Skip to main content

Records of the Chairman of the Committee on the Mütter Museum

 Collection
Identifier: CPP 10/007-02
The collection contains the correspondence and financial files of chairmen of the Committee of the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia from 1926 to 1970. The collection documents the acquisitions and oversight of the Museum and College Collections. The bulk of the collection derives from the tenures of George P. Muller and J. Parsons Schaeffer, but material from subsequent chairmen, Oscar V. Batson, Richard Philip Custer, A. Reynolds Crane, Nicholas Padis, Clark E. Brown, Fred B. Rogers, and William I. Gefter, is also included.

In addition to general correspondence, the chairman’s files include reports of the museum curators to the chairman and reports of the chairman to College Council; insurance information; letters of College legal counsel, Joseph Carson, concerning the establishment of the College Collections; copies of minutes of the Committee on the Mütter Museum, Committee on College Collections, and Council; correspondence concerning the annual Thomas Dent Mütter Lecture; and notices of Committee, College, and Council meetings. Information on accessions to the Mütter Museum and College Collections can be derived from correspondence with donors; reports of the curators; minutes of the Mütter Museum and College Collections committees; and minutes of Council.

Principal correspondents include Ella N. Wade, Curator of the Mütter Museum; Chevalier Jackson; and the Mütter lecturers, particularly Charles H. Frazier and Harris P. Mosher.

The collection also includes financial records of the Committee on the Mütter Museum, including account statements, bills, cancelled checks, investment account statements, receipts, and the annual and semi-annual financial reports filed by the Committee with Council.

The Records of the Chairman of the Committee on the Mütter Museum were originally housed in fourteen letter box files, each generally containing one or two years’ worth of material. Within each box, material was filed alphabetically by subject. Each chairman imposed slight variants on the subject arrangement. Financial records from each year were filed separately with each box. The chronological divisions and subject arrangement have been retained and, where necessary, reconstructed.

Dates

  • 1926 - 1970

Creator

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Extent

10.0 containers

Overview

The Committee on the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia was charged with the general supervision of the anatomical and pathological museum established by the articles of agreement made between the College and Thomas D. Mütter in 1858-1859. The chairman of the committee was to report annually on the condition of the museum and semi-annually on its financial situation. The collection contains the correspondence and financial files of chairmen of the Committee of the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 1926-1970, documenting the acquisitions and oversight of the Museum and College Collections.

Biographical/Historical note

The Committee on the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia was first appointed in January 1863. It was charged with the general supervision of the anatomical and pathological museum established by the articles of agreement made between the College and Thomas D. Mütter in 1858 and1859. The chairman of the committee was to report annually on the condition of the museum and semi-annually on its financial situation. It was to also receive the income from the Mütter Trust and make disbursements to the museum’s curator and the Mütter lecturers.

In 1886, the duties of the College’s Committee on Lectures, which chose and supervised the Mütter lecturers, devolved on the Committee on the Mütter Museum. In 1935, the College formed a Committee on College Collections to care for, exhibit, and loan any objects received by the College which were not covered by the trust. The officers of this committee were identical to the officers of the Committee on the Mütter Museum and the two bodies met consecutively. In 1990, the Committee on the Mütter Museum became inactive, and general oversight of the museum was assumed by the College’s Committee on Program.

Arrangement note

Organized into four series: I. Records of George P. Muller, 1926-1933; II. Records of J. Parsons Schaeffer, 1927-1944; III. Records of J. Parsons Schaeffer, Oscar V. Batson and Richard Philip Custer, 1943-1953; and IV. Records of later chairmen, 1956-1970.

Arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by subject within each subseries.

Custodial History note

The Records of the Chairman of the Committee on the Mütter Museum were transferred to the Historical Collection of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia by Gretchen Worden, Director of the Mütter Museum, on August 29, 1991. The collection was processed and catalogued in 1992.

Processing Information note

The Records of the Chairman of the Committee on the Mütter Museum were originally housed in fourteen letter box files, each generally containing one or two years' worth of material. Within each box, material was filed alphabetically by subject. Each chairman imposed slight variants on the subject arrangement. Financial records from each year were filed separately within each box. The chronological divisions and subject arrangement have been retained and, where necessary, reconstructed.

The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.

Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.
Title
Records of the Chairman of the Committee on the Mütter Museum
Date
2010.12.20
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Sponsor
The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project. Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States
215-399-2001