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Essex Southern District Medical Society Records

Essex Southern District Medical Society Records

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Open Finding Aid

ESSEX SOUTHERN DISTRICT MEDICAL SOCIETY RECORDS, 1796-1970

Sponsor:

Processing for this collection was funded by the Mack Medical Fund.





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Essex Southern District Medical Society (Essex County, Mass.)
Title:Essex Southern District Medical Society Records
Dates:1796/1970
Quantity:2.25 linear feet (2 boxes, 2 volumes)
Abstract:The records of the Essex Southern District Medical Society document the administrative functions of the Society including minutes of meetings, correspondence, membership, library activities, and financial papers.
Collection Number:MSS 52

Series List


Scope and Content Note

The records of the Essex Southern District Medical Society document the administrative functions of the Society including minutes of meetings, correspondence, membership, library activities, and financial papers. The material spans the years 1786 to 1970, however, the bulk of the records occur between 1805 and 1905.


The two volumes of minutes record the proceedings of the Society from 1805 to 1893. At the beginning of Volume 1 is a copy of the Society's charter and initial subscription list of money contributions and books donated to the library. The folder of proceedings and assessments contains official letters to the Society's parent body communicating the minutes of their meetings and yearly assessments of its members. Correspondence of the Society includes refusal of offices, a eulogy for Dr. Coleman, attempts to collect on membership dues, and letters concerning state policies on vaccines, drunkenness, and consumption.


The folder of membership reflects the procedures involved in joining the Society. Although any physician residing within the district was eligible to become a member, he had to submit an application. If his medical degree was received from a college not accredited by the Society he underwent an exam and review by the Board of Censors. Hence within the folder of membership there are lists of accredited colleges, samples of Censor's exams, petitions for admittance to the Society and rejections of applicants. In addition there are also letters dispossessing individuals of their membership.


The library, a major function of the Society, is represented by a folder of subscription lists and receipts and two record books. The folder includes subscription lists which record pledges of books and money and bills and receipts for books and journals purchased by the Society. Also filed here is a 1904 report of the Library Committee. The Librarian's Record Books primarily contain circulation records. Volume 1 also contains an inventory of books, listing title and price, and an account of books and instruments purchased. The last leaf of Volume 1 is a list of agreed upon charges, dated January 4, 1814, and signed by Salem's twelve physicians.


The folder of miscellaneous records contains the charger of the Society, notices of meetings, nominations for officers, and several bulletins for the 1905 Centennial Meeting.


Historical Sketch

The Essex Southern District Medical Society was organized on November 4, 1805 as an offshoot of the Massachusetts Medical Society. The Society consists of members of the Massachusetts Medical Society who live in Lynn, Swampscott, Nahant, Saugus, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Salem, Peabody, Danvers, Middleton, Beverly, Wenham, Topsfield, Ipswich, Hamilton, Essex, Manchester, Rockport, and Gloucester. The Society was given the "power to hold meetings, make by-laws, and possess books, apparatus, etc. independent of the Parent Society."


Initially the Society met at the Sun Tavern in Salem. In subsequent years they occupied rooms in Franklin Place and the Salem Lyceum. In 1858, upon an offer from the Salem Athenaeum they moved their library and meetings to Plummer Hall. Meetings were held quarterly, and upon completion of any business medical cases or remarks on treatments were then discussed. In addition to serving as a congregating place for the interchange of thoughts and opinions, the Society maintained a library of medical books, pamphlets and journals. Books were gathered by subscription, assessment, and donation.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Essex Southern District Medical Society (Essex County, Mass.)
Massachusetts Medical Society
Account books
Libraries
Physicians
Societies
Essex County (Mass.)--Societies, etc.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Essex Southern District Medical Society Records, MSS 52, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This collection is an integration and organization of one scrapbook volume, four record books, one account book, and miscellaneous manuscripts. The two books of minutes were received for the Essex Southern District Medical Society in 1910 and the account book was a 1971 gift of Dr. David M. Jewett. The remaining volumes and manuscripts are from an unknown source.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Prudence Backman, April 1982. Updated by Catherine Robertson, October 2014.


Related Material

Essex Southern District Medical Society. Catalogue of Books. Salem: Warick Palfrey, Jr., 1824.


Essex Southern District Medical Society. Catalogue of Books. Salem: Palfrey & Chapman, 1836.


Essex Southern District Medical Society. The Medical Police and Regulations Adopted by the Essex Southern District Medical Society. Boston: T.R. Marvin, 1831.


Hurd, Dr. Hamilton. History of Essex County Mass. Volume 1. Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis, 1888.


Holyoke Family Papers, 1607-1905, MSS 49


Dr. John Drury Papers, 1781-1823, MSS 51


Henry Wheatland Papers, Notices of meetings, 1857-1880, MSS 464, Box 12 Folder 18


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