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Files from the Department of Physiology, 1910-1940.

This portion of the Erlanger papers consists of files of correspondence, lecture notes, and other material, 1910-circa 1940, received by the Medical Library on June 7, 1963. They are contained in boxes 1 through 13, with folders consecutively numbered 1 through 154. Although identified by the library staff as one series, it appears in retrospect to contain several imperfectly ordered series or subseries. For example, the files in Box 1, Folder 1 through Box 4, Folder 56, with contents concerning a variety of issues, have an alphabetical arrangement. They are followed by another group with varied contents, Box 4, Folder 57 through Box 7, Folder 101. Here too the arrangement is basically alphabetical. Files in Box 8, Folder 103 through Box 8, Folder 110 pertain mainly to lectures which JE gave at out-of-town venues. Files on professional and scientific societies and research with which JE was concerned follow in Box 9, Folder 111 through Box 10, Folder 133. There is no discernable arrangement system. The series concludes with files of mainly personal correspondence, again with no discernable arrangement system in Box 13, Folder 134 through Box 13, Folder 154. The exact significance of the cryptic notations A1, B2, C3, etc. is not known. The series has been microfilmed, 35 mm reels 1-10.

Lectures, manuscripts, reports, papers, notes, 1882-1964.

Accessions received between June 7, 1963 and September 3, 1964 were grouped together by the library staff for reasons that are presently (2001) unknown. There seems to be no unifying characteristic about this particular mass of material other than it all was received from JE during a particular period of time. Included are three short series possibly arranged by JE himself: lectures 1-13 (ca. 1905-1946, Box 14, folders 155-164), manuscripts 1-8 (1905-09, 1929, 1964, Box 14, folders 165-172), WUSM Physiology Journal Club reports (1927-1941, Box 15, Folders 173-189), and various private correspondence and notes (1882-1964, Box 15, Folders 190-198). It should be noted that all the 19th century documents in the JE papers are concentrated in one file, “Erlanger family correspondence,” 1882-1938. The file in Box 15, Folder 23 seems very likely to have been created by the library staff, possibly at the time of the official presentation of the Erlanger papers in 1963. Series 2 has been microfilmed on 16mm reels 11-12. Boxes 14-15.

Files compiled in retirement or posthumously, 1936-1966.

Most of the files in this series were compiled from materials supplied by the Department of Physiology, JE’s daughter Margaret Erlanger, or the Medical Library. As a group they testify to the high regard that JE was held at the end of his life and immediately thereafter, but they do not appear to be in a file order of his choosing. Included are documents from JE’s career that may have been gathered for his autobiography or perhaps for an exhibit honoring him as well as posthumously created items. It is difficult to date some of this material, but most of it falls within the period 1936-1966. Series 3 has been microfilmed on 16mm reels 13-14. Boxes 16-17.

Bibliographies, lecture notes, 1900-1946.

JE engaged in the common scholarly practice of noting citations to publications and other information important to his work on file cards or on sheets and slips of paper. Some items contain lengthy abstracts or commentary on the works cited and these at least in part served as materials for his lectures and talks. Most of the information is hand-written and the series includes many items with drawings and diagrams. These materials were probably compiled in large part between 1900 and 1950. When first processed for the Library, these files were designated to be "Series 5” and divided into subseries determined in part by the size of the card stock or paper size. The box numbers then were different from what they presently read. Samples of documents from two boxes were microfilmed on 16mm reel 16. Note that the box numbers in the series are not entirely consecutive: the box presently identified as Box 25 contains materials from Series 6 and thus those contents are described later in this finding aid. Boxes 20-24, 26-29.

Oscillographic recordings and tracings, 1940-1951.

Between 1943 and 1951 JE engaged in a complicated series of experiments using a cathode ray oscillograph. He and co-author Gordon M. Schoepfle reported their findings in a series of articles published in the 1940s and early 1950s. The last of these was Observations on the local response in single medullated nerve fibers (1951; a copy is in Series 7). The experiments involved various series of readings of electronic potentials and responses that measured and compared different stimulus strengths, durations, and patterns in the responses (described in terms such as hump heights, hump latencies, spike heights, spike latencies, etc.). The data are recorded in a series of forty-one 35mm film strips and in a series of files containing paper sketches, graphs, and notes. The series was not microfilmed. Exactly how the data on film and on paper were related when they were in JE’s possession is presently unknown. The film strips are the primary documents in his research process, having been recorded by a camera trained directly on the screen of the oscillograph. The files of paper documents most likely represent subsequent analyses of the film data. Yet only some of the files appear to have had film strips stored with or linked to them. The original folders unfortunately were discarded and with them any labels that JE and his associates may have written to guide in retrieving the data. All the same, it seems appropriate to keep the film and the files together as one series, with the order of the one determined by the order of the other. In approaching this material, one might initially assume that the dates marked on some of the film and paper documents would offer a more useful ordering principle than what follows, but on further analysis this seems not to be the case. The various types of results were evidently more important than dates to JE and his associates, who sometimes would review data recorded at various times over eight years and then would rearrange and re-annotate the findings in graphs (and thus dates entered are not necessarily the dates of the documents. Thus for example we find data from both 1943 and 1950 included in Box 30, Folder 6). Dates are nevertheless listed here as one means of identifying the data. Boxes 25, 30.

Publications by Joseph Erlanger, 1901-1964.

This series was compiled in large part from books and reprints acquired directly from JE, but expanded in 2001 to include virtually everything that he published. As noted below, some items were bound into three volumes, presumably at JE’s own request. Others were placed into consecutive file folders. The book Electrical signs of nervous activity, co-authored by H. S. Gasser (1937) was placed in the Monuments of Medicine rare book collection of the Library. The series was not microfilmed. Boxes 31-35.

Books by other authors, 1897, 1940.

Most of the publications in JE’s office library by authors other than himself were given to the Library and thereupon cataloged for use in various book collections. Three volumes are retained with his archival papers, although for disparate reasons. No items in this series have been microfilmed. Box 36.

Notebooks, various subjects, undated [1890s-1910], 1908-1911.

This series consists of 15 notebooks in German and English made by Dr. Leo Loeb and an art sketchbook of unknown authorship. Many of the notebooks are undated and are tentatively dated from the address of the stationers that sold them and the known chronology of Leo Loeb's life, education, and places of residence. According to his autobiography in Ingles' "A dozen doctors," (1963), Loeb left Germany in 1890 for Zurich due to prevailing nationalism. At the University of Zurich in 1890 to 1892, he took the fundamental scientific courses which constituted the first part of the study of medicine. From1892-1895, he was at the University of Edinburgh and the London Hospital for a clinical clerkship. From 1895 to 1897 he finished up his clinical work at the University of Zurich and passed the state examination in 1897. The M.D. required a dissertation. For his dissertation work under Hugo Ribbet, Leo Loeb began in 1895 an extensive series of transplantation experiments of tumors and of various types of normal tissues. He continued tissue transplantation work until 1942.

Psychical Goods Notebooks, 1912-1918.

This series of 10 notebooks is the first draft of Psychical Goods, an unpublished book. The last drafts are in Series 14, boxes 72, and many have references throughout to this series of notebooks. This first draft includes Loebs observations on himself and people he knew as examples. People mentioned are doctors and staff of the Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital and faculty, physicians and staff of Washington University Medical School and affiliated hospitals. Loeb mentions other people from St. Louis as well. The final draft has no names and no references to this series of notebooks, 1912-1918.

Laboratory Notebooks, 1933-1941.

This series contains 8 laboratory notebooks for Dr. Loeb and other members of his lab: S.J. Hayward, Joe Pollock, and Marion Moskop (later Marion Moskop Kirtz).

Newspaper scrapbooks, 1895, 1941-1959

Scrapbook 1 is a collection of newspaper cuttings, 1894-1895, made by Leo Loeb while he was serving his internship in London. The rest of the scrapbooks, 1941-1959, consist chiefly undated printed matter on world news from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other sources with Loeb's brief comments and longer notes and essays.

Biographical Data, undated

Notes on publications, drafts of publications, letters, and other material compiled and gathered in preparation for Autobiographical notes, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 2 (1958):123, plus one file on Georgiana Sands Loeb.

Lectures on Pathology, 1928-1935.

These lecture notes are presumably for a course on pathology for second year medical students at Washington University. This course, Pathology, had three parts. Professor Loeb taught the Lectures and Laboratory Work and the Recitation. The third part on Autopsies was taught by other Pathology department faculty. Fortieth annual catalogue of the school of Medicine, March 20, 1929, page 100-101

Leo Loeb publications, 1896-1945.

This series has three sets of bound reprints. Copy 1 and copy 2 have the bookplate of Washington University Medical School library. Copies 2 and 3 are missing many volumes. There is also an index and unbound reprints.

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