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Kirby Smith Howlett, Jr. papers

Call Number: MS 1412

Scope and Contents

The Kirby Smith Howlett, Jr. Papers are composed of correspondence, writings, and other papers from Howlett's professional files. The papers document that portion of Howlett's career as phthisiologist when breakthroughs in drug therapy portended the eradication of tuberculosis. Howlett, as assistant superintendent of the Laurel Heights Hospital in Shelton, Connecticut, was one of the first doctors to conduct a study of the effectiveness of streptomycin in treating this dreaded disease, and the papers primarily document this phase of tuberculosis research.

The papers are arranged by correspondent, organization, or topic and are listed alphabetically. The earliest papers date from the 1930s when Howlett studied the use of oleothorax in treating tuberculosis. Howlett authored a chapter on the therapy, copies of which are found in folders 43-46. See also the correspondence with John Alexander (folder 2) and the subject file on oleothorax therapy (folder 33).

Howlett conducted much of his research under the auspices of the American Trudeau Society. Serving on the committees on therapy and on chemotherapy, Howlett took part in the organization and implementation of clinical trials of streptomycin. See particularly the files for the American Trudeau Society (folders 7-19) and for committee chairmen H. Corwin Hinshaw (folders 22-25) and. H. McLeod Riggins (folders 34-35) as well as the subject file on streptomycin (folder 39). Various writings by Howlett on streptomycin research will be found in folders 47-54.

Howlett served as president of the American Trudeau Society (1949-1950) and was active in the society in other ways. The files for the society document various projects and concerns through correspondence with office staff, minutes of meetings, and correspondence with committee and society members. Similar material. exists in the files for the American Review of Tuberculosis. Howlett was a frequent contributor to that journal and served on its editorial board.

The Kirby Smith Howlett, Jr. Papers were given to the Yale University Library in 1985 by Howlett's son Joseph L. Howlett.


  • 1934-1965


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Joseph L. Howlett, 1985.


1.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence and writings documenting Kirby Smith Howlett's research on and treatment of tuberculosis, particularly the testing of streptomycin. Also included are materials for Howlett's work with the American Trudeau Society and the American Review of Tuberculosis.

Biographical / Historical

Kirby Smith Howlett, Jr. was a physician and phthisiologist, a specialist in the treatment of tuberculosis. He spent his entire professional career at the Laurel Heights Hospital in Shelton, Connecticut.

Guide to the Kirby Smith Howlett, Jr. Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Diane E. Kaplan
August 1985
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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