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Roland G. Curtin papers

Identifier: MSS 2/215

Scope and Contents

This small collection of Roland G. Curtin's papers, 18791912, contains holographs and typescripts of articles and speeches with bibliographies of Curtin's works. Some items in the collection include related letters or notes describing cases and reference material.

Several of the speeches and articles concern heart disease and its treatments. Other noteworthy items are a speech on medical symbolism; obituaries of James B. Walker and DejForest Willard; and Curtin's description of the therapeutic use of sulfuric acid during a cholera outbreak in the Insane Department of Philadelphia Hospital, 1865-1866. Also included in the collection are some personal letters from Curtin's cousin, A. W. Pierson, concerning genealogical research and minutes describing the organization of the Grand Chapter of the Alpha Mu Pi Omega medical fraternity in 1893. Roland G. Curtin was president of the University of Pennsylvania chapter of the fraternity and responsible for the organization of the Grand Chapter.


  • 1879 - 1912


Biographical / Historical

Roland Gideon Curtin, Philadelphia physician, was born in Bellefonte, Pa., on 29 October 1839; he was the son of physician Constans Curtin. Curtin married Julia Taylor Robinson (d. 1904) in 1882; they had two children. Roland G. Curtin died in Philadelphia of cardiovascular disease on 14 March 1913.

Curtin received an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1866 and was a resident at Philadelphia Hospital. He then served as Assistant U.S. Geologist and accompanied F. V. Hayden to the Rocky Mountain district. In 1869, Curtin returned to practice medicine in Philadelphia. He held many professional appointments and was associated with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Howard Hospital, the Lying in Charity, the Maternity Hospital, Philadelphia Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, and the Rush Hospital for Contagious Diseases. He was a founder and director of the Midnight Mission and Assistant Medical Director for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. Curtin also lectured on physical diagnosis at the University of Pennsylvania, 1875-1895, and was professor of geology and meteorology at the Wagner Free Institute of Science, 1871-1873. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1871.

Roland G. Curtin was a member of many professional organizations, including the American Climatological Association, Medical Club of Philadelphia, Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia, Pathological Society of Philadelphia, and Philadelphia County Medical Society. He was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1884.


1 Box

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Custodial History

The source of this collection is unknown, but several items bear the initials "W.N.B.", indicating that the collection may have been once in the possession of or donated by William N. Bradley. In the 1930s, Dr. Bradley was acquainted with Mary Constans Curtin, the daughter of Roland G. Curtin, who also may have donated the collection to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

In 1991, the manuscript items were separated from a larger collection of Roland G. Curtin's reprints, which are catalogued separately (Dbb 742). The collection was processed and catalogued in 1991.
Roland G. Curtin papers
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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