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Donald M. Pillsbury correspondence

Identifier: MSS 2/018

Scope and Contents

The Pillsbury Collection consists of correspondence received, filed alphabetically by author from national and international figures working in dermatology. A comprehensive list with name of correspondent, date of letter, and origin of letter is included. The correspondence is, in general, brief and concerns the abstracts and papers delivered by the correspondents. Presumably Donald M. Pillsbury retained these letters for their autograph value. Although the dates of the collection range from 1958 to 1963, the bulk of the correspondence falls into the months of late 1961 and 1962 preceding the Congress.


  • 1958 - 1963
  • Majority of material found within 1961 - 1962


Biographical / Historical

Donald Marion Pillsbury, Philadelphia dermatologist, was born on December 29, 1902 in Omaha, Nebraska. He married (1) Charlotte Foresman Denny (d.1970) in 1929; they had three children, Katherine Esmond Pillsbury Janeway, Donald Marion Pillsbury, Jr., and David Chamberlain Pillsbury. Donald M. Pillsbury married (2) Susan Peebles Cooper in 1971. He died on October 9, 1980.

From 1919 to 1920, Pillsbury studied at Creighton University, Omaha, and from 1920 to 1921 at the University of Omaha. In 1921, he attended the University of Nebraska from which he received his B.Sc. in 1923, his M.A. in 1925, and his M.D. in 1926. He then went on to a two year internship at the University of Nebraska

In 1928, Pillsbury became an Assistant Instructor at the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Dermatology and Syphilology where he studied the chemistry of the skin. He became an Instructor in 1930 and then an Associate Professor of Dermatology in 1932. He also became an Assistant Professor in Dermatology at the Graduate School of Medicine in 1934. He began his private practice in 1933 and also served as Dermatologist to Bryn Mawr Hospital, Children's Heart Hospital of Philadelphia and as Consulting Dermatologist to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

During World War II, Pillsbury worked on a gas war research project and became Senior Consultant in Dermatology in the Office of Chief Surgeon of the European Theater of Operations.

Pillsbury returned to the University of Pennsylvania after the war. He was a Professor of Dermatology and Syphilology in the School of Medicine from 1945 to 1980. He also served as Chairman of the department from 1945 to 1965. From 1946 to 1980, he also served as Professor of Dermatology and in the Graduate School of Medicine. From 1946 to 1980, Pillsbury was also a Consultant to the Surgeon General of the United States Army. He was a Co Medical Director of the Skin and Cancer Hospital of Philadelphia from 1947 to 1952.

From 1958 to 1962, Pillsbury was President of the International Congress of Dermatology and was responsible for the twelfth meeting of the Congress, held in Washington, D.C. from September 9th to 15th, 1962.

In 1933, Pillsbury was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He was also a member and president of the Philadelphia Dermatological Society, the American Academy of Dermatology, the Society for Investigative Dermatology, the American Dermatological Association, and the American Board of Dermatology.

Pillsbury wrote several seminal works including Dermatology (1956) with Walter B. Shelley and Albert M.Kligman and Manual of Cutaneous Medicine (1961).


.5 Box

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The collection was donated to the Historical Collections of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia by Walter B. Shelley in 1963. It was removed from the Autograph Collection and processed in 1989.
Donald M. Pillsbury correspondence
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