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Presidential papers of Lewis C. Sheffey

Identifier: CPP 2/001-01

Scope and Contents

This collection of Lewis Cass Scheffey's papers, spanning 1918 to 1966, documents his involvement in various offices, committees, and sections of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The bulk of the papers date from 1955 to 1958, the years in which Scheffey was President of the College. Also included in the collection is material relating to his participation in nu•erous local and national organizations.

Series 1 includes material relating to Scheffey's activities as president, censor, and Council member, 1937-1965. Included are presidential addresses and newsletters, Council rules, minutes from Council meetings, and professional correspondence. Among the correspondence are letters congratulating Scheffey on his election to the presidency and complementing him on his achievements in this office. The papers in Series 2, spanning 1918 to 1963, relate to three adainistrative divisions of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The papers of the Library administration consist of various reports, information on the library's Medical Literature Service, and correspondence between Scheffey and librarian Elliott H. Morse. Also of note are the papers of the Liaison Committee (1956-1957), a group of Fellows who met with members of the Philadelphia County Medical Society to consider a controversial proposal to combine the libraries of the two institutions. Included are letters froa Elliot H. Morse, Samuel X Radbill, and chairman John T. Farrell, Jr. Also present is a group of published letters from Philadelphia Medicine which express the opinions of those both for and against the coa•ittee's proposals. Series 2 also includes papers from the Historical Collections of the Library, including monthly reports and copies of its journal, Fugitive Leaves.

Papers pertaining to the S. Weir Mitchell Associates Progr&11 are also included in Series 2. The S. Weir Mitchell Associates donated funds to the library to pay for the subscription prices of particular journals. In return, the library placed a book plate in each journal to coameaorate the donor. Scheffey himself was a S. Weir Mitchell Associate; his endowment paid for the library's subscription to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. A sample of Scheffey's book plate is included with a letter sent to him by president Thomas M. Durant on 18 September 1961.

Series 3 provides an alphabetical listing of Scheffey's papers pertaining to various committees of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Included in these papers, which date from 1955 to 1963, are reports, ainutes, ae11>randa, correspondence, and miscellaneous notes and clippings, Of special interest are Finance Coaaittee papers pertaining to the Erlanger Garage, a parking garage adjacent to the College that was purchased in 1957 to provide aaple parking for Fellows attending College functions.

The papers in Series 4, spanning 1955 to 1961, document the activities of various sections of the College. The Section on Medical History is perhaps beat represented; included are reports, invitations to aeetings, and t71>escripts of lectures delivered by Scheffey and historical librarian W, B, McDaniel II. Among the correspondence are letters fro• McDaniel, chairman Samuel X Rad.bill, and Fred B. Rogers, all of whom were especially active in the section. Aleo included is a letter from noted physician Edward B. Krumbhaar.

Series 5, spanning 1950 to 1966, includes inforaation on various fund raising divisions of the College. Of special interest are Scheffey's papers from the Building Fund Committee, dating from 1952 to 1956, These records docuaent the College's vigorous caapaign to raise fund• for an expansion of the library and for other repairs to the building on 19 South 22nd Street, Included in these papers are frequent progress reports, pleas to Fellows for donations, and nuaerous pieces of correspondence fro• Richard A. Kern, chairman of the co .. ittee. Also present are papers documenting the successful coapletion of the project in May 1956.

Papers relating to the adainistration and award of various prizes and lectureships sponsored by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia are contained in Series 6. Thia series, spanning 1953 to 1965, is arranged alphabetically, and includes historical notes about the awards, announcements of prize-winning lectures, and biographical information about prize recipients, usually coapiled by W. B, McDaniel II.

Series 7, also arranged alphabetically, docuaents Scheffey's involvement with various local and national organizations from 1948 to 1966, Scheffey, an active aeaber of the American Cancer Society, received their gold medal in 1962; clippings and photographs documenting this occasion are included in Series 7, Also present are records from the Council on International Visitors, a consortiua of Philadelphia-baaed organizations that provided inforaation and aid to foreigners visiting the Philadelphia area. Scheffey, as a member of the committee on Medical Visitors, played an active role in this organization.


  • 1918 - 1966
  • Majority of material found within 1955 - 1958


Office of the President history

The Office of the President of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia is first described in the 1787 constitution. The constitution states that the President "shall have power to call extraordinary Meetings whenever important, or unexpected Business shall require, of which he shall be the Judge", The constitution also states that the president was authorized to call a special session when requested by at least six Fellows. According to the 1834 by-laws, the president was responsible for presiding at College meetings and signing orders from the treasurer, but he could not discuss any questions while in the chair except when necessary to coae to a decision. This latter regulation was dropped from the 1863 by-laws, and new responsibilities were added in 1882, when the president was given "general supervision of the affairs of the College" and was required to present an annual address.

In 1886, due to the influence of president S, Weir Mitchell, the by-laws were again amended. Mitchell secured the right to be informed of all committee meetings and to attend them if he wished, Another of Mitchell's requests, for a five year presidential term, was never approved. The responsibilities of the president re•ained •uch the saae until 1914. In the by-laws of this year, the president's duty of "sign[ing] all warrants on the Treasurer" was omitted. 1925 marked a major change in the Office of the President; in this year, he was granted ex-officio membership in all standing committees and had the power to elect most committee members. The first regulation concerning the president's term was instituted in the 1935 by-laws, which state that no president aay serve more than three years in a row. Additional changes in the Office of the President did not occur until 1972. The by-laws of this year state that the president must publish his annual address, subait a yearly summary of ·the activities of the College, and "appoint all standing committees and designate the Chairmen", with the exception of the Noainating committee, The president's term was again restricted in the 1984 bylaws, which state that the president is liaited to one twoyear tera. As of 1991, the president presides at meetings, appoints coaaittees and defines their duties, serves as an ex-officio meaber of all coaaittees, and has "all other duties and powers usually pertaining to the office".

Lewis C. Sheffey biography

Lewis Cass Scheffey was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on 21 September 1893. He grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he held an after school job at a pharmacy. This early interest in pharaacology led Scheffey to the Philadelphia College of Pharaacy. After graduation in 1915, Scheffey secured a position as an assistant pharaacist and began to work his way through Jefferson Medical College. He was awarded his M.D. in June 1920 and began a twenty-seven aonth rotating internship at Jefferson Medical College Hospital. After his internship, Scheffey became an assistant to Dr. Brooke M. Anspach, Professor and Head of the Departaent of Gynecology at Jefferson. In 1940, Scheffey succeeded Anspach, and in 1945 becaae the first adainistrative head of the combined Departaent of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In addition to fulfilling the deaanding roles of administrator and professor, Scheffey maintained an active private practice.

Scheffey became a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1945, when he was appointed to the Committee on Scientific Business. After holding the offices of elective counselor and vice president, Scheffey was elected President in 1955 and served a successful three year tera. After his presidency, Scheffey remained active in the College by serving as a Censor and as Chairaan of the Ad Hoc Coamittee on Bequests until his retirement in 1965. Scheffey is perhaps best known for his involvement in cancer research. His interest in this field began as early as 1928, when he established a pelvic cancer clinic in the gynecological department of the Jefferson Hospital. He collaborated with Dr. George N. Papanicolaou and Dr. Joe Meigs in establishing the Inter-Society Cytology Council in 1952, and served as its president in 1956. Scheffey was also an active member of the American Cancer Society; he received their gold medal in 1962 in recognition of his contributions to the study and diagnosis of pelvic cancer. Throughout his distinguished career, Scheffey received numerous awards and honors. He was elected President of the Aaerican Gynocological Society in 1958, and in the same year received the Philadelphia County Medical Society's Strittmatter Award for distinguished service to Philadelphia Medicine. He was awarded the honorary degree of Sc.D. from Ursinus College in 1943, and received an L.H.D. from Jefferson Medical College in 1959.

After suffering from a prolonged illness, Lewis Cass Scheffey died at his home in Haverford on 13 March 1969.


2.0 Linear feet (5 document boxes)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This collection of presidential papers of Lewis C. Scheffey was donated to the Historical Collections of the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia by Mrs. Lewis C. Scheffey on 15 January 1976.

The collection was processed and catalogued in 1991.
Presidential papers of Lewis C. Sheffey
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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