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Central Administration, Washington University School of Medicine
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Dean and Executive Vice Chancellor Records

The Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs and Dean is the chief administrative officer of the School of Medicine. This record subgroup comprises mainly those chief administrative functions of the office that began in 1899 - with the merger of St. Louis Medical College and Missouri Medical College under the aegis of the University - and that continue to this day. During the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, the deanship was a part-time responsibility. The first Assistant Dean was appointed in 1938. Beginning with M. Kenton King’s time of service (1964-1989), the Dean has been a full-time administrator. In 1989, under William A. Peck, the positions of Vice Chancellor and Dean were merged. Since 1993, the position has been styled “Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean.” Presently the Dean’s Office includes several subdivisions under the supervision of Associate Deans, Assistant Deans and Directors with employees numbering in the hundreds. 87 linear feet. [RG01C-sg01]

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.

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