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Wayne State University School of Medicine Physician Biography Records

Identifier: WSR002730

Scope and Content

Series Description: Series 1: School of Medicine Biographies, 1851-2008 Consists of a collection of articles from various Doctors who practiced in the Detroit area or who were directly involved with the Detroit Medical College itself. These items include: newspaper clippings, photographs, medical school curricula from the University of Michigan Medical School in the late 1800s, Physician's notebooks, Medical Association and Society pins and ribbons, obituaries, poetry, and correspondence. Most notably are a photograph of Louis Pasteur with his signature and a manuscript copy of memoirs written by Eunice Tripler which detail life in Washington D.C. and the Detroit area through the 1800s.

Series 2: School of Medicine Associations and Building Plans, 1949-1962 This series consists of Wayne State University correspondence, reports, questionnaires, and donation records from the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association. In addition there are WSU Medical Science Building plans, sketches, specifications and other records related to the building.


  • 1851 - 2008


Language of Materials

Material in English and German.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


The Wayne State University School of Medicine had four important forerunners. The Detroit Medical College, founded in 1868 by five Detroit area physicians in a building on Woodward Avenue adjacent to Harper Hospital, offered a two-year program leading to the M.D. degree and held its first commencement for thirty-three transfer students in 1869. The Michigan College of Medicine, incorporated in 1879 by a group of physicians and lay stock subscribers, offered classes in the former Hotel Hesse at the intersection of Gratiot Avenue, Madison Avenue and St. Antoine Street.

In 1885 the two competing schools merged to form the Detroit College of Medicine, adding their financial assets and faculties and taking up residence in the old Michigan College of Medicine building. Dr. Theodore A. McGraw, Sr. was elected the first president of the faculty, serving through 1913. In 1891 the College added three new but ultimately unsuccessful programs: a two year curriculum leading to the D.V.S. degree in Veterinary Medicine discontinued in 1899, a two year curriculum leading to the Ph.C. degree in Pharmacy discontinued in 1905, and a three year curriculum leading to the D.D.S. degree in Dental Surgery discontinued in 1909. In 1895 the College required a four year course of all graduates in the Medical Department.

As a result of financial difficulties, the College was re-organized and refinanced as the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery in 1913. Dr. Burt R. Shurly, who replaced retiring Faculty President McGraw in the newly created Office of the Dean, modernized and lengthened the required course of study, re-organized the teaching departments, and added several faculty members. One year of college level premedical work was required for admission to the College which earned a Class A rating from American Medical Association inspectors in 1914. In 1917 the College organized and operated Base Hospital #36 in southern France under the direction of Dr. Shurly who resigned as Dean to participate in the war effort. In 1918, control of the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery was transferred to the Detroit Board of Education, which appointed Walter MacCraken to replace Shurly.


2.5 Linear Feet (5 MB)


These records are a part of the Wayne State University School of Medicine collection. They consist of physician profiles of doctors who were directly associated with the Medical College or who practiced in the Greater Detroit Area. Their profiles consist of obituaries, newspaper articles, correspondence, photographs and other records collected to give insight into their lives and practices. The second part of the collection features an assortment of records from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Medical Association, and building plans for Wayne State University's Medial Science Building.


The collection is arranged into 2 series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), and Series 2 (Boxes 4-5). Folders in each series are simply listed by their location within each box. They are not arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout several boxes within each series.


These records were placed in the Walter P. Reuther Library by the College of Medicine in 1975.

Related Materials

Detroit College of Medicine Early Records, C. Henri Leonard M.D. Papers, Walter J. Cree Papers, Alpheus F. Jennings Papers, Theodore McGraw Jr. Diary, J. Henry Carstens M.D. Papers, Laertus Connor Papers, WSU School of Medicine Occupational Therapy Department Records, Wayne University College of Medicine Office of Dean Records, Journal of the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery, Bulletin of Wayne University College of Medicine and Detroit Recieving Hospital, Detroit College of Medicine Pharmacy Department Records,

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Elizabeth Nicholson on October 18, 2016.
Guide to the Wayne State University School of Medicine Physician Biography Records
Processed by Elizabeth Nicholson.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA