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William D. Frazier papers

Identifier: MSS 2/288

Scope and Contents

The William D. Frazier Papers, spanning 1874 to 1984, contain professional papers relating to Frazier's career as a surgeon and specialist in occupational medicine; personal papers; papers of his father, neurosurgeon Charles H. Frazier; and numerous photographs.

Included among William D. Frazier's professional papers is correspondence, reports of operative experience, and other items concerning his work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Also present are papers relating to hisjservice in the Medical Corps of the United States Army during World War II. Series 1.3 contains material on occupational medicine from Frazier's tenure as medical director at the Baldwin Lima Hamilton Corporation. Frazier's medical writings are in Series 1.5; included are several drafts of his essays on hyperthyroidism.

Frazier's personal papers are in Series 2. Included are numerous letters from his father, Charles H. Frazier, written to Frazier when he was a young man. Also present are letters of sympathy from friends and colleagues on the death of Charles H. Frazier in 1936. Series 2.2 contains miscellaneous items, including lecture notes from Frazier's third year in medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, papers concerning the establishment of the Charles H. Frazier Professorship in Neurosurgery, and numerous awards, certificates, and diplomas.

A collection of Charles H. Frazier's papers are in Series 3. Included is correspondence, a transcript of a series of letters written while he was visiting Japan in 1926, his notebook on tumors, and miscellaneous notes and speeches.

Series 4 contains numerous portraits and photographs of Charles H. Frazier, William D. Frazier, and the Frazier family. Of special interest are photographs of Charles H. Frazier in the surgical amphitheater at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and a photograph of the Reserve Corps Officers who attended his course in neurological surgery during World War I. Also present is a 1917 photograph of the medical staff and personnel from Base Hospital No. 34 (Episcopal Hospital) at Camp Crane in Allentown, Pennsylvania.


  • 1874 - 1984
  • Majority of material found within 1913 - 1963


Biographical / Historical

William Doane Frazier, surgeon and specialist in occupational medicine, was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1908. Frazier was the son of neurosurgeon Charles Harrison Frazier and Mary Spring Gardiner Frazier. William D. Frazier died in 1984 from Parkinsonism and Alzheimer's disease.

Frazier received his B.S. degree from Haverford College in 1930 and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1934. He served his residency at Geisinger Memorial Hospital in Danville, Pennsylvania, from 1934 to 1935. During World War II, Frazier was a major in the Medical Corps of the United States Army, serving in the China/Burma/India theater. In 1947, Frazier became an Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, a position he held until his retirement in 1978. Frazier, who was especially interested in occupational medicine, served as medical director for several major corporations, including the Baldwin Lima Hamilton Corporation (formerly the Baldwin Locomotive Works) from 1940 to 1972, Oscar Mayer from 1947 to 1977, and Tastey Bakery from 1973 to 1978. Frazier was a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the American College of Surgeons. He was also a member of the American Medical Association, the Pennsylvania State Medical Association, the American Board of General Surgery, and the American Occupational Medicine Association.


22 items (4 boxes and 18 oversize items)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The William D. Frazier Papers were donated to the Historical Collections of the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia by William D. Frazier's widow, Grace Frazier, on 5 December 1991. Several reprints in the collection were removed for integration with the printed collections of the College Library and several redundant photographs were deaccessioned and presented to the University of Pennsylvania Archives and Records Center. Acidic leaves and clippings were photocopied and discarded.

The William D. Frazier Papers were processed and cataloged in 1993.

Separated materials - oversize

Flat file no. 1, drawer 2

Contents: 4 certificates, diplomas, photographs
William D. Frazier papers
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

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

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States