Helen Tredway Graham Papers


Reference code


Level of description



Helen Tredway Graham Papers


  • 1898-1971 (Creation)


13.50 Linear Feet

Name of creator


Biographical history

Helen Tredway Graham (July 21, 1890 - April 4, 1971) graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1911 and received her M.A. from Bryn Mawr in 1912. She studied for a year at the University of Gottingen, Germany and later earned her PhD at the University of Chicago while working with the renowned organic chemist Julius Stieglitz. In 1916, she married Evarts Graham, who was appointed Head of the Department of Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. Helen took a job in the Pharmacology Department where she remained for the rest of her career. She was appointed Assistant Professor in 1931, Associate Professor in 1937, and Professor in 1954. She was a member of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the American Physiological Society, and the Histamine Club.

For most of Graham's career, her work concerned the physiology and pharmacology of the peripheral nerve. Graham collaborated with many respected researchers including Herbert Gasser, Lorente de No, Francis Schmitt, and James O'Leary. Later in her career, Graham dedicated her research to the field of histamine. She independently discovered the histamine storage function of mast cells and blood basophiles, and she developed highly sensitive methods for measuring histamine in body fluids. Shortly before her death at age 80, Graham successfully applied for a renewal of NIH grant to continue her work in histamine.

Scope and content

Correspondence, notes, card files, photographs, clippings and personal and civic memorabilia. Includes documents about organizations such as Greater Saint Louis Air Pollution Control Association, Saint Louis Civil Liberties Committee, Citizens Clean Air Committee of Saint Louis, Coalition for the Environment-Saint Louis Region and American Association of University Women.

System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

The collection is open and accessible for research.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

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 (arb@wusm.wustl.edu).

Preferred Citation:

Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift; 14 May 1971, Evarts A. Graham, Jr., Accession 1971-006: FC012 (Graham, Helen Tredway, papers)--Source Collection file

Gift; no date, Dept of Pharmacology, WUSM per F. Edmund Hunter , Accession 1982-059: FC012 (Graham, Helen Tredway, papers, 7.5 linear feet )--Source Collection file

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Rules or conventions

"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."

Sources used

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives. All rights reserved.

Place access points

Genre access points

Accession area