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Records of the Francis Clark Wood Institute for the History of Medicine I

Identifier: CPP 14/001-01

Scope and Contents

This collection of records of the Office of the Director of the Francis Clark Wood Institute for the History of Medicine spans 1879 to 1987. Included are the records of Ronald F. Kotrc, Director of the Institute from 1977 to 1982, and Diana E, Long, Director from 1983 to 1989.

The papers of Ronald F. Kotrc span 1879 to 1982. Series 1 contains records of the F. C. Wood Institute, including plans for its establishment, agendas, minutes, and reports. Also present is correspondence pertaining to research grants, the publication of Transactions and Studies, and holdings of the museum and library, Notable correspondents include Whitfield J. Bell, Francis C. Wood, William H. Helfand, Carleton B, Chapman, Jonathan E, Rhoads, and Saul Jarcho.

Included among Kotrc's papers are records of the Historical Collections of the Library and the Mutter Museum, Reports and minutes of the Library Committee are in Series 2, as well as material pertaining to water damage that occurred in the stacks in 1978. Also documented in Series 2 is the preparation of a guide to the archives of the College and a guide to psychiatric archives in the Mid-Atlantic states. Included are plans, proposals, and grant applications for these projects.

Records of the Mutter Museum, such as correspondence, reports, proposals, information on funding and finances, and statements of goals and objectives are contained in Series 3. Also present are pamphlets and catalogues from various museum organizations.

The papers in Series 4 concern the administration of the College. Included are memoranda, many of which are from Executive Director William F. Chaveas, and financial information, such as reports from the Third Century Program, a program devised to raise funds for various College expenses. Series 5 contains minutes and reports from the Council, whose meetings Kotrc occasionally attended.

Present in Series 6 is material from the Section on Medical History, such as minutes of the Executive Committee; and lecture and program announcements. Also included is correspondence from Russell Charles Maulitz, Chairman of the Committee, and clerk Dorothy I. Lansing. Kotrc, as the Director of the F. C. Wood Institute, was an ex-officio member of this Section. Series 7 contains information on the College's Continuing Education Program, including correspondence, the typescript of an address given by John P. Hubbard in 1977, and pamphlets announcing Continuing Education Programs.

Materials pertaining to the "Mitchell Project" are contained in Series 8. Present is correspondence between Kotrc, Bruce Fye, and Lawrence C. McHenry concerning their plans for a book on S. Weir Mitchell. Also included are three articles written and signed by McHenry, and photocopies of three Mitchell bibliographies.

Series 9 documents the activities of the Institute on Human Values in Medicine, a project of the Society for Health and Human Values. Much of this material relates to Kotrc's role in planning and organizing the Institute's "Conference on the Humanities in the Clinical Setting", which was held at the College of Physicians in March 1978. Included is correspondence, a list of participants, proposals, and agendas.

The records of Diana E, Long span 1974 to 1987. Included in Series 1 are records of the F. C. Wood Institute, including correspondence with President Brooke Roberts, financial information, and issues of Fellows' Forum. Series 2 contains material from the Historical Collections of the Library, such as a proposal for cataloging the Lawrence F. Flick Pamphlet Collection and a copy of the Collection Development Policy for 1985.

Information about the finances of the College are contained in Series 3. Present is an operating budget for 1984, project objectives of the New Century Fund (1985), and the results of a Campaign Planning Study (1985). Series 4 contains various drafts of a Strategy Formulation Survey prepared for the College in 1984.


  • 1879 - 1987
  • Majority of material found within 1977 - 1985


Biographical / Historical

The Francis Clark Wood Institute for the History of Medicine was founded in 1976 to support research in the field of social medical history. Over the years, the Institute has especially encouraged the study of contemporary issues in historical perspective.

The idea of forming an Institute for the History of Medicine at the College of Physicians was first proposed in 1966. In this year, President Francis Clark Wood appointed a committee to assess the changing needs of the College. The committee, chaired by George P. Berry of Harvard University, praised the College for its holdings, but felt that the public needed greater access to them. In 1974, President John P. Hubbard called together a committee to address Berry's recommendations and draft a plan for an Institute for the History of Medicine. Whitfield Bell, Librarian of the American Philosophical Society, and Carleton Chapman, former dean of Dartmouth Medical School, were two of the most vocal and influential members on this committee.

The initial goals of the Institute for the History of Medicine were to organize research materials, provide funding for visiting scholars, and publish the journal of the College, Transactions and Studies. The Institute planned to establish a working relationship with Philadelphia universities and medical colleges, and it was hoped that these institutions eventually would provide the funding necessary to support the activities of the Institute. This arrangement never occurred, however; initial funding came from the National Library of Medicine, and in 1977, an anonymous source donated $500,000 to the Division of Medical History with the stipulation that the Division be named in honor of Francis Clark Wood.

In January 1977, Ronald F. Kotrc was seltcted as the first Director of the F. C. Wood Institute. Kotrc was responsible for the administration of all historic departments of the College, including the Historical Collections of the Library and the Mutter Museum. Kotrc served as Director for five years, until his resignation in September 1982; in 1983, Diana Long was hired as his replacement. At this time, the duties of the Director were modified, and new positions were created. Long was responsible for the activities of the F. C. Wood Institute and the publication of Transactions and Studies, but the administration of Historical Collections of the Library and the Mutter Museum no longer remained under her jurisdiction.

As of 1991, the Francis Clark Wood Institute publishes Transactions and Studies, holds conferences and seminars, and sponsors visiting scholars through its Wood Fellows Program.


2.4 Linear feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The source of these records of the Office of the Director of the F. C. Wood Institute is unknown.

The collection was processed and catalogued in 1991.
Records of the Francis Clark Wood Institute for the History of Medicine I
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