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Phillips F. and Ruth A. Greene papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 797

Scope and Contents

The Phillips and Ruth Greene Papers are composed principally of their letters to family, friends and Yale-in-China Association colleagues written during their years of residency at Changsha, Hunan. Phillips Greene was a faculty member and surgeon at the Hsiang-Ya Medical School and hospital in Changsha (1923-1927, 1931-1941) and Director of the American Red Cross in China (1942-1943).

The papers are arranged in three series: I. Phillips Foster Greene Correspondence. II. Ruth Altmen Greene Correspondence. III. Subject Files, Writings, Photographs.
Series I (1923-1954) contains Greene's letters to his family and to the Yale-in-China staff. Subjects discussed in the correspondence include social conditions and political events in Changsha and Hunan Province; Greene's medical practice; and-Yale-in-China administrative matters. Included in Series I is a section of the correspondence of other members of Greene's family.

Series II contains Ruth Greene's correspondence with her family and Yale-in-China staff members (1923-1943), many of which were published in her account of life at Changsha, in the Hsiang-Ya-Journal. Subjects discussed include social conditions, political events and the Greenes' day-to-day activities.

Series III is composed of newspaper clippings containing biographical material on the Greenes, financial records from their period of residence at Changsha, copies of their articles describing life at Changsha and conditions in Hunan (1923-1943) and photographs.

The material in Series I was separated from the records of the Yale-in-China Association's New Haven office in 1977. The material in Series II and III was donated to the Yale University Library by Ruth Altman Greene in July 1977. The Phillips and Ruth Greene Papers are part of the Yale-China Collection.

Dates

  • 1923-1977

Creator

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

A portion of the material was separated from the records of the Yale-in-China Association's New Haven office in 1977. The remainder of the papers were donated to the Yale University Library by Ruth Altman Greene in July, 1977.

Arrangement

The papers are arranged in three series: I. Phillips Foster Greene Correspondence. II. Ruth Altmen Greene Correspondence. III. Subject Files, Writings, Photographs.

Extent

2 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.0797

Overview

The principal figures in these papers are Phillips Foster Greene, a physician and missionary, and his wife, Ruth Altman Greene, a teacher and writer who accompanied her husband during his service of nearly twenty years at the Yale-in-China Medical School in Changsha (1921-1943) and seven years in Rangoon (1951-1958). The papers consist largely of correspondence with family in the United States and with Yale-in-China staff members. The letters are important sources of information on social conditions in China and political events, as well as a record of the Greenes' day-to-day activities. Also in the papers are financial records, newspaper clippings, copies of their articles on life at Changsha, and photographs.

Biographical / Historical

Phillips Greene, physician and missionary, received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1915, and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1919. He was a member of the teaching staff of Hsiang-Ya (Hunan-Yale) Medical School, Changsha, China from 1923-1927; assistant professor of surgery, University of Wisconsin Medical School, 1927-1931; head of the department of surgery and dean of Hsiang-Ya Medical School, 1931-1941; clinical professor of surgery and associate dean, Long Island College of Medicine, 1944-1951; and a staff member of the Rangoon, Burma General Hospital and Medical School, 1951-1958. Greene returned to the United States in 1958 and practiced medicine in New Richmond, Ohio until 1967.

CHRONOLOGY: Phillips Foster Greene

1892
Born in Van, Turkey, son of missionaries Sarah Foster and Frederick Davis Greene.
1915
B.A., Amherst College.
1919
M.D., Harvard Medical School.
1919-1921
House Officer, General Surgery, St. Luke's Hospital and St. Mary's Children's Hospital, New York City.
1920
Married to Ruth Peabody Altman.
1923-1923
Under appointment with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions for medical work in Turkey. Prevented from serving by political conditions, transferred to Yale-in-China at Changsha, Hunan.
1923-1927
Teaching staff of Hsiang-Ya (Hunan-Yale) Medical School, Changsha.
1927
Civil war in China, evacuated with family to United States.
1927-1931
Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine.
1931-1941
Head of Department of Surgery and Dean of Hsiang-Ya Medical school.
1942-1943
Director of the American Red Cross in China, responsible for getting supplies into China (Chungking) and distributing them to Nationalist and Communist forces.
1944-1951
Clinical Professor of Surgery and Associate Dean, Long Island College of Medicine, Brook1yn, New York.
1951-1953
Appointed to the Rangoon, Burma, General Hospital and Medical School under the United States Government Point Four Program.
1953-1958
After termination of all official United States Aid to Burma, continued to work with Rangoon Hospital and Medical School under a Rockefeller Foundation grant.
1958-1967
Returned to United States and practiced medicine in New Richmond, Ohio, until his death on 11 April 1967.

CHRONOLOGY: Ruth Altman Greene

1896
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, daughter of Flavella Light and Daniel Lee Altman, Methodist minister.
1918
B.A., Wellesley College.
1920
Married to Phillips Foster Greene.
1921-1923
Under appointment with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in Constantinople, Turkey.
1923-1927
In Changsha, Hunan. Evacuated in January 1927.
1927-1931
In Madison, Wisconsin. Writing and speaking on China and working with foreign students in YWCA.
1931-1936
Returned to Changsha with four children. Taught English to Hsiang-Ya students and did extensive entertaining of Chinese officials and foreign vistors from the League of Nations.
1937-1940
After a furlough in New Haven returned to Changsha at outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War. Evacuated with children in December 1937 to Philippines; later to Shanghai. In 1940 accompanied husband on trip to Kweiyang, site of Hsiang-Ya Medical School's war-time teaching. In June left for United States with children.
1940-1948
Lived in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Helped organize the China Institute of New Jersey to train public school teachers in the history and culture of China.
1948-1949
Worked with China Institute in America on behalf of Chinese students; served on Wellesley-Yenching College Board.
1951-1958
Lived in Rangoon, Burma. Main activities were entertaining vistors, colleagues and friends; collecting material on the history and culture of Burma for use in United States schools and clubs and briefings of new State Department officials.
1958-
Living in New Richmond, Ohio.
1977
Publication of Hsiang-Ya Journal based on letters written from China between 1923-1943.
various
Children: Ellen Greene, Anne Greene Judy, Frederick D. Greene II, Margaret Greene Dickson.
Title
Guide to the Phillips F. and Ruth A. Greene Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
compiled by Jane Thomson and John Dojka
Date
September 1982
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
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