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Peter Parker collection

Call Number: Ms Coll 6
Scope and Contents
The collection includes Parker's letters to his family beginning in 1825, instructions from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, many letters from Sir John Bowring, British consul at Canton and later governor of Hong Kong, and other correspondence relating to Parker's medical, missionary, diplomatic, and personal affairs. Writings include handwritten sermons and addresses. Medical reports and ledgers include Parker's handwritten quarterly reports of Canton Hospital, which contain lengthy case reports on a selection of surgeries. Two volumes of ledgers list patients treated at Canton Hospital with their diagnoses, and another ledger relates to Parker's private medical practice. Images include the buildings and staff of the Canton hospital and lantern slides of patients with large tumors, all dating from after Parker's time. The collection also includes miscellanea, memorabilia, and a box of preserved urinary calculi removed by Parker from patients in the hospital. Associated with the collection are over 80 oil portraits of Peter Parker's patients with noticeable tumors by Western-trained Chinese artist Lam Qua. Most of the Peter Parker Collection has been photographed. See Use in conjunction with this finding aid. The associated Lam Qua portraits of Peter Parker's patients are online at
Language of Materials
Mostly in English. Some Chinese, Japanese, and French.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright has not been transferred to Yale University.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Manuscripts were donated by Peter Parker of Barrington, Illinois, May 16, 1960. Portraits and urinary calculi donated in the late nineteenth century by Peter Parker to the Medical School through Moses C. White, professor of pathology and a former missionary to China. These were later transferred by the Medical School to the Historical Library. Some materials, including photographs, were donated in 1966 by Mrs. William W. Cadbury, widow of an early twentieth century medical missionary to Canton.
Organized into seven series: 1. Correspondence. 2. Journals. 3 Sermons, addresses, and other writings. 4. Medical reports and ledgers. 5. Miscellaneous. 6. Photographs, 7. Urinary calculi.
Associated Materials
The Library holds over 80 oil paintings by Lam Qua of Peter Parker's patients with large tumors. They were sent to the Medical School by Mrs. Harriet Parker in 1890 (see Correspondence under Herbert E. Smith, Box 1, Folder 20). They are represented in the Cushing/Whiney Medical Library Digital Library. See
Majority of material found within 1825-1884
6 Linear Feet (11 boxes)
Related Names
Parker, Peter, 1804-1888
Lam, Qua
Language of Materials