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R. M. Peardon Donaghy World War II neurosurgery papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Call Number: Ms Coll 91

Content Description

The collection documents R. M. Peardon Donaghy's service as the leader of a World War II United States Army mobile neurosurgical unit in Europe between 1943-1945. The collection includes Donaghy's field notebook containing handwritten patient notes; loose operative notes of neurosurgical procedures on small printed forms; 4 photographs; and a letter of recommendation for Donaghy.


  • 1943 - 1945


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Pete Donaghy, Betsy Garrett Widmer, Peigi Huseby, and John Donaghy, 2022.


.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

Biographical / Historical

R. M. (Raymond Madiford) Peardon Donaghy (1910-1991) was a neurosurgeon known for his work in microsurgery. Donaghy served as a surgical resident at the Children’s Hospital of Montreal and worked with Dr. Arthur Elvidge at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He continued his training in Boston, first at the Lahey Clinic, then at the Massachusetts General Hospital under John Mixter. He also studied psychiatry and neuropathology as a Dalton Scholar, examining brain abscesses with Dr. Charles S. Kubik.

When the United States entered World War II in 1941, Donaghy enlisted in the U.S. Army. He attended military training at Fort Sam Houston, where one of the first military neurosurgical units was established. From 1943-1945 Donaghy served as a captain and combat surgeon in a mobile neurosurgery unit in Europe where he helped treat wounded American and German soldiers. He was awarded 5 battle stars for his service.

In 1946 Donaghy left the military and returned to his alma mater, the University of Vermont to serve as chair for the Division of Neurology. His laboratory research encompassed neurovascular surgery and trauma of the spinal cord. He also helped develop tools and techniques for microsurgery, cofounding the world's first microsurgery research and training laboratory with Dr. Julius Jacobsen in 1958. Donaghy later served as the director of neurosurgical research at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont and was the author and co-author of dozens of articles on the topic of neurosurgery. He retired in 1977, but remained professor emeritus of neurosurgery at the University of Vermont College of Medicine until his death in 1991.

R. M. Peardon Donaghy World War II neurosurgery papers
Katherine Isham
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Part of the Medical Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Repository

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