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Medical illustrations for Harvey Cushing by Mildred Codding and others

Call Number: Ms Coll 60


This collection contains illustrations (both early sketches and proofs) done for Harvey Cushing, as well as notes, correspondence, photographic reprints, and other materials relating to the production of Cushing and Eisenhardt's 1938 monograph Meningiomas. The majority of the illustrations were done by Mildred Codding, who was Cushing's illustrator from 1929 until his retirement in 1932. Several illustrations by others, including M. Warner, are also included in this collection.


  • 1912-1938

Language of Materials

Primarily English, with small amounts of French, German, and Chinese.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection is comprised of materials from three separate gifts to the Historical Library, donated by Gloria Robinson (2012) and Dorothy Robinson (2017) from the collection of Dr. Franklin Robinson, and by Michael Hand from the estate of his sister, Rosalie Marie Hand (2013).


This collection is organized into four series: I. Proofs from Meningiomas by Codding. II. Notes and other materials relating to Meningiomas. III. Illustrations from other publications by Codding. IV. Illustrations for Harvey Cushing by others.


4 boxes

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Biographical / Historical

Mildred Codding (1902-1991) was the medical illustrator for Dr. Harvey Cushing from 1929 until his retirement in 1932. Her illustrations feature prominently in many of Dr. Cushing's publications, including his 1938 monograph Meningiomas.

A native of Somerville, Massachusetts, Codding graduated from Wellesley College in 1924 and earned a master's degree in zoology from Columbia University in 1926. In 1928, she began to train as a medical illustrator at Johns Hopkins University under Dr. Max Brödel, the pioneer of the "carbon dust" technique commonly used in 20th century medical and scientific illustrations. After just one year of study, Codding was selected to begin part-time work with Dr. Cushing in 1929. In a later interview, Codding stated that Cushing, who was a talented illustrator in his own right and highly particular in general, "was not easy to illustrate for."

After Cushing's retirement to Yale University in 1933, Codding stayed on at the Brigham Hospital in Boston, where she did operative photography for Dr. John Homans and Dr. David Cheever. She resumed drawing with Dr. Elliott Cutler and Dr. Robert Zollinger, providing the illustrations for their Atlas of Surgical Operations, published in 1939. Codding's next major work was the Atlas of Pelvic Operations, published in 1953 by Dr. Langdon Parsons and Dr. Howard Ulfelder of Massachusetts General Hospital. Later, she worked with Dr. Donald Matson and Dr. John Shillito of the Brigham and Children's Hospitals, illustrating pediatric neurosurgical operations. Codding left the Brigham in 1968, but continued to work with Dr. Shillito for the next 12 years on his Atlas of Pediatric Neurosurgical Operations, which was published in 1981.

Codding never married and had no close family. In her later years, she retired to Cape Cod, where she enjoyed making watercolor paintings of the scenes around her home. She died on August 3, 1991 at her home in Eastham, Massachusetts.
Medical illustrations for Harvey Cushing by Mildred Codding and others
Emma Brennan-Wydra
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Medical Historical Library, Harvey Cushing / John Hay Whitney Medical Library Repository

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