Skip to main content
COLLECTION — Box: 01 Identifier: GA 54

James Howard Means papers

Scope and Contents

Collection includes material related to a planned biography of Robert James Graves which Means did not complete; correspondence and a reprint of his 1963 piece “Homo medicus Americanus”; a copy of Means’s speech presenting the Kober Medal to William B. Castle in 1962; and records related to the Massachusetts Community Organization Service, the Hospital Planning Council of Greater Boston, and the Massachusetts General Hospital longevity study.


  • 1935-1971 (inclusive)


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Contact Public Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in the collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting any third-party copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish. For more information on the Center's use, publication, and reproduction policies, view our Reproductions and Use Policy.


0.50 cubic feet

Biographical / Historical

James Howard Means (1885-1967) received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1911. He established the first thyroid clinic in Boston in 1920 and introduced the use of radioactive iodine as a diagnostic aid in the treatment of thyroid disorders in 1941. He was Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard from 1932 to 1951, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in 1946, and Chief of Medical Services at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1924 to 1951. Means resigned from the American Medical Association in 1951 because he felt its attitude was contrary to the interest of the public in obtaining the best medical care at an affordable price. Means married Marian Jeffries (1881-1950) in 1915 and died at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, in 1967.

Processing Information

Processed by Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook in September 2021. Collection was processed according to Level 1 protocol.
Link to catalog.

Processing Information


James Howard Means papers, 1935-1971: A Finding Aid
Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook
Description rules
Language of description

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.

10 Shattuck Street
Boston MA 02115
(617) 432-2170