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E. V. Cowdry Papers
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E. V. Cowdry Papers

  • FC008
  • Collection
  • 1909-1975

The Cowdry papers consist of 74 document series of various lengths, most of which are on paper. The arrangement of the series reflect various phases, locales, and time periods of his long career. In terms of subjects, the collection concerns a variety of basic scientific and clinical areas, among them anatomy, cytology, gerontology, cancers, arteriosclerosis, leprosy, and yellow fever. There is an extensive array of important institutions that figure prominently in this collection: Peking Union Medical College, China Medical Board, Rockefeller Institute, American Society for the Aged, Carnegie Corporation, National Research Council, American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, International Cancer Research Council, International Union Against Cancer, American Association for Cancer Research, City of Hope Medical Center (Los Angeles), Tata Memorial Hospital (Bombay), International Association of Gerontology, International Gerontological Congresses, Gerontological Society, Bermuda Biological Station for Research, and the Institutum Divi Thomae Foundation. Of local interest there is material on Washington University School of Medicine administration, the Department of Anatomy and its Division of Cytology, Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital, and Jewish Hospital of St. Louis. Formats of documents comprising the collection include correspondence, departmental records, notebooks, scrapbooks, manuscripts, certificates, photographs, and press clippings. In addition, certain series represent EVC’s complete short publications – papers on scientific topics for the most part – which were bound together in volumes at his request. EVC’s many monographic works and collaborative volumes under single titles are cataloged and stored separately from the collection, but citations to these works may be found in Series 1.

Cowdry, E. V. (Edmund Vincent)


Narratives, most of which concern foreign travels, and an early version of EVC's bibliography. Dated writings are from 1930, 1944, 1965, 1969-1972, and 1984.

Autobiography, 1965.

Written at the request of Joseph T. Freeman. Included in the file is a reprint of Freeman's article. "Edmund Vincent Cowdry, Creative Gerontologist: Memoir and Autobiographical Notes," The Gerontologist 24 (1984): 641-45.

Bibliography, 1944.

This is a relatively early version, presumably compiled at EVC's own request by his Anatomy Department staff. An updated list of publications is found in the scope note of Series 72, Published papers and chapters of books.

Oral history transcripts.

EVC recorded recollections of his early visits to China and Japan in two sessions on October 2, 1969 and January 15, 1970 using an audio tape recorder lent to him by the Medical Library. Although the sound quality of both is very poor, Library staff made a partial transcript of his remarks in the late 1990s that retains some of the wit and flavor that he surely intended. The text, it must be added, is hardly the most reliable account of his life in East Asia. It is partly because the Library with EVC's consent publicized the availability of this "oral history" that is included here.

General correspondence, 1906-1928.

Files covering the period of EVC's life from his undergraduate studies in Toronto to his acceptance of a professorship at Washington University. Boxes 2-22, reels 1-22. See also Series 3 (legal size correspondence from his year in South Africa, 1924-1925).

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