The Fred B. Rogers papers house the files of Fred B. Rogers, a doctor and professor of Preventive Medicine at Temple University, and a very active member of the medical community in Philadelphia and throughout the East Coast. This collection, which dates from 1922 to 2000, with bulk dates of 1948 to 1985, consists of articles, manuscripts, article reprints, addresses, correspondence, lecture notes and various teaching materials, certificates and diplomas, clippings, photographs, professional organization membership materials, reports, student laboratory notebooks and drawings, and other materials created during Rogers’ education and career. This collection particularly captures the unique interactions between many members of the medical community in Philadelphia, especially those with interest in or ties to public health and preventive medicine, as well as interactions with the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and its various fellows and contributors. Also of note is the proliferation of writings and addresses crafted by Rogers over the course of his life, ranging from topics as routine as the history of stethoscopes, to the more unexpected, such as the relation of Carl G. Jung to astrology.
The collection is divided into two series: “I. Professional work, 1922-2000” and “II. Personal files and education, 1944-1995.”
Series “I. Professional work” dates from 1922 to 2000, with bulk dates of 1948 to 1985. The records in this series document the publications, addresses, professional organizations, courses, and other various activities on which Rogers spent his career. The series is divided into two subseries: “Ia. Teaching, research, and correspondence,” and “Ib. Addresses and writings.”
Subseries “Ia. Teaching, research, and correspondence” dates from 1948 to 2000, with bulk dates of 1948 to 1985. This subseries consists of materials relating to Rogers’ activities as a teacher and researcher, and correspondence relating to other professional activities and colleagues. The bulk of teaching materials includes lecture notes, examinations, class lists, and teaching schedules, mostly relating to public and community health, preventive medicine, and medical history. There is also a patient logbook kept during his internship year at Temple University, as well as a “house staff formulary,” which lists his preferred prescription formulas. There are three volumes of case reports and clinical notes, syllabi, annual reports, lectures and lecture notes, minutes, and program schedules, including materials from Temple University and Columbia University, much of which relates to public health.
The bulk of this subseries consists of correspondence between Rogers and his many colleagues. These letters usually comprise opinions and thoughts on articles they had sent to each other, comments on the lives and careers of common acquaintances, discussions on various events or responsibilities, and remarks on their personal lives or vacations. Much of this correspondence is with College of Physicians personnel, relating to various events, donations and acquisitions, committees, and other duties. It also includes information about various organizations of which Rogers was a part, including the American Osler Society, the Anglo-American Medical Society, the Charaka Club, and others. This subseries provides an interesting example of relationships between various medical and philosophical professionals in Philadelphia, as well as information about the College of Physicians’ various events, members, and publications. Some particular items that may be of interest are an assortment of handbills on faith healers, most likely part of Rogers’s research. This subseries is arranged chronologically.
Subseries “Ib. Writings and addresses” dates from 1922 to 1995, with bulk dates of 1954 to 1985, and contains records of Rogers’ publications and speaking engagements. Article files generally contain a manuscript and a reprint or photocopy of the published article, along with letters and research materials related to the article’s subject. Additional items may include cards requesting article reprints, and photographs and printer’s negatives used in the published document. Articles by Rogers focus on a wide variety of topics relating to medical and public health history. Of particular interest are his biographical vignettes of doctors from the 18th and 19th centuries in New Jersey and Cape Cod, histories of medical maladies and outbreaks in those regions, and of influential women in medicine and public health. Records of addresses from speaking engagements frequently include a copy of the address and notes by Rogers, correspondence regarding the event, and programs, invitations, and other documents from the occasion. Other writings include memorial tributes for colleagues; writings on authors, such as John Keats, Walt Whitman, and W. Somerset Maugham; a number of articles on Carl G. Jung; and writings on alternative medical practices. This subseries is arranged chronologically.
Series “II. Personal files and education” dates from 1944 to 1995, with bulk dates of 1946 to 1962. This series consists mainly of diplomas for his various degrees, certificates, and awards for Rogers’s memberships in various organizations. These include the Phi Rho Sigma Medical Society, the Society of Sigma Xi, the American College of Physicians, and the American Osler Society. Correspondence relating to many of these memberships can be found in Subseries “Ia. Teaching, research, and correspondence.” This series also includes material from his medical education, including bound volumes of lecture notes, drawings, student lab notebooks, reports, and exercises, from classes at both Temple University and Columbia University. These volumes are separated by topic, some of which include Biochemistry, Internal Medicine, Public Health, Epidemiology, and Physiology.
This collection is unique in its documentation of Rogers’ many writings over the course of his career and his interactions with medical colleagues in Philadelphia, usually relating to his articles and activities. It provides an in depth perspective on how ideas and research traveled around medical communities in Philadelphia, often facilitated through membership in the College of Physicians. Additionally, this collection evidences many of the trending topics in medical research over the course of Rogers’ career. The many more personal items and writings on topics like psychology and Carl G. Jung add a unique flavor to the collection and reveal much about Rogers that may not be found elsewhere.