Collection VC170 - Mildred Trotter Photographs, Certificates, and Artifacts

Studio portrait of Mildred Trotter as an infant. Studio portrait of Mildred Trotter as a toddler. Studio portrait of Mildred Trotter as an adolescent. Studio portrait of Mildred Trotter as a young woman. Studio portrait of Mildred Trotter as a young woman. Mildred Trotter with Richard McConnel. Portrait of Mildred Trotter and Helen Deans. Mildred Trotter and Miss Johnson posed next to a haystack. Mildred Tortter crouched next to a young girl on a sidewalk. Mildred Trotter. Portrait of Mildred Trotter in a lab coat. Studio portrait of Mildred Trotter as a young woman. Portrait of Mildred Trotter in a lab coat, seated at a desk. Studio portrait of Mildred Trotter. Mildred Trotter seated at a desk, looking through a microscope. Mildred Trotter writing at a desk. Mildred Trotter writing at a desk. Mildred Trotter writing at a desk. Portrait of Mildred Trotter wearing a protective laboratory gown, Schofield Barracks, Oahu. Mildred Trotter opening a filing cabinet, Schofield Barracks, Oahu.
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Reference code


Level of description



Mildred Trotter Photographs, Certificates, and Artifacts


  • circa 1901-1984 (Creation)


2.80 Linear Feet

Name of creator


Biographical history

Mildred Trotter is regarded as one of the most eminent 20th century contributors to the field of physical anthropology, especially to knowledge about human bone and hair. A native of Pennsylvania, she received her bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She joined the Washington University School of Medicine Department of Anatomy in 1920 as a researcher and her subsequent work here was applied towards a Ph.D., which she received in 1924. Her full time teaching career began that same year, collaborating with Robert J. Terry in the gross anatomy curriculum. In this capacity, Trotter guided medical students for over fifty years in the exacting art of dissection.

Trotter's research efforts have led to findings that have proven useful not only to clinical medicine, but also to fields such as forensic science, physical anthropology, and archaeology. She contributed much of what is known today about human skeletal structure and density, and particularly the characteristics of long limb bones. Trotter was named to a full professorship in 1946, thus making her the first woman to achieve this rank at Washington University School of Medicine. She was a visiting fellow, lecturer, and professor at several universities in this country and abroad and a consultant to the U.S. Armed Forces. She became a professor emerita in 1967.

Scope and content

This collecion consists of 566 photographs, negatives, slides, certificates, and artifacts that document the professional life of Mildred Trotter. Depicted subjects include portraits of Trotter from childhood and throughout her career, portraits of colleagues, and former students, as well as group portraits of Trotter at various class reunions from Mount Holyoke College and Washington University School of Medicine. Other significant subjects in this collection include: various views of Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, where Trotter spent a term teaching at Makerere University College; photographs from Trotter's work with the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii; and trips to China, Taiwan, and Antarctica.

System of arrangement

Some items have been previously removed from this collection, which has led to an incomplete sequence of numbered items.

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 (

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

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Rules or conventions

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

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Archivist's note

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

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