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Cholera Epidemics in the 19th Century

The Great Plague of London, 1665

The Boston Smallpox Epidemic, 1721

“Pestilence” and the Printed Books of the Late 15th Century

Spanish Influenza in North America, 1918–1919

Syphilis, 1494–1923

Tropical Diseases and the Construction of the Panama Canal, 1904–1914

Tuberculosis in Europe and North America, 1800–1922

The Yellow Fever Epidemic in Philadelphia, 1793

General Materials

Notable People

Related Links


Massachusetts Medical Society Records

The Massachusetts Medical Society was founded in 1781. Early members of the society published its transactions and presented papers at meetings. In 1812, the society began to publish New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery. In the early 19th century, Harvard College and the society agreed that both organizations could examine candidates and award degrees or certificates of approval.

The full collection at the Countway Library contains records of the Board of Censors of the Massachusetts Medical Society, which licensed members to practice in the state. The collection also includes records of meetings of district medical societies; correspondence, minutes, and other records of such committees as the Committee on Ethics and Discipline; secretaries’ files with correspondence, reports, and minutes of meetings; and treasurers’ and other records. Among these materials is a detailed account of diphtheria in Groton, Massachusetts, that explores 50 reported cases and a suggested investigation.