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George Edmund de Schweinitz papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 2/109
The George Edmunds de Schweinitz papers collection consists of two collections and documents portions of de Schweinitz’s professional medical career, largely from 1901 to 1918. Included in the collection is correspondence, essays, written addresses, reports, and case and surgery notes. The collection contains three series: “Correspondence,” “Writings,” and “Medical Practice Material.” Researchers interested in George Edmund de Schweinitz’s career, or ophthalmology practice in the early twentieth century will find significant material in this collection.

The first “Correspondence” series contains letters primarily concerning ophthalmology topics and patient cases. Correspondents with whom de Schweinitiz exchanged numerous letters include Albert E. Bulson, Samuel G. Dixon, Samuel Ely Eliot, Henry Copley Greene, William R. S. Henry, Ida B. Hiltz, Edward Jackson, Francis Park Lewis, Howard Mellor, Elizabeth Monie, George H. Simmons, and Thomas Woodruff. The letters are arranged alphabetically by the correspondent’s last name, and then chronologically within that name. There are several letters from “unidentified senders” located at the end of the series. The series dates from 1903 to 1912, 1915 to 1918, 1921, 1933, and undated.

The “Writings” series contains written addresses, essays, articles, pamphlets, and reports largely written by George Edmund de Schweinitz. Many of the writings are unidentified, though they are likely written by de Schweinitz. In cases where the writer was clearly identified, it is noted in the folder title. Essays and articles represent the bulk of material in the series. These writings concern ophthalmological issues. Many of the writings include titles, in which case those titles appear in quotations on the folder. In cases where the writing is untitled, the folder is labeled without quotations. There series is arranged alphabetically by writing format, and dates from 1904 to 1906, 1911 to 1915, and undated.

The “Medical Practice Material” series contains medical case notes, surgical operation notes, and a report on ophthalmological clinics held at Jefferson Medical College. The case notes include three large volumes of ophthalmology cases seen by de Schweinitz between 1904 and 1919. The series is arranged alphabetically by folder title, and dates from 1899 to 1900, 1904 to 1919, and undated. The second "Correspondence" series is a small collection of letters, mostly written by G. E. de Schweinitz, with a few miscellaneous items, 1896-1932. Notable items are letters to James Tyson, 1905 and 1908, on ophthalmology; and Charles Perry Fisher, 1911-1922, on the Library of The College Physicians of Philadlephia and gifts presented to the College by de Schweinitz. Also included is an undated chart which outlines the term of service for an itern at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dates

  • 1901-1918, 1921, 1933, undated

Creator

Extent

1.68 Linear feet

Overview

The George Edmunds de Schweinitz Papers collection documents portions of de Schweinitz’s professional medical career, largely from 1901 to 1918. George Edmund de Schweinitz was a prominent ophthalmologist, born in Philadelphia on October 26th, 1858. He worked and lectured at several hospitals and schools in the Philadelphia region until the late 1920s, and also made significant contributions to ophthalmological literature. The collection contains three series: “Correspondence,” “Writings,” and “Medical Practice Material.” Researchers interested in George Edmund de Schweinitz’s career, or ophthalmology practice in the early twentieth century will find significant material in this collection.

Biographical/Historical note

George Edmund de Schweinitz was a prominent ophthalmologist, born in Philadelphia on October 26th, 1858. After attending Moravian College from 1872 to 1878 for his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, de Schweinitz received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1881.

Shortly after finishing medical school, de Schweinitz was appointed resident physician at both the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Also during this time, de Schweinitz worked as a surgeon at Philadelphia General Hospital, Orthopedic Hospital and the Infirmary for Nervous Diseases. In addition to these positions, de Schweinitz was a ophthalmologist to the Chester County, Bryn Mawr, and Philadelphia Polyclinic Hospitals during the 1880s.

De Schweintz also began his teaching career shortly after medical school, serving as quiz master in therapeutics at the Medical Institution of Philadelphia from 1882 to 1887. It was during this time that he was elected Prosecutor of Anatomy under Joseph Leidy at the University of Pennsylvania, serving in that position from 1883 to 1888.

From 1891 to 1892 de Schweintz served as lecturer on medical ophthalmoscopy at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as professor of ophthalmology in the Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates in Medicine from 1891 to 1894. In 1892, Doctor de Schweinitz was appointed clinical professor of ophthalmology at Jefferson Medical College.

Continuing his academic teacher career, de Schweinitz was promoted to professor of ophthalmology at the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania from 1902 to 1924, and then at the Graduate School of Medicine from 1924 to 1928, eventually gaining professor emeritus status at that institution.

During the First World War, de Schweinitz was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the Medical Reserve Corps. Succeeding in this position, he was appointed brigadier general in the Reserve Corps in 1922, and became a member of the editorial board of the Medical and Surgical History of the War.

Throughout his career, Doctor de Schweinitz made significant contributions to ophthalmic literature. He wrote several hundred articles and several notable books, including Textbook on Diseases of the Eye, published in 1892, reprinted several times. He also collaborated with B. Alexander Randall of Philadelphia to edit Textbook on Diseases of the Eye and Ear, Nose and Throat. He was the American editor of Haab's volumes on "Ophthalmoscopy", "External Diseases of the Eye" and "Operative Ophthalmology." He collaboratively edited The Ophthalmic Year Book with Edward Jackson for a number of years.

De Schweinitz was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1887 and served as President from 1910-1913. He was also a president of the American Medical Association and a member of many professional organizations, including the American Ophthalmological Society, the Pathological Society of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Neurological Society.

George Edmund de Schweinitz died on August 22th, 1938.

Sources: “In Memoriam,” printed in the New York Academy of Medicine Bulletin, 1939 January; 15(1): 58–60. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1911337/pdf/bullnyacadmed00586-0060.pdf
Title
George Edmund de Schweinitz papers
Author
Finding aid prepared by Forrest Wright; with the exception of the last Series, "Correspondence." The source of this Series is unknown, though it may have been assembled by Charles Perry Fisher for its autograph value. The collection was isolated in the Packard-Krumbhaar alcove and processed and catalogued in 1990 by Jack Eckert.
Date
September 23, 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

Contact:
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Philadelphia PA 19103 United States
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