Aldred Scott Warthin papers  1893-1947 (bulk 1923-1931)
Summary Information
Title: Aldred Scott Warthin papers
Creator: Warthin, Aldred Scott, 1866-1931.
Inclusive dates: 1893-1947
Bulk dates: 1923-1931
Extent: 3 linear feet
Location: Portions located in offsite storage; prior notification required for access.
Abstract:
University of Michigan pathologist. Correspondence, primarily with physicians, articles, and other material relating to University of Michigan Medical School and medical practice in general; files relating to his editorship of the Annals of Clinical Medicine; and photographs.
Call number: 86199 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid author: Finding aid created by Susan Avery, September 1993

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The bulk of this collection came to the library in 1945 and 1948 from the Dept. of Pathology (Donor no. 2108) and from Dr. Carl Weller of the Department of Pathology (Donor no. 2487). A small accession came from Dr. Thomas Angell Warthin (Donor no. 6236), and 1 folder was received from Dr. Thomas Weller in 1996.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

Copyright:

Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Aldred Scott Warthin Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Aldred Scott Warthin was a pathologist, teacher, and author of international reputation who served the University of Michigan Medical School as director of the Pathology Laboratory from 1903 until his death in 1931.

Born in Greensburg, Indiana in 1866, as a youth Warthin often accompanied his physician uncle collecting specimens. He also took piano lessons to please his invalid mother and entered the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where, in 1887, he was awarded a teacher's diploma. Warthin attended Indiana University, where he pursued his interest in science and received an A.B. degree in 1888. Warthin then entered the University of Michigan Medical School, supporting himself by teaching music lessons and serving as a church organist. In 1891 he was awarded an M.D., followed by a Ph.D. in 1893.

Warthin began his medical career as an assistant and demonstrator in internal medicine at the university. He assumed charge of the pathology laboratory in 1896. He requested all specimens from clinics be sent to him for diagnosis and soon established a close relationship between pathology and clinical medicine. In 1903 he was named director of the lab and professor. From 1893 to 1900 Warthin spent his summers in European pathology laboratories in Vienna, Dresden, and Freiburg.

Subjects of particular interest to Warthin ranged from the problems of tuberculosis to the importance of constitution and heredity in leukemia and hemolymph nodes as well as genetic tendencies to cancer and constitutional aspects of hyperthyroidism. Following World War I he carried on extensive work on the pathology of mustard gas poisoning. He also addressed the social hygiene problems inherent in the spread of venereal diseases at this time. The last twenty years of his life were devoted to the study of the pathology of syphilis particularly involving the heart, aorta, pancreas, adrenals and testes.

Warthin's writings appeared in the form of pathology textbooks and translations, as well as articles in journals and textbooks. From 1924 to 1931 Warthin served as editor of the Annals of Clinical Medicine (later the Annals of Internal Medicine). Among the books he authored is The Physician of the Dance of Death (1931), a work prompted by his interest in books and pictures he collected which depicted the "Dance of Death." This volume and two others, Old Age- The Major Involution (1929) and The Creed of a Biologist (1930), reflected Warthin's thinking on immortality and human nature.

In 1927 he was presented with a special tribute, a "Festschrift" comprised of fifty-eight contributions to medical science from his students and early teachers. Warthin was also awarded the Henry Russel Award in 1929 by the University of Michigan.

At the Race Betterment conference in Battle Creek in 1928, Warthin expressed his controversial views that religion and the concept of forgiveness of sin only served to harm the human race by the continual transmission of social diseases. He also discouraged marrying for romantic love and encouraged those contemplating marriage to check fully into their ancestral backgrounds to avoid the transmittal of inheritable disease to future generations. Warthin believed the only means to physical betterment and long life came through eugenics.

Warthin was prominently involved in professional organizations, serving as the president for many of them. These presidencies included the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists in 1908, International Association of Medical Museums from 1910 to 1913, American Society for Experimental Pathology in 1924, Association of American Physicians in 1924, American Association for Cancer Research in 1928, and the American Association of the History of Medicine, 1930-1931. He served as well as the vice president of the American Association of Physicians from 1925 until his death. He died in Ann Arbor in 1931.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Aldred Scott Warthin collection documents the growth of pathology as a discipline at the Medical School at the University of Michigan and the professional life of one of the nation's leading pathologists. The papers are divided into five series: Correspondence, Topical Files, Writings, Biographical/Personal, and Annals of Clinical Medicine.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


    Subjects:
    • Annals of clinical medicine.
    • Medicine--Study and teaching--Michigan.
    • Physicians--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
    • University of Michigan. Dept. of Pathology.
    • University of Michigan--Faculty.
    • University of Michigan. Medical School.
    • Warthin, Aldred Scott, 1866-1931.
    • Medicine--Michigan.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • University of Michigan--Faculty.
    • University of Michigan--Student housing--1881-1890.
    • Warthin, Aldred Scott, 1866-1931.
    Contributors:
    • Adami, J. George (John George), 1862-1926.
    • Beal, Junius E. (Junius Emery), 1860-1942.
    • Clements, William L. (William Lawrence), 1861-1934.
    • Flexner, Simon, 1863-1946.
    • Hektoen, Ludvig, 1863-1951.
    • Jacobi, A. (Abraham), 1830-1919.
    • Kellogg, John Harvey, 1852-1943.
    • Krumbhaar, E. B. (Edward Bell), 1882-1966
    • Mayo, William James, 1861-1939.
    • Osler, William, Sir, 1849-1919.
    • Rous, Peyton, 1879-1970.
    • Sanford, Arthur Hawley, 1882-1959
    • Vaughan, Victor C. (Victor Clarence), 1851-1929.
    • Welch, William Henry, 1850-1934.
    • Weller, Carl Vernon, 1887-1969
    Genre Terms:
    • Photographs.
    Contents List
    Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
    Container / Location Title
     
    Correspondence [series]

    The Correspondence series (1893-1947) is divided into three subseries: General, Personal, and Miscellaneous. General Correspondence concerns a variety of topics, mainly medical, including discussions of writings, studies, lectures, and clarifications of laboratory procedures. Personal Correspondence contains correspondence reflecting personal and family concerns. Of particular interest are two letters written by Warthin to "Dear Friend" from Vienna in the summers of 1893 and 1894 in which he shares his reactions to life in Vienna and the medical processes of the time. Also included is a folder of correspondence from Sir William Osler, who in many ways was Warthin's mentor. Miscellaneous Correspondence contains correspondence received by Warthin and Dr. Carl Vernon Weller. Weller served on the staff with Warthin and succeeded him as chairman of the Department of Pathology. Some of the correspondence addressed to Weller is written after Warthin's death which accounts for the collection's later dates.

    Box   1  
    General (arranged chronologically)  1896-1939 (8 folders)
     
    Personal (arranged chronologically)
    Box   1  
     1923-1929 (4 folders)
    Box   1  
    Garden Club of Ann Arbor  1929-1930
    Box   1  
    Osler, Sir William  1899-1919
    Box   1  
    Miscellaneous (Warthin and Carl Weller)  1908-1947
     
    Topical Files [series]

    The Topical Files series (1896-1930) is divided into five subseries: Associations and Organizations; Medical Museums; Medical Opinions, Advice and Studies; Publications; and University of Michigan. Although the majority of these subseries consists of correspondence, some studies and reports are also included.

     
    Associations and Organizations

    The dates of the Associations and Organizations files range from 1923 to 1930 and often reflect Warthin's official duties within the organization as well as his relations with other physicians of a national reputation. The American Association for Cancer Research file includes Warthin's 1928 presidential address and the Association of American Physicians file includes his 1928 address for that organization. Extensive correspondence with Dr. Frank Smithies, prior editor of the Annals of Clinical Medicine, is included in the American College of Physicians file. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (American Society for Experimental Pathology) contains correspondence with E.B. Krumbhaar in which Warthin expresses his concerns for the profession and its need for new practitioners. The Archives of Pathology contains correspondence with Ludwig Hektoen and the Rockefeller Foundation file contains correspondence with Nobel Prize winner Peyton Rous.

    Box   1  
    American Association for Cancer Research  1925-1930 (2 folders)
    Box   1  
    American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists  1926-1929
    Box   1  
    American Association of the History of Medicine  1929-1930
    Box   1  
    American College of Physicians  1924-1930 (6 folders)
    Box   1  
    American Congress on Internal Medicine  1925-1926 (2 folders)
    Box   1  
    American Heart Association  1928-1929
    Box   1  
    American Medical Association  1927-1930
    Box   1  
    American Social Hygiene Association  1928-1929
    Box   1  
    Archives of Pathology  1925-1928 (2 folders)
    Box   1  
    Association for Cancer Research  1926-1927
     
    Association of American Physicians  1923-1930 (3 folders)
    Box   1  
    Washington Meeting  May 1928
    Box   1  
    Council on Physical Therapy  1925-1930 (2 folders)
    Box   1  
    Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (American Society for Experimental Pathology)  1924-1928 (2 folders)
    Box   1  
    International Physiological Congress  1927-1928
    Box   1  
    International Society for Medical History  1926-1927
    Box   1  
    Michigan Tuberculosis Association (Mississippi Valley Tuberculosis Association)  1925-1928
     
    National Research Council  1924-1928
    Box   1  
    Medicolegal Institute  1924-1930
    Box   1  
    Rockefeller Foundation  1925-1926
     
    Medical Museums

    Interest in pathological specimens and the need for museums are discussed in the Medical Museums subseries (1923-1929).

    Box   1  
    Army Medical Museum  1923-1924
    Box   1  
    International Association for Medical Museums (Bulletin)  1925-1929
    Box   1  
    Medical Museum  1923-1924
     
    Medical Opinions, Advice and Studies

    The Medical Opinions, Advice, and Studies (1912-1929) subseries contains correspondence with lay persons and physicians from throughout the country seeking Warthin's advice and opinions on a host of medical questions ranging from procedures to diagnosis. Reports and correspondence regarding particular areas of studies Warthin was involved in are also included.

    Box   1  
    Medical Opinions and Advice  1912-1930 (4 folders)
    Box   1  
    Bone Sarcoma Registry  1926-1928
     
    Dibothriocephalus latus investigation
    Box   1  
    Correspondence  1927-1929
    Box   1  
    Reports
    Box   1  
    Dinitrophenal study  1918
    Box   1  
    Hemolymph node and cardiac anomaly glass plate negatives
    Box   1  
    Koch Treatment  1927
    Box   1  
    Pernicious Anemia  1924-1926
     
    University of Michigan

    The University of Michigan subseries dates from 1896 to 1930, the greater portion of Warthin's tenure at the university and consists of a wide array of materials. Contained in the Administration records is correspondence with several university presidents and Secretary Shirley W. Smith, as well as a folder of correspondence regarding the Faculty Bibliography and Warthin's disagreement with the policy of excluding interns from the publication.

     
    Administration
    Box   2  
    Faculty Bibliography  1925-1929
    Box   2  
    Secretary Shirley W. Smith  1923-1927
    Box   2  
    University Presidents  1918-1930
     
    Awards and Memorials
    Box   2  
    Henry Russel Award  1928-1929
    Box   2  
    Novy Portrait  1929-1930
    Box   2  
    Vaughan Memorial  1929
     
    Honor Societies
    Box   2  
    Alpha Omega Alpha  1925-1927
    Box   2  
    Phi Kappa Phi  1926-1927
     
    Medical Library

    The Medical Library material is of particular interest in that it documents the inception of the medical library as a separate entity as well as the crucial role Warthin played in its establishment and development. As chairman of the Medical Library Committee, Warthin was instrumental in the growth of the medical library's collection of medical incunabula and the Haass and Pilcher Collections.

    Box   2  
     1909-1930 (5 folders)
    Box   2  
    Michigan Papyri  1925-1926
     
    Medical School and Hospital
    Box   2  
    Faculty Concerns  1926-1927
    Box   2  
    Hospital  1927-1930
     
    Pathology Department

    Included in the Pathology Department files are a variety of materials ranging from correspondence to reports, inventories and examinations. Warthin's role as director of the pathology laboratory is documented in the General Correspondence files which often address policy decisions. The Student Recommendations and Concerns file exhibits some of the racial and ethnic biases of the time as well as Warthin's willingness to support his former students.

     
    Contributions from the Pathological Laboratory,
    Box   2  
    Vol. I  1896-1902
    Box   2  
     1928-1930
    Box   2  
    General Correspondence  1925-1930 (2 folders)
     
    Lectures-Correspondence
    Box   2  
    Extension  1917-1918
    Box   2  
    Social Hygiene  1917-1918
    Box   2  
    Pathology Courses and Examinations  1927-1929
    Box   2  
    Pathology Inventory  1922-1926
    Box   2  
    Student Recommendations and Concerns  1925-1930
    Box   2  
    Summer Session  1923-1929
    Box   2  
    War Activities of Pathology Department  1917-1918
     
    Writings [series]

    The Writings series (1909-1931) consists of manuscripts of many of Warthin's publications as well as correspondence with those directly involved in the publication of the various journals for which he wrote. The Publications subseries contains both alphabetical and chronological materials. The Alphabetical files relate to specific publications authored by Warthin in the period from 1916 to 1931. Although primarily correspondence, some abstracts and completed articles are also included. The Chronological files consist primarily of correspondence with various editors and publishers with regard to Warthin's articles and texts. Also included in these materials are three folders of Responses to Publications which further document the respect Warthin had garnered nationally.

    The Manuscripts subseries (1909-1931) also contains both alphabetical and chronological materials. The Alphabetical files contains manuscripts of several of the books and articles Warthin authored. Those included in these files tend to be rather complete. The Chronological files, on the other hand, are often untitled and occasionally incomplete in their contents. Items in the Reprints subseries include a variety of articles appearing in journals.

     
    Publications
     
    Alphabetical Series
    Box   2  
    American Heart Journal,  1925-1926
    Box   2  
    American Journal of Roentgenology and Radium Therapy,  1923-1926
    Box   2  
    Contributions to Medical Science,  1928-1929
    Box   2  
    The Creed of a Biologist,  1929-1930
    Box   2  
    Ewing Cancer Number  1929-1930
    Box   2  
    Journal of the American Medical Association,  1927-1928
    Box   2  
    Medical and Surgical History of the World War,  1925-1926
    Box   2  
    C.V. Mosby Co.  1926-1930
    Box   2  
    Old Age-The Major Involution,  1928-1930
    Box   2  
    Osler's Modern Medicine (Memorial Volume),  1926
    Box   2  
    Peerless Engraving and Colortype Co.  1916
    Box   2  
    Physician of the Dance of Death,  1929-1931
    Box   2  
    Roentgenotherapy Textbook  1929
     
    Chronological Series
    Box   2  
     1918-1919
    Box   2  
     1924-1930
    Box   2  
    Forthcoming  1929-1930
    Box   2  
    Responses to Publications  1918-1927 (3 folders)
     
    Manuscripts
     
    Alphabetical Series
    Box   2  
    Creed of a Biologist,  1930
    Box   2  
    Handbook articles
    Box   2  
    Legends for figures
    Box   2  
    Miscellaneous
    Box   2  
    Mustard Gas Poisoning  1922-1924
    Box   2  
    Old Age
    Box   2  
    Physician of the Dance of Death
    Box   2  
    Statistical data and legends
    Box   2  
    Syphilis
    Box   2  
    Venereal Disease
     
    Chronological Series
    Box   2  
     1909-1930 (6 folders)
    Box   2  
    Reprints  1911-1931
     
    Biographical/Personal [series]

    The Biographical/ Personal series (1893-1936) is comprised of an 1893 diary written while Warthin was en route on his first trip to Vienna. The Tributes file includes resolutions passed in honor of Warthin following his death as well as related correspondence. The bulk of the Clippings file consists of Warthin obituaries and a small number of clippings which appeared prior to his death. Contained in the Photographs are several portraits of Warthin dating from 1898 to 1926.

    Box   2  
    Diary  1893
     
    Tributes
    Box   2  
    Resolutions/Correspondence  1931-1932
    Box   2  
    Published Reprints  1931-1935
    Box   2  
    Clippings  1895-1936
    Box   2  
    Photographs,  1898-1926
    Box   2  
    House and family photographs and glass plate negatives.
     
    Annals of Clinical Medicine (later Annals of Internal Medicine) [series]

    The Annal of Clinical Medicine series (1923-1930) begins in 1924 with the transfer of the editorship of the journal to Warthin. Included in the files are correspondence with the publisher as well as with contributors to various issues. Those files with a designation for a specific month include Warthin's contributions as editor, more specifically editorials, reviews, and abstracts. In 1927 the journal changed title to Annals of Internal Medicine.

    Box   3  
     1923-1924
     
     1924-1925
    Box   3  
    General Correspondence
    Box   3  
     July-August 1924 (2 folders)
     
     1926-1927
    Box   3  
    General Correspondence
    Box   3  
    Monthly files  July 1926-June 1927 (12 folders)
     
     1927-1928
    Box   3  
    General Correspondence
    Box   3  
    Monthly files  July 1927-June 1928 (10 folders)
     
     1928-1929
    Box   3  
    General Correspondence
    Box   3  
    Monthly file  July 1928-June 1929 (12 folders)
     
     1929-1930
    Box   3  
    General Correspondence
    Box   3  
    Minneapolis Clinical Session
    Box   3  
    Monthly files  July 1929-June 1930 (12 folders)
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Selective Index to Correspondents

    • Adami, J. George (John George), 1862-1926
      • in Correspondence, General March 29, 1887, April 10, 1897
    • Beal, Junius Emery, 1860-1942
      • in Topical Files, University of Michigan, Medical Library Jan. 18, 1926, March 6, 1926
      • in Correspondence, General Nov. 13, 1918, July 15, 1923
    • Clements, William L. (William Lawrence), 1861-1934
      • in Topical Files, University of Michigan, Medical Library Feb. 6, 1926
    • Flexner, Simon, 1863-1946
      • in Writings, Publications, Chronological Series June 28, 1918, May 31, 1927
      • in Topical Files, University of Michigan, Honor Societies, Alpha Omega Alpha April 23, 1926, Feb. 1, 1927
      • in Correspondence, General April 13, 1897, Oct. 3, 1902
      • in Topical Files, University of Michigan, Student Recommendations and Concerns Oct. 28, 1929
    • Hektoen, Ludvig, 1863-1951
      • in Topical Files, Associations and Organizations, American Medical Association Nov. 1, 1927
      • in Topical Files, Associations and Organizations, Archives of Pathology Nov. 9, 1925, Nov. 8, 1926, April 4, 1927, May 12, 1927, May 24, 1927, Nov. 9, 1927, Dec. 1, 1927
      • in Topical Files, Associations and Organizations, National Research Council Dec. 8, 1924, Jan. 8, 1925, May 29, 1925, June 30, 1925
      • in Topical Files, Associations and Organizations, National Research Council, Medicolegal Institute Nov. 18, 1924, Nov. 29, 1924
      • in Writings, Publications, Chronological Series Dec. 5, 1924, Sept. 14, 1925, Sept. 18, 1925, Nov. 21, 1925, Feb. 19, 1926, Oct. 11, 1928, Oct. 15, 1928
      • in Topical Files, Medical Opinions, Advice and Studies, Dibothriocephalus latus investigation March 12, 1928, Dec. 17, 1928, Oct. 15, 1928
      • in Topical Files, Medical Opinions, Advice and Studies, Pernicious Anemia Oct. 27, 1924
      • in Correspondence, Personal Dec. 13, 1926
      • in Correspondence, General, March 5, 1910, March 21, 1910, March 26, 1910, June 18, 1910, Sept. 24, 1910
    • Jacobi, A. (Abraham), 1830-1919
      • in Correspondence, General April 17, 1907, June 18, 1908, June 30, 1908
    • Kellogg, John Harvey, 1852-1943
      • in Correspondence, General June 13, 1927
        • Selective Name Index (cont.)
    • Krumbhaar, E.B. (Edward Bell), 1882-
      • in Topical Files, Associations and Organizations, American Association of the History of Medicine April 29, 1930
      • in Topical Files, Associations and Organizations, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Jan 3, 1924, Aug. 24, 1924, Sept. 5, 1924, Oct. 30, 1924, Nov. 18, 1924, Nov. 28, 1924, Dec. 4, 1924, Dec. 10, 1924, Dec. 15, 1924, Dec. 19, 1924, Jan. 8, 1925, Jan. 19, 1925, Jan. 26, 1927, Feb. 26, 1927
      • in Topical Files, Associations and Organizations, International Society for Medical History March 26, 1927
      • in Correspondence, General Jan. 14, 1928, May 18, 1928
    • Mayo, William James, 1861-1939
      • in Topical Files, University of Michigan, Medical Library Feb. 3, 1926, May 31, 1926
      • in Correspondence, General Dec. 28, 1925
    • Osler, William, Sir, 1849-1919
      • in William Osler Correspondence folder
    • Rous, Peyton, 1879-1970
      • in Topical Files, Associations and Organizations, Rockefeller Institute Feb. 2, 1925, Feb. 7, 1925
      • in Topical Files, Medical Opinions, Advice and Studies, Dinitrophenal Study Oct. 24, 1918, Nov. 13, 1918, Nov. 14, 1918
      • in Topical Files, University of Michigan, Honor Societies, Alpha Omega Alpha Oct. 28, 1925, Feb. 3, 1926
      • in Correspondence, Personal Dec. 15, 1924
      • also in Correspondence, Miscellaneous (Warthin and Weller)
    • Sanford, Arthur Hawley, 1882-
      • in Topical Files, Medical Opinions, Advice and Studies, Medical Opinions and Advice Feb. 26, 1924, March 6, 1924
    • Vaughan, Victor C. (Victor Clarence), 1851-1929
      • in Writings, Publications, Chronological Series May 23, 1918, July 18, 1918, Nov. 4, 1918
      • in Topical Files, University of Michigan, Pathology Department, War Activities of Pathology Department March 30, 1918
      • in Correspondence, Personal Oct. 3, 1925, Oct. 10, 1925, Feb. 3, 1926, May 21, 1926
      • in Correspondence, Miscellaneous (Warthin and Weller), Jan. 21, 1928
    • Welch, William Henry, 1850-1934
      • in Correspondence, General April 10, 1897, Nov. 21, 1900, April 29, 1907, Oct. 16, 1907, April 8, 1908, July 18, 1908, Aug. 29, 1908, March 26, 1917, Aug. 27, 1918
      • in Correspondence, Miscellaneous (Warthin and Weller), June 21, 1916