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Edward H. and Lotta C. Hume papers

Call Number: MS 787

Scope and Contents

The Edward Hicks and Lotta Carswell Hume Papers are arranged in seven series.

Series I, EDWARD H. HUME: CORRESPONDENCE, contains letters between Hume and approximately eighty institutions and individuals, primarily members of the Yale-in-China Association staff. Correspondents of note include: Beach, Harlan Page, 1905-1919; Bevis, Palmer, 1924-1930; Dayton, Arthur Bliss, 1925-1932; Hutchins, Francis S., 1930-1937; Leavens, Dickson H., 1919-1927; Reed, Edward B., 1903-1909; Sallmon, William H., 1909-1914; Vreeland, Harold H., Jr., 1921-1924; Wilder, Amos, 1914-1919; Williams, F. Wells, 1911-1924; and Yen, F. C., 1924-1937.

Subjects discussed include the early organizational and building plans for the Yale Mission in Changsha; Hume's efforts to establish a first-rate medical school and hospital; political conditions in Changsha and Hunan; the attitude of Chinese students towards western education and culture; and routine business and administrative matters.

Series II, EDWARD H. HUME: SUBJECT FILES, contains approximately twelve reference files, primarily relating to the formulation of plans and policies for the Yale Mission. Also included are materials on anti-foreign disturbances in China during the 1920s, student strikes at Yali in 1925, and Hume's notes on the history of Yale-in-China and Hsiang-Ya Medical College.

Series III, EDWARD H. HUME: MISCELLANY, contains address books; financial records; photographs of Hume family members and Yale-in-China staff; biographical clippings on Hume; and miscellaneous Yale-in-China memorabilia.

Series IV, EDWARD H. HUME: WRITINGS, contains copies of Hume's published and unpublished writings. The materials are organized in five sections according to form: Articles and Professional Papers, Poems, Book Reviews, Memorials to Friends and Colleagues, and Research Notes.

Subjects include Chinese history, culture, politics, medicine, and education.

Series V, LOTTA C. HUME: CORRESPONDENCE, is divided into two sections:General CorrespondenceandCorrespondence with Charlotte Hume and Norman Freeman.General Correspondencecontains letters between Lotta Hume and friends, primarily members of the Yale-in-China Association staff. A single letter from 1910 gives Lotta Hume's account of the Changsha riots of that year. The letters for the years 1933 to 1972 discuss family business and Edward H. Hume's death.Correspondence with Charlotte Hume and Norman Freemancontains letters exchanged between Lotta Hume and her daughter and son-in-law between 1930-1972. Subjects discussed include family business, Lotta Hume's writings, and Edward H. Hume's activities.

Series VI, LOTTA C. HUME: WRITINGS, contains copies of stories and folktales written and transcribed by Mrs. Hume, as well as a typescript copy ofDrama at the Doctor's Gate,an account of the Humes' life in China. Also included are research materials, notes, and copies of folktales collected by Lotta Hume during the course of her work onFavorite Children's Stories from China and Tibet..

Series VII, LOTTA C. HUME: MISCELLANY, contains biographical data, notices of Lotta Hume's death, and financial records. For photographs of Lotta Hume, see Series III, EDWARD H. HUME: MISCELLANY.

Box 15 contains fourteen folders of correspondence (1919, 1931-1951) between Edward H. Hume and Lotta C. Hume.

The materials composing the Edward Hicks and Lotta Carswell Hume Papers were deposited in the Yale University Library by the Yale-in-China Association during the 1930s and by Charlotte Hume Freeman and Joy Hume Falk in 1977.


  • 1897-1990


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 the Yale-in China Association during the 1930s, Charlotte Hume Freeman and Joy Hume Falk in 1977, Charlotte Hume Freeman in 1990, and David N. Freeman in 1995.


Arranged in seven series and two additions: I. E. H. Hume: Correspondence. II. E. H. Hume: Subject Files. III. E. H. Hume: Miscellany. IV. E. H. Hume: Writings V. L. C. Hume: Correspondence. VI. L.C. Hume: Writings. VII. L. C. Hume: Miscellany.


6.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The papers document the career of Edward H. Hume, a physician and educator, whose major work was divided between China, where he founded the Hunan-Yale Medical College (1914) and New York, where he was trustee and director of the New York Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital (1928-1933). His life-long interest in Chinese medical problems is shown in his correspondence with members of the Yale-in-China Association staff. His subject files document the history of the various institutions of the Yale Mission in China, as well as political events during his stay. The papers also include copies of Hume's published and unpublished writings, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Lotta C. Hume's training as a nurse was put to use in India and China where she lived with her husband (1903-1927). Manuscripts of two books and a number of articles which she wrote on her return to the United States are in the papers. Of special interest are her research materials on Chinese and Tibetan folk tales, collected for a book on that subject. Apart from a letter on the Changsha riots in 1910, her correspondence is largely devoted to family matters.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Hicks Hume, physician and educator, was born on May 13, 1876, in Ahmednagar, India, the son of Congregational missionaries Edward S. and Charlotte E. Hume. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1897 and his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1901. After post-graduate work at the University of Liverpool and a residency at Johns Hopkins, Hume was appointed acting assistant surgeon with the United States Public Health Service in Bombay, India, in 1903. Before leaving for India, he married Lotta Carswell of Baltimore.

In 1905 Hume accepted an appointment to the Yale Mission in Changsha, China, where he organized the Yale Mission hospital. He served as senior physician of the hospital from 1906 to 1923. In 1914 Hume founded Hsiang-Ya (Hunan-Yale) Medical College after reaching an agreement with the governor of Hunan to cooperate in sponsoring medical education in the form of a new hospital and medical school. He served as dean of the school and professor of medicine until 1927. From 1923 to 1927 he was President of the Colleges (academic and medical) of Yale-in-China. He also served the Yale-in-China Association in several other capacities, including President of the Association (1934-1936), Vice-President (1955-1957), and Trustee (1927-1954).

In 1927 Hume resigned his offices at Hsiang-Ya and returned to the United States, where he became director and executive vice-president of the New York Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital. Under his leadership, the school and hospital became part of Columbia University. From 1934 to 1937 he conducted a survey of medical facilities for the Chinese National Health Administration and in 1938 performed a similar service in India. A founder of the Christian Medical Council for Overseas Work, Hume was secretary of the organization from 1938 to 1946.

Among the organizations and institutions which Hume served as a trustee were the Associated Boards for Christian Colleges in China, the American Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations, the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Russell Sage College, and Lingnan University. He was the author of The Chinese Way in Medicine (1940), Doctors East, Doctors West (1946), Doctors Courageous (1950), and Dauntless Adventurer (1952). Hume died on February 8, 1957, in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Biographical / Historical

Helen Charlotta Carswell Hume was born on October 3, 1876, in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Lockhart Scott Carswell and C. Annie Buckley Carswell. Called Lotta by her parents, she dropped Helen from her name after her marriage. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, she enrolled in a course at the Hartford Theological Seminary and in a probationary course in nursing at Johns Hopkins University after her engagement to Edward H. Hume in 1900.

Following her marriage in 1903, she accompanied her husband to Bombay, India, where he worked for the United States Public Health Service. In 1905 the Humes moved to Changsha in Hunan Province, China, where Edward Hume had been appointed to the Yale Mission staff. In China, Lotta Hume assisted her husband as a nurse and research assistant and later started the first Social Service League in Changsha. She returned to the United States with her husband when he resigned his Yale-in-China appointment in 1927.

Lotta C. Hume was the author of "Lockhart Scott Carswell, a Portrait" (1933); Drama at the Doctor's Gate (1961); Favorite Children's Stories from China and Tibet (1962); and the compiler of Songs Along the Way (1957) by her husband, Edward H. Hume. The Humes had five children: Theodore Carswell (1904-1943); Charlotte Elizabeth Hume Freeman (b. 1906); Margery (1909-1911); Edward Welch (1913-1915); and Kathrina Joy Hume Falk (b. 1917). Lotta Hume died on February 17, 1976, in La Jolla, California.

Guide to the Edward H. and Lotta C. Hume Papers
Under Revision
compiled by John Dojka and Jane Thomson
November 1977
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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