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Archival description
Central Administration, Washington University School of Medicine Series
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Correspondence and Other Documents in Letterpress Copybooks, 1902-1912

The series consists of 10 bound volumes of letterpress copybooks. The “letterpress copybooks” are the earliest series of documents compiled in the operation of the Dean’s Office. Such books were first produced in a time before carbon copy paper was readily available, using a 19th-century technique whereby documents were handwritten or typed using special copy inks or ribbons, then moistened slightly and pressed against the thin tissue paper-like pages of the books, creating sometimes clear, but other times barely legible copies. All the letterpress copy volumes in this series were probably manufactured with paper covers (the pressure needed for copying the originals being achieved by rolling the books) and - six decades or more later, upon accessioning by the Library - were rebound with library-style buckram hard covers. All have handwritten indexes listing the names of correspondents in alphabetical order with corresponding page numbers. Some of the volumes also contain vouchers for payment for goods and services ordered by the Department and personnel pay lists, as well as various other documents concerning the operation of Washington University Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the O’Fallon Dispensary. Many loose documents to be found inserted between the pages of the books. Probably included with the “transfer file” (for more concerning which, see Series 2), Accession 77-012. Volumes 1-10.

General Files, mainly 1909-1960

This is the earliest of the alphabetically filed series of correspondence and other documents compiled by the chief executive of the School. It was removed from active use in the Dean’s Office sometime in the 1960s. Although a few items pertain to matters as late as 1970, most files were inactive by 1960 or earlier. The Dean’s Office entrusted it to the Library on July 28, 1977 (Accession 77-012). Thereafter this block of files was for a time (late 1970s-early 1980s) cited as the “Transfer File” or “General Corporation” records series, because of the corrugated transfer containers where they continued to be stored in the Library and their somewhat misleading markings. The series was repackaged in archival document boxes and inventoried in the late 1980s. It includes many files containing historical information about School of Medicine departments. Files in this series were opened for qualified historical research by Dean M. Kenton King in 1989.

Additional General Files, 1899-1980

This is a series arranged by the Library staff in the early 1980s. Folders 1-19 in Box 50 were compiled in the Dean’s Office, part of accession 77-012, and created mainly from the first years of the century. Folders 20-23 in Box 50 were from accession 94-018. The contents of box 50 were microfilmed by the Library. Items in box 51 are of various provenance and arranged with the preceding files as important documents pertaining to WUSM history.

Annual Reports and Special Reports, 1941-1988

This is a series arranged in the Library Archives to contain reports issued at various times by deans and vice chancellors that contain important summary information or assessments of the state of the School with respect to the University and the affiliated hospitals. Files 53:1 to 53:5 are from the Office of the Dean, accession 89-035. Files 53:6 to 53:8 are from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs Samuel B. Guze, at that time separate from the Dean, accession 2006-054. Chronological arrangement.

Selected Historical Files, 1909-1977

Files are from Dean William A. Peck’s office. Former Dean M. Kenton King selected them to be forwarded to the Medical School Archives in 1994, where they were compiled as a special historical series. The files in this series include efforts to generate funding for full-time clinical departments, 1910s-1940s, administrative reforms, 1930s-1940s, the Dempsey-Queeny dispute, 1960s (including the Knowles-Hinsey Report), a visit to WUSM by Sir Peter B. Medawar, 1968, and a historical survey of the WUSM by A. McGehee Harvey, 1977. Files arranged chronologically. Accession 1994-013, 1994-026.

Clinical Office Building Information Systems Strategic Plan, 1991

This is a joint statement by the administrations of Barnes Hospital and WUSM concerning online data systems for a new ambulatory treatment center. It was marked “confidential.” No specific location of such a building is mentioned, but credible speculation at the time pointed to the land occupied by Old Shriners’ Hospital. The subsequent merger of Barnes and Jewish Hospitals and the creation of BJC Healthcare, Inc. led to the construction of a clinical office building - the Center for Advanced Medicine - on the site of the former Jewish Hospital’s Waldheim Ambulatory Care Building and parking structure. The pressboard 3-ring binder was removed for preservation of the pages. Accession 92-061

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