Herbert Thoms collection
Call Number: Ms Coll 14
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of correspondence, particularly a set of letters from Grantly Dick-Read; a nearly full set of articles by Thoms; and 11 scrapbooks and photograph albums concerning his years as a Yale medical student and early faculty member, his work on natural childbirth and rooming-in, and his interest in the history of Connecticut medicine.
Language of Materials
Materials are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Yale does not own copyright to these materials.
11 boxes (4 archival letter boxes, 3 tall legal boxes, and 4 flat boxes)
Biographical / Historical
Herbert King Thoms, M.D. was a Yale obstetrician, historian of medicine, and artist/engraver. Born in 1885 in Waterbury, Connecticut, his early education was acquired at the Vermont Academy and the Waterbury High School. He received his M.D. from Yale in 1910. Following internships at the Backus Hospital in Norwich and Memorial Hospital in New London, he served as an assistant resident at the Sloane Hospital for Women in New York City. Then, having decided to specialize in obstetrics, he spent a year at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1915, he returned to New Haven where he began an active practice in obstetrics. He was appointed an associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale, and in 1927 he became a member of the full-time faculty. He became chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1947, a position he held until his retirement in 1953. During his academic career, he made many important contributions in his field including studies in pelvimetry, the plan for infant “rooming-in” after delivery in conjunction with Dr. Edith Jackson and members of the Department of Pediatrics, the “natural child birth” program, and studies in the Yale infertility clinic which he established. As a teacher, he was influential in bringing to the attention of his students the importance of a humanistic approach to medicine. Throughout his career he was a prolific author of books and articles on the history of medicine. His special interest was the early history of Connecticut medicine. In addition to his clinical and historical activities, he found the time to become an accomplished artist and engraver.
The collection was donated at various times by Herbert Thoms.
- Beaumont Medical Club
- Beaumont, William, 1785-1853
- Dick-Read, Grantly, 1890-1959
- Eliot, Jared, 1685-1763
- Fairbairn, John Shields, 1865-1944
- Grace-New Haven Community Hospital
- Medical historians -- Connecticut
- Medicine -- Connecticut -- History
- Natural childbirth
- Newborn infants -- Care
- Obstetricians -- Connecticut
- Obstetrics -- History
- Physicians -- Connecticut
- Yale University. School of Medicine
- Yale University. School of Medicine. Class of 1910
- Herbert Thoms collection
- Toby A. Appel
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.