Skip to main content

Arnold Carl Klebs papers

Call Number: MS 1297

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of correspondence, research notes, manuscripts, printed matter, and photographs.


  • 1850-1947


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other 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

Transferred from the Yale University Medical Historical Library, 1980, 1987.

Associated Materials

Associated material: Arnold Carl Klebs Papers, Yale University Medical Historical Library.


30.5 Linear Feet (30 boxes, 1 folio)

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, research notes, manuscripts, printed matter, and photographs.

Biographical / Historical

Arnold-Carl Klebs, a distinguished medical bibliographer, historian, and specialist in the field of tuberculosis, was born in Berne, Switzerland, on March 17, 1870. He received his early education at the Gymnasia of Prague and Zurich. After academic studies in Berlin, Prague, Wurtzburg, Berne, and Basel, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Zurich in 1888. He received his M.D. degree from Basel in 1895, serving there as an assistant in the Polyclinic. He also worked as an instructor in pathology at Zurich.

Klebs came to the United States in 1896 and became a United States citizen in 1904. His father Edwin Klebs, co-discoverer with Loeffler of the bacterium responsible for diptheria, had taken a post in pathology in Asheville, North Carolina. Klebs decided to settle as a tuberculosis specialist in Chicago, where he remained until 1909. In that year he edited a comprehensive treatise on tuberculosis. Klebs served as consulting physician to Cook County Hospital and director of the Chicago Tuberculosis Institute. In 1912 Klebs was vice-president of the section on preventable diseases at the International Congress of Hygiene held in Washington, D.C.

Klebs then retired to Switzerland, where for the next thirty years he studied and collected in the field of medical and scientific bibliography, primarily works of the fifteenth century. In 1938 he issued a short title bibliography Incunabula Scientifica et Medica. His other historical writings include papers on Leonardo da Vinci, early herbals, remedies against the pest, and specialized bibliographic studies.

Klebs maintained a life-long friendship with Harvey Cushing, with whom he shared his enthusiasm for all phases of medical history and bibliography. When Cushing announced his intention to leave his library to Yale University, Klebs also agreed to donate his collection to the university.

In June, 1898, Klebs married Margaret Forbes, who died a year later. Klebs had one child by this marriage, Sarah Forbes Klebs, who married the Rev. George Stewart. He married Harriet K. Newell in May, 1909. Arnold Klebs died on March 6, 1943, in Nyon, Switzerland.

Extracted from a Yale University News Bureau press release of March 8, 1943.

Guide to the Arnold Carl Klebs Papers
Under Revision
Preliminary inventory by Diane E. Kaplan and Lisa M. Linden
March 1990
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)


Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours