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Ann Arbor Private Hospital (Mich.) records, 1902-1933

23 linear feet

Hospital established by University of Michigan professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Reuben Peterson; until July 1917, it was called Peterson Hospital. Bound case files, miscellaneous statistics, correspondence, research material, and reprints of articles written by Peterson.

The records consist largely of bound case histories for the years 1902-1933. The case histories include correspondence between physicians and patients, diagnostic notes and daily records of the patients' hospital stay. Dr. Peterson carried on some follow-up research, especially on prolapse cases. A listing of patient names and case numbers is on the flyleaf of each volume.

In addition, there is an account for the years, 1902-1921, documenting the founding, growth and diminution of the hospital and its training school for nurses. Several folders of correspondence of the University of Michigan Medical School Departments of Surgery and Obstetrics-Gynecology, some of Dr. Peterson's research material, and reprints of his articles complete the collection.


Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (University of Michigan) records, 1901-1995 (majority within 1935-1958, 1980-1990)

6.5 linear feet (in 8 boxes)

Records include registers; annual reports; administrative files; departmental minutes; admissions books containing details on admission, births, treatment, and disposition of patients; and photographs.

The records of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology document the evolution and development of this department, although the documentation is far from complete. The records primarily cover two periods: 1935-1958, and 1980-1995. The records are organized into nine series: Annual Reports; Minutes; Admissions Books/Birth Records; Registers and Miscellaneous Records; Administrative Files; Medical School Review Committee; Printed Material and Photographs.


George and José Bill papers, 1888-1947

1 linear foot

The George and José Bill papers contain essays, lectures, notes, prescriptions, and correspondence related to the medical practices of George Bill and his son, José Penteado Bill, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Much of the material relates to unconventional medical practices and to topics in metaphysics. The collection also holds a series of astrological charts and notes.

The George and José Bill papers contain essays, lectures, notes, prescriptions, and correspondence related to the medical practices of George Bill and his son José Penteado Bill, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Correspondence and Documents series holds material related to George E. Bill's medical practice, including several letters written to his son during the 1920s. In one letter, he encouraged his son to avoid surgery for his granddaughter Audrey, and instead offered a dietary cure (February 1, 1922); in other letters, he discussed a "rhythometer" and the use of electricity as a medical cure.

The Essays, Lectures, Notes, and Speeches series is divided into several subseries. An unknown author compiled the Miss Doubleday gynecology notes while attending a lecture by Miss Doubleday; the notes include diagrams.

The Lectures on metaphysics consist of 13 lectures delivered by George Bill between November 2 and December 16, 1912, predicated upon a Law of Correspondence, "a General Law underlying the behavior of all Matter and the Spirit of Matter" (November 7, 1912). He mentioned magnetism, toxins thought to affect thoughts, and the polarity between elements of life (light, heat, and electricity) and death (darkness, cold, and magnetism), between which existence resides (November 6, 1912).

A series of Astrology charts and notes contains several charts copied from the work of Karl Anderson, as well as manuscript essays and projections.

Additional Essays, Lectures, Notes and Speeches concentrate primarily on medical topics, and most often concern pseudo-scientific conjectures and treatments outside the realm of conventional medicine. The series contains published articles as well as typed and manuscript drafts; some topics are hypnotism, the medical uses of electrical current, the human subconscious and its role in medicine, infrared therapy, and mental toxins and antitoxins.

A large number of Retained copies of prescriptions showcase a variety of medical treatments ordered by the Bills throughout the late-19th and early-20th century, including both conventional and homeopathic treatments.

The José Penteado Bill papers contain an assortment of material, including, but not limited to, scientific and medical notes, as well as a printed roster of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association (July 1947). Other items are a traveling journal compiled in 1917 and a document giving Bill's grades from his second year of study at Harvard Medical School (1912). The Diaries subseries includes a partially-filled diary of José P. Bill from 1910, as well as a 1924 diary chronicling medical appointments; the latter was obtained in France and contains supplemental information in French. The Notes and notebooks subseries contains notes on José Penteado's engagements, patients, and prescriptions. Also included is a prescription notebook and pad.

The Printed Items series holds seven items. These are Keeley's Secrets, a publication on theosophy written by Mrs. Bloomfield Moore, with manuscript annotations (July 10, 1888); two medical journals; a scientific article; a pamphlet entitled "The Policy and Purpose of the Harrisburg Republican Club" (1902); a portion of an examination given to doctors at Clark University about "Diseases and Cures in Childhood" (December 1896); and a card on medicines, poisons, and antidotes. George Bill wrote the article, "The Relation of Hypnotism to the Subconscious Mind" (New York Medical Journal, May 1, 1897), an article entitled "Some Considerations Relative to the Therapeutic Application of the Electrical Current" (New York Medical Journal, November 13, 1897), and "The Conductivity of Human Radio-Activity" (Journal of the Allied Medical Associations of America, August 1919).

The Poems and Blank Stationery series contains pieces of blank stationery from Dr. George E. Bill's office in Harrisburg, PA, as well as two poems.


John R.G. Gosling Papers, 1897-1984 (majority within 1950-1975)

2 linear feet

Professor of obstetrics and gynecology and associate dean of the Medical School, 1964-1981; papers include files on the history of the University of Michigan Medical School, teaching and research files, some medical school administrative records and personal and professional correspondence.

The Gosling collection consists of research files on obstetrical and gynecological issues, historical files on the University of Michigan Medical School, lecture notes, and student medical notes ca. 1897-1900 (author unknown).


J. Robert Willson Papers, 1933-1993, 1964-1978

6 linear feet

Professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan. Personal and professional correspondence, departmental records and annual reports, activities with professional associations, student notes, and materials dealing with abortion and family planning. Includes photographs.

The papers of J. Robert Willson primarily document his long affiliation with the University of Michigan. The earliest material includes his student notes from Norman F. Miller's lectures on obstetrics and gynecology between 1933 and 1937. Documentation resumes with correspondence and departmental records documenting his tenure as chairman (1964-1978), and professor of obstetrics and gynecology (1964-1983).

The Willson papers are divided into seven records series: Correspondence; Biographical Material; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Files; Topical Files; Talks and Writings; Professional Societies and Organizations; and Photographs.