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John Collins Warren correspondence

Call Number: Ms Coll 15

Scope and Contents

Most of the collection consists of autograph letters by prominent physicians and scientists in America to Warren. A few are from abroad. There is one letter from his son, John Warren. Two letters are written by Warren. One is an autograph copy of a letter by Warren to David Hosack, and the other is a letter to Philip Syng Physick, purchased and added to the collection by the Library.


  • 1812-1856


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The letters are in the public domain.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Harvey Cushing, except for one letter purchased by the Library on the Henrietta Perkins Fund.


Arranged alphabetically by author of letter. Two folders were added in 2015 and placed at the end. The provenance is the same as the other letters.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box, 39 items)

1 boxes

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Most of the collection consists of autograph letters by prominent physicians and scientists in America and abroad to John Collins Warren, surgeon and naturalist. Two letters are by Warren.

Biographical / Historical

John Collins Warren, surgeon and naturalist, was born in Boston in 1778, the son of Harvard physician John Warren and Abigail (Collins) Warren. He graduated from Harvard College in 1797 and began the study of medicine with his father. From 1799 to 1802 he studied medicine in Paris and London. When he returned, he went into practice with his father. In 1809, Warren became adjunct professor in anatomy and surgery at Harvard Medical School and in 1815 succeeded his father as professor, a position he held until 1847. He became the outstanding American surgeon of his day and has become especially known for his role as surgeon in the first public demonstration of ether anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846. In addition to his medical writings, he was active as a naturalist and comparative anatomist and served for many years as president of the Boston Society of Natural History. His many medical specimens formed the basis of the Warren Museum at Harvard Medical School. Warren died in 1856.

Custodial History

Given by Warren's grandson, John Collins Warren, 1842-1927, to Harvey Cushing.

Guide to the John Collins Warren correspondence
Todd A. Lane and Toby A. Appel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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

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