Name and location of repository
Level of description
Alfred Goldman Papers
- 1920-1971 (Creation)
2.00 Linear Feet
Name of creator
Alfred Goldman, born in St. Louis on October 6, 1895, attended public schools in the city and won a scholarship to Washington University where he received three degrees: an A.B. in 1916, an M.S. in physiology in 1922, and an M.D. in 1920. An excellent scholar, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. Medicine fascinated him as an intellectual pursuit and as a means to help others. He also was a sports enthusiast and enjoyed vigorous athletic activity, playing varsity basketball in college and remaining physically active throughout his life. Bowling, golf and fishing were his favorite diversions.
His medical career was spent entirely in St. Louis as a physician in private practice and at the Washington University School of Medicine as Professor of Clinical Medicine, and Director of Medical Chest Service. Goldman is remembered as an extraordinarily skillful physician and colleague. Students appreciated his effectiveness in imparting clinical skills during their rotations with him. He retained close attachments to many associates from the early years of his career until the end of his life.
The spirit of critical inquiry characterizing his professional career came in part from a rigorous training in physiology. His research always reflected a depth of interest in the patient and his drive for scholarship of the highest quality. His earliest scientific discovery dispelled myths about the effect of chilling on the development of upper respiratory disease. As a medical student, Goldman participated in experiments on chilling with his classmates, Stuart Mudd and Samuel Grant. Their findings proved that exposure to cold produced vaso-constriction in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat, a significant fact in treating diseases of the respiratory tract and one quoted widely in the literature.
The work on chilling had a larger impact because it led to the earliest definitive studies of acid-base changes during hyperventilation. During chilling, the investigators exposed themselves unclothed to temperatures of 4 degrees celsius, and in this situation, hyperventilation occurred regularly. Goldman observed that the reaction of his urine always was alkaline following chilling. Although some effects of hyperventilation were known previously, the physiology of tetany due to hyperventilation was completely unknown. Tetany, the hyperexitability of nerves and muscles, is now known to be due to a decrease in concentration of extracellular ionized calcium. Goldman and Grant used a metronome to pace breathing frequency to induce marked alkalosis, and on several occasions, Goldman hyperventilated to the point of generalized tetany. The two worked out physiological alterations accompanying the marked loss of carbon dioxide and realized that a decrease in ionized calcium likely produced the tetany although technical difficulties precluded measurement of ionized calcium.
With his deep understanding of hyperventilation, it is not surprising that Goldman was the first to recognize hysterical hyperventilation and tetany in patients. His clinical description was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1922. Goldman applied the appropriate therapy to some of the earliest patients recognized. This therapy, simple rebreathing into a closed container such as a paper bag, continues to be the preferred therapy for hysterical hyperventilation.
Goldman also investigated pulmonary arteriovenous fistulas. He was the first to recognize the relationship of this disorder to the Rendu-Osler-Weber type of familial arteriovenous fistulas.
The effects of environmental inhalant upon the lung attracted Goldman's attention and he wrote an important paper on sulfric-acid fume poisoning. In addition, he was one of the earliest workers to recognize pneumonconiosis in the tungsten carbide industry, and suggested that the principal offending agent in this type of pulmonary fibrosis was cobalt, a suggestion since confirmed by other workers. He served as consultant physician to Koch Hospital in St. Louis at the time of earliest drug therapy in tuberculosis and was responsible for inclusion of many St. Louis patients in the drug trials. He was given Viomycin by the Pfizer Company in 1949 and realized its effectiveness. Recognizing one of the earliest examples of sedormid purpura, he reported the incident to the pharmaceutical firm and was advised that it probably was coincidence and not worth publishing. Within a year, however, there were at least a dozen reports in the literature documenting similar toxicity to the drug, and he regretted not publishing his early report.
Goldman took an active role in the American College of Chest Physicians, serving as president during 1964-65; presenting papers and participating in symposia in many states and abroad, including Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, Mexico, and Central America. He died on November 25, 1973.
*From a memorial article by John A. Pierce, M.D, March, 1974 (modified for the finding aid, 2005).
Scope and content
The Alfred Goldman Papers contain publications, correspondence, manuscripts, lecture outlines, case studies, a notebook, a scrapbook of clippings and letters (microfilm only), a scrapbook of memorial letters, reports and photographs relating to AG’s career and research in diseases of the chest and effects of hyperventilation.
Among the reprints in the collection are pioneer works in hyperventilation, cytology of fluids, and arteriovenous fistula of the lung. Other series pertaining to AG’s published work are correspondence and reports, manuscripts, and scientific photographs. The correspondence in the scrapbooks attests to AG’s warm relationships with friends, colleagues, and patients.
Shortly after acquisition, the Goldman papers were arranged in 6 subgroups and 11 series, inventoried, and then microfilmed. The so-called subgroups constitute an arrangement by format. In the 1970s the Library regularly classed collections of faculty papers in the following pattern: 1, Publications; 2, Bound Papers; 3, Loose Papers; 4, Card files; 5, Photographs; and 6, Memorabilia. Card files happened not to be part of the Goldman papers, thus no subgroup 4 is present. Selected photographs and memorabilia are retained in the papers. All subgroups are now series and series are now subseries. (Other images, notably portraits and group portraits, are presently found in Library visual collections VC 410, 411, and 415.)
The arrangement by format also called for enumerating folders in a fashion that needs explanation –particularly if the microfilm is used. First, the four part folder code number on the right side of the folder tab represents following sequence: collection number/subgroup number/series number/folder number. Second, the folder numbers start over with each new subgroup rather than with each new box. Third, empty cross reference folders were made referring users to material elsewhere in the collection. Later, empty folders were removed creating the gaps in folder numbering.
System of arrangement
Conditions governing access
The collection is open and accessible for research.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
AG’s wife, Miriam L. Goldman, gave the Medical Library books and manuscripts belonging to her late husband in 1974-1975 (74-8 and 75-14 and Library Notes (newsletter), 13 (4):4 January/February 1974). In 2005, his son, Roger L. Goldman, gave framed documents, the memorial scrapbook, certificates, clippings, and photographs belonging to his father (2005-036 and 2006-005).
Immediate source of acquisition
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Rules or conventions
"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."
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