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Records of the Library Committee of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Identifier: CPP 10/008-01

Scope and Contents

The records of the Library Committee of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, spanning 1846 to 1919, consist of records of committee meetings, financial records, correspondence, and material pertaining to individual donations and bequests made to the Library.

The records of committee meetings contain reports, minutes, and resolutions; Of special interest are the reports pertaining to library donations made by Thomas F. Betton (3 December 1857) and George Ord (5 March 1866). Also of note is the committee report referring to the College's acceptance of the Samuel D. Gross Library from the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery (3 June 1884). Documented in the minutes of 4 March 1891 is the establishment of the Library Endowment Fund. Also of interest are the committee resolutions, many of which refer to the decision to hire a card cataloger for the Library,

Series 2 contains financial records of the Library Committee. Included are receipts and bills for the purchase of books, journal subscriptions, library materials, and book binding services.

The correspondence in Series 3 is addressed primarily to Alfred Stille, a member of the Library Committee from 1864 until his election to the College presidency in 1883, Included are letters pertaining to the activities and finances of the Committee, donations to the Library, and the selection of library staff, Notable correspondents include treasurer Charles Stewart Wurts, secretary John H. Packard, cataloger Emily Thomas, and librarians Robert Bridges and Frank Woodbury. Also present are individual letters fro• Samuel Lewis (8 April 1880), William W, Keen (3 February 1910) and S. Weir Mitchell (October 1880), ·

Series 4 contains papers relating to the donation of the library of George Bacon Wood and the estate of Louis Adolphus Duhring. The papers pertaining to the Wood donation (1879) document a controversy surrounding the bequest of Wood's library. The catalogue which listed the books Wood intended to donate to the College had been misplaced by his executors, and many of the Fellows claimed that the College did not receive all of the volumes contained in the bequest.

The papers relating to the Duhring Estate (1915) include letters written by treasurer John B, Roberts to Willia11 J, Taylor, then chairman of the Library Committee. The correspondence concerns the confusion over the payment for a portrait of Duhring. Also included are lists of bonds and mining stocks held in the trust.


  • 1846 - 1919


Biographical / Historical

The Library Committee of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia became a standing comaittee in 1834. The bylaws of that year state that the Library Co••ittee "shall attend to the increase and preservation of the Library ••• they shall purchase books and carry into effect all such regulations pertaining to the Library ••• and shall present a report upon its condition". At this time, the chairman of the Library Committee acted as the Librarian of the College.

In 1863, the Office of the Librarian was created, and the duties of the Library Committee were reduced to the "general supervision of the Library of the College". Also during this year, the Committee became responsible for providing an estimate of the Library's annual expenses. In 1870, due to an increasing demand for the Library's resources, it was decided that a member of the Committee would attend in the Library daily and receive an annual salary for his services.

The Office of the Honorary Librarian was created in 1882; at this time, the Library Committee became responsible for appointing an "Assistant Librarian" who also served as secretary of the Committee. In 1935, the by-laws were again amended to state that the Library Committee "shall have charge of the Library of the College, its quarters, their furnishings, and such relics and collections as are not otherwise provided for".

In 1959, the Library Committee began to operate "under the direction of the Council" and became responsible for nominating both a Librarian and a Curator of the Library's Historical Collections. As of 1972, the Library Committee was no longer responsible for these nominations. In 1990, the responsibilities of the Library Committee were transferred to the College's Colllllittee on Program.


.4 Linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The source of this collection of records of the Library Committee is unknown. The collection was processed and cataloged in 1991.
Records of the Library Committee of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
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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