The Dorothy Horstmann Papers include correspondence, writings, research data, notes, memorabilia, and photographs, which document Dorothy Horstmann's years at the Yale School of Medicine as a bio-medical researcher and teacher. The papers highlight her accomplishments in the epidemiology and conquest of poliomyelitis and rubella.
Horstmann's work as a virologist studying polio and rubella is amply documented in her writings and in extensive research data. The papers also include notes and reports from her research trips to Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, China, and Korea. While the papers contain a scant quantity of material from Horstmann's classroom teaching, they do reflect her role as a mentor to other scientists. The papers also chronicle Horstmann's involvement in professional organizations and her love of travel.
The collection includes a large quantity of materials related to John Rodman Paul, which document Horstmann's close working relationship with her mentor. This material consists of correspondence between Paul and Horstmann and with others concerning their joint projects. Evidence of her collaboration on Paul's publications is apparent in the papers, especially on her work to ensure the publication of Paul's History of Poliomyelitis. Other Paul materials in this collection include files on the preparation of a 1961 festschrift in Paul's honor and letters of condolence at his death.
Noticeably missing from the papers are materials about Horstmann's childhood or early career, and though Horstmann's appointment to an endowed chair at the university was a first, her papers contain little personal reflection on the challenges of being a woman scientist.