organizations affiliated with the medical school.

Dating between 1941 and 1949, the Hospitals subseries consists of correspondence with the directors of ten different hospitals: Chicago Memorial, Children's Memorial, Cook County, Evanston, Hines, Morton, Passavant, St. Luke's, Veteran's Administration Tumor Clinic and Hospital, and Wesley Memorial.

The Medical School (General)subseries is the largest within the collection, consisting of fifty-one folders ranging from 1935-1949. This subseries contains correspondence, reports, and memos pertaining to issues affecting the Medical School and its administration as a whole, rather than a specific department. The bulk of the subseries consists of general “Inquiries,” including requests from individuals for recommendations of doctors, requests for medical information, and inquiries about the Medical School. Items of special interest include the antivivisection folders, which deal with the use of live dogs from the City Pound for research and student training, including the dissection of live animals. Materials include numerous letters written in protest of these practices, as well as correspondence, reports, and pamphlets relating to the National Society for Medial Research's defense. (A separate folder contains request forms from the Medical School sent to the City Pound.) The folder titled “Kamellin Situation” deals with Dr. Samuel Kamellin and a particular conflict with one of his patients. Also of interest is correspondence between the NAACP and the school's administration concerning the admittance of African-American students (see the folder titled “The Negro Question”).

The Medical School (Departments)subseries spans the years 1934-1949 and documents the functioning of twenty-seven different departments. These folders contain correspondence between each of the departments of the Medical School and the administration. Items of interest include the folders dealing with the Rheumatic Fever Research Institute, which was established as a department within the Medical School solely for the research of rheumatic fever.

The Northwestern University (General) subseries dates between 1934 and 1949 and contains items pertaining to the entire University. These folders provide an illustration of the climate of the Northwestern during James Miller's tenure a Dean of the Medical School. Items of interest include letters concerning German Refugees, including the renowned Dr. Franz Oppenheimer. Also, there is a folder dealing with the proposed merger of Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

The Students (of the Medical School)subseries spans the years 1936 to 1943. Primarily, these folders contain information on medical students during this time period. Items of special interest include aptitude test reports of medical students.

Records of Miller's involvement in the Veterans Administration are extensive. They date between 1945 and 1949 and document his activities with the Washington, D.C. headquarters as well as with the establishment of the Hines VA Hospital as an affiliate of Northwestern and the University of Illinois. Correspondence with the VA in Washington (including letters from Omar Bradley) focuses on the Department of Medicine and Surgery and the Veterans' Medical Problems section. At Hines, Miller was involved in selecting residents and consultants, and staffing various new departments, such as Isotope Research and Neuropsychiatry. The files include correspondence, recommendations, and applications. (In this case, as with many other categories in the Dean's Files, work begun by Miller was carried on by his successor, Richard Young.)

Additions, Box 18A, Boxes 26-27: Additional materials dating from 1948-1949 were interfiled into existing folders throughout the series, necessitating the expansion of Box 18 and the addition of two boxes. New folders (boxes 26-27) include materials relating to Dean Miller's involvement with the Veterans Administration at the end of World War II.

Dates

  • 1941-1949

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at specialcollections@northwestern.edu or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.

Permission of the University Archivist is required.

Extent

28.00 Boxes

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The records in this series span the years 1941 to 1949 and document J. Roscoe Miller's administration of the Northwestern University Medical School before and during the Second World War. Within the collection of correspondence, there is contact with students, staff, other Medical Schools, doctors, Trustees, University Administrators, Hospitals, municipal officials, and various organizations. The records illuminate Miller's tenure as Assistant Dean and as Dean.

Arrangement Note

The collection is divided into 18 subseries: alumni, assemblies, associations, buildings and grounds, city/state/federal organizations, correspondence, defense (military), dispensary, employment, faculty, faculty research and funding, fraternities, hospitals, Medical School (general), Medical School (departments), Northwestern University, students, and Veterans Administration. Folders are arranged alphabetically within each subseries, and materials are arranged in rough chronological order within each folder.

Method of Acquisition

The J. Roscoe Miller papers were separated from Accession #97-113, which were received from Chris Simoni of the Gary Law Library on August 13, 1999. This collection was then Accessioned as #99-167. The additions to the J. Roscoe Miller papers were separated from Accession #97-167, received from Chris Simoni of the Gary Law Library on August 13, 1999.

Separated Materials

Two boxes of records pertaining to the Northwestern University Medical School Medical Council were separated as Series 18/2/20.

Other Descriptive Information

Because Dr. Richard Young began taking on the responsibilities of the Medical School deanship during the late spring of 1949 there is some overlap of correspondence for the months of June, July, and August, 1949. The researcher is advised to consult the records of both Dean Miller and Dean Young (Series 18/7/3) for events and activities taking place during the transitional time period. Dean Young adopted the same filing system that Dean Miller had used.

Processing Information

Gerald Kim; July 2001. Additions processed by Janet Olson, Spring 2006.
Title
Guide to the Records of the Dean of the Medical School, J. Roscoe Miller
Author
Gerald Kim
Date
01/07/2001
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Contact:
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US
847-491-3635