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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


Records of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 1781-1971
Celebrating our history, shaping the future
Massachusetts Medical Society, creator
Smith, Norman.
Spaulding, Miles.
Massachusetts Medical Society, Board of Censors.
Massachusetts Medical Society, Committee on Ethics and Discipline.
HOLLIS IDDigital Object
[Account of a case of diptheria in Groton, [Mass.], Feb. 9, 1876. B MS c75.2 Provides access to page images of this portion of the collection.] 
Digital Object
[Letters from Norman Smith, Mar. 1876. B MS c75.2 Provides access to page images of this portion of the collection.] 
Digital Object
[Letter from Miles Spaulding to Dr. Reginald Heber Fitz, Feb. 28, 1876. B MS c75.2 Provides access to page images of this portion of the collection.] 
Countway Medicine

Networked Resource
51 linear ft.
mixed material
Massachusetts Medical Society. ;  Massachusetts Medical Society. , Board of Censors. ;  Massachusetts Medical Society. , Committee on Ethics and Discipline. ;  Fitz, Reginald Heber , 1843-1913 ;  Smith, Norman ;  Spaulding, Miles ;  Health occupations licensing boards -- Massachusetts ;  Medicine -- Massachusetts ;  Medical personnel -- Malpractice ;  Medical ethics ;  Diptheria -- Massachusetts -- Groton

Medical Education and Practice


Contains records of the Board of Censors of the Massachusetts Medical Society, licensing members to practice in the state. Also includes records of meetings of district medical societies; correspondence, minutes, and other records of such committees as the Committee on Ethics and Discipline; secretary's files with correspondence, reports, and minutes of meetings; and treasurer's records. Other records include questionnaires and correspondence concerning medical malpractice; notices of deaths of members; scrapbooks of society presidents; photographs; manuscripts of publications; and directories and catalogs. Additional accession includes Celebrating Our History, Shaping the Future, a film on DVD commemorating the Society's 225th anniversary.

The Massachusetts Medical Society was founded in 1781. Early members of the society published its transactions and papers presented at meetings; in 1812 they began publishing 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 a degree or a certificate of approval, as appropriate. Committees of the Society have been active in improving the quality of health care in Massachusetts. For example, the Committee on Ethics and Discipline was organized in 1871 to crusade against practioners of irregular medicine.

Records of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 1851-1971. B MS c75. Boston Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, Mass.

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