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E. V. Cowdry PapersAdd to your cart. | Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives

Title: E. V. Cowdry PapersAdd to your cart.
ID: FC/FC008
Extent: 117.0 Linear Feet
Predominant Dates: 1909-1975
expand icon Biographical/Historical Note

The interests and achievements of Edmund Vincent Cowdry (1888-1975) combined several careers in one. He was born in Alberta province, Canada, and grew up in Ontario. He studied at the University of Toronto, receiving his BA in 1909. Continuing with graduate training in anatomy, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1913. He was on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University from 1913 to 1917. From 1917 to 1921, he was among the first professors at Peking Union Medical College, established by the Rockefeller Foundation in Beijing, China. From 1921 until 1928, EVC was an associate member of the Rockefeller Institute, the medical research center in Manhattan that is now known as Rockefeller University. Beginning with that period, he made several research trips to African countries. In South Africa, he was instrumental in isolating the organism (thereafter called Cowdria ruminantium) which causes heartwater in animals. In Tunisia, he investigated the etiology of malaria. In Kenya, his chief interest was yellow fever.

EVC joined Washington University School of Medicine in 1928 as head of the Cytology program and co-chair of the Department of Anatomy, and for that purpose moved to St. Louis. The city became his and his family’s home for the remainder of his life, although he continued his earlier pattern of extended leaves and foreign travel. He became a United States citizen in 1930. Later he became director of research at Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital (1939), then an independent hospital, but which he guided toward eventual integration with Washington University School of Medicine. In 1941 he became the formal head of the Department of Anatomy (1941). EVC’s chief laboratory research interests in those years came to focus on cancer. He was noted not only for work in the laboratory, but also for his advocacy of increased public support for programs to fight malignant diseases. He was also widely known for coordinating interdisciplinary work in gerontology and is considered today to be one of the founders of contemporary scientific approaches in that branch of applied medicine and social work. EVC stepped down as head of anatomy in 1950, accepting in its place the position of director of the Wernse Cancer Research Laboratory at the school. He was named professor emeritus and director emeritus of the Wernse laboratory in 1960. EVC remained active in research in the university and at Jewish Hospital of St. Louis until his death in 1975.

expand icon Access and Use Restrictions
Restrictions: The collection is open and accessible for research.

Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.

Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.

For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (

Related Materials:
Preferred Citation: [Item description, Box number, Folder number], E. V. Cowdry Papers, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University School of Medicine.
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Finding Aid/Collection Inventory
Series 1: Autobiography.
Series 2: General correspondence, 1906-1928.
Series 3: South African correspondence, 1924-1925.
Series 4: General correspondence, 1928-1940.
Series 5: Correspondence concerning leprosy research, 1935-1965.
Series 6: Correspondence concerning the Club for Research on Ageing, 1937-1950.
Series 7: Correspondence concerning Textbook of Histology, 1941-1950.
Series 8: General correspondence, 1941-1950.
Series 9: General correspondence, 1950-1960.
Series 10: Correspondence and financial records concerning the Fourth International Cancer Congress and International Cancer Research Commission, 1947-1951.
Series 11: Correspondence with foreign cancer research colleagues, 1948-1960.
Series 12: Correspondence with University and Medical Center administrations, 1948-1960.
Series 13: Correspondence with scientific colleagues concerning books, 1959-1971.
Series 14: Correspondence with publishers, 1950-1972.
Series 15: Correspondence concerning the International Association of Gerontology, 1951-1957.
Series 16: Invitations to professional events, 1952-1958.
Series 17: Correspondence concerning post as cancer advisor in India, 1951-1960.
Series 18: General correspondence, 1955-1961.
Series 19: Correspondence concerning international gerontology meetings, 1956-1959.
Series 20: Correspondence concerning the Veterans Administration Advisory Committee on Problems of Aging, 1955-1958.
Series 21: Care of the Geriatric Patient, 1951-1959.
Series 22: Care of the Geriatric Patient, 1958-1963.
Series 23: Care of the Geriatric Patient, 1969-1972.
Series 24: Correspondence concerning the City of Hope, 1959-1961.
Series 25: Correspondence and booklets concerning the White House Conference on Aging, 1960-1961.
Series 26: General correspondence, 1952-1961.
Series 27: General correspondence, 1960-1963.
Series 28: General correspondence, 1961-1970.
Series 29: General correspondence, 1964-1971.
Series 30: Files relating to "Tribute to Lord Nuffield," 1971-1973.
Series 31: Correspondence concerning the Cancer Control Foundation, 1969.
Series 32: General correspondence, 1974.
Series 33: General correspondence, 1975.
Series 34: Correspondence concerning Aging Better and Care of the Geriatric Patient, 1971-1974.
Series 35: Manuscript of Citizen cells, an unpublished book, late 1930s.
Series 36: Files concerning the Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital, 1941-1952.
Series 37: Grant files, 1939-1953.
Series 38: Personal income tax records, 1921-1956.
Series 39: Records of the Second International Gerontological Congress, 1951-1952.
Series 40: Veterans administration hospital grants, 1950-1957.
Series 41: Washington University Senate Finance Committee minutes, 1936-1939.
Series 42: Overseas travel accounts from the 1930s.
Series 43: Selected texts on scientific themes from the 1930s and 1940s.
Series 44: Personal financial files, 1930-1933.
Series 45: General correspondence, 1957-1969.
Series 46: Miscellaneous personal items, 1938-1960.
Series 47: General correspondence, 1917-1918.
Series 48: General correspondence, 1924-1926.
Series 49: General correspondence, 1927-1929.
Series 50: General correspondence, 1930-1931.
Series 51: General correspondence, 1932-1934.
Series 52: General correspondence, 1934-1935.
Series 53: General correspondence, 1935-1936.
Series 54: General correspondence, 1936-1937.
Series 55: General correspondence, 1938-1940.
Series 56: Course files, 1931-1944, 1956.
Series 57: Cytology Department files, 1932-1933.
Series 58: Correspondence concerning Human biology and racial welfare, 1926-1931.
Series 59: Recommendation letters, 1938-1950.
Series 60: General correspondence, 1943-1950.
Series 61: Correspondence concerning a dinner honoring Cowdry, Detroit, 1954.
Series 62: Activity and address book, 1947-1957.
Series 63: Passports of Edmund Vincent Cowdry and Alice Hanford Cowdry, 1949-1957.
Series 64: Correspondence log, 1960-1974.
Series 65: Cancer research laboratory guest book, 1948-1964.
Series 66: Press clippings from scrapbooks on the Fourth International Cancer Congress, 1947, and the Second International Gerontological Congress, 1951.
Series 67: Rockefeller Institute monthly expense books, 1924, 1927, 1928.
Series 68: East Coast fever experiment log books, 1930.
Series 69: Films of travel in East Africa, 1930.
Series 70: Sound recordings, 1951-1952.
Series 71: Annotated wall calendars, 1959-1972.
Series 72: Published papers and chapters of books, 1911-1971.
Series 73: Published papers, contributions from the Peking Union Medical College, Department of Anatomy, 1918-1920.
Series 74: Published papers, cancer research at Washington University, 1933-1950.

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