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SERIES Identifier: H MS c284

Series I. Subject Files, 1906-1987, undated., 1906-1987,

Scope and Contents

Consists of correspondence, research notes, and collected scientific papers and newspaper clippings generated and compiled by William Parry Murphy as a product of his professional appointments at Harvard Medical School and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, his research and publishing activities, and his involvement in professional societies. Correspondence concerns: requests for and medical advice to colleagues and patients; requests for reprints of Murphy’s scientific papers; his research on blood diseases, notably pernicious anemia, liver extract treatment, leukemia, and diabetes mellitus; Murphy’s publications, including his book, Anemia in Practice: Pernicious Anemia (1939), and his film, “Pernicious Anemia” (circa 1934); professional appointments at Harvard University and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital; honorary appointments at various Boston area hospitals; government medical regulations; medical insurance policies; involvement in professional societies, including the American Medical Association, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and the Rotary Club of Brookline, Massachusetts; public speaking engagements at schools and professional conferences; various awards and honors, including the 1934 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine; personal correspondence to friends and colleagues; his political opinions on various issues, including water fluoridation; and requests for Murphy’s autograph. Research notes concern Murphy’s research of blood diseases, primarily of pernicious anemia, liver extract treatment, leukemia, and diabetes. Collected scientific papers and newspaper clippings found in the subject files contain information related to Murphy’s research, as well as information on various medical issues, collected by Murphy for reference in his medical practice. Series also contains several photographs and photographic postcards of Murphy’s friends. Correspondents include: research partner George Richards Minot (1885-1950); research partner Isabel M. Howard; friend and colleague Guy W. Clark of Lederle Laboratories; his son and colleague, William P. Murphy, Jr. (born 1923); and friend Mary F. Toomey (1920-2009).


  • 1906-1987,

Language of Materials

Records are predominantly in English. Some correspondence is in German, Swedish, and Dutch.

Physical Description

9.67 cubic feet in 10 records center cartons, 1 half legal size document box, and 1 oversize box.

Conditions Governing Access

Series I contains personal and patient information that is restricted for 80 years. The end of the restricted period is noted with each folder.


14.5 cubic feet (15 records center cartons, 1 half legal size document box, and 1 oversize box)


Series I is arranged alphabetically by subject or name, reflecting their original arrangement. Where possible, some folders containing a combination of correspondence to colleagues and papers concerning patients and finances have been separated into two folders. Papers containing sensitive patient and financial information have been placed in a separate folder (B), and their original locations have been marked with placeholders in the main folder (A).

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

The Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine is one of the world's leading resources for the study of the history of health and medicine. Our mission is to enable the history of medicine and public health to inform healthcare, the health sciences, and the societies in which they are embedded.

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