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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c242

Edward Peirson Richardson, Jr. papers, 1898-1998.

TheEdward Peirson Richardson, Jr. Papers, 1898-1998, document Richardson's careeras a neurologist and neuropathologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital andas Bullard Professor of Neuropathology at Harvard MedicalSchool.


  • 1898-1998.


Conditions Governing Access

Access requires advance notice.There are restrictions on access to portions of this collection. Access to patient and patient information is restricted for 80 years. Restrictions are noted where they appear in Series III and V. Researchersmay apply for access to restricted records. Consult the ReferenceLibrarian for further information. Reference Services and Access Information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard MedicalLibrary does not hold copyright on all of the materials in the collections.Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should bedirected to the Public Services Librarian. Researchers who obtain permission topublish from the Public Services Librarian are responsible for identifying andcontacting the persons or organizations that holdcopyright.


3.5 cubic feet (4 record cartons)

TheEdward Peirson Richardson, Jr. Papers, 1898-1998, are the result of Richardson's professional and personal activities as a neurologist/neuropathologist and professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. The bulkof the records falls within two time periods: 1936-1948, and 1976-1998. Theearlier years document EPR Jr.’s extensive medical and clinical training,and his research, first in neurology and psychiatry, then neuropathology. Thelater years document specific courses he taught during the mid 1970s through early 1990s, and his research and laboratory work in those same years. Correspondence, notes, syllabi, articles, reprints, and photographs result from Richardson's research activities concerning brain death, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Other topics covered in the records include the evolution of medical education at Harvard Medical School and developments in the study of brain disorders.


Edward Peirson Richardson, Jr. (EPR Jr.) MD, was a neuropathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Bullard Professor of Neuropathology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) who studied brain disorders. The sonof Edward Peirson Richardson, Sr. (1881-1944) and Clara Shattuck Richardson(1883-1921), he was born on 3 April 1918 at MGH in Boston, Massachusetts. His paternal grandfather, Maurice HoweRichardson (1856-1912), was the first chief of surgery at MGH, and his father,EPR Sr., served as chief of the West Surgical Service at MGH. His maternalgrandfather, Frederick Cheever Shattuck (1847-1929), was chief of MGH’sEast Medical Service. EPR Jr. received the AB from Harvard College in 1939, and thenreceived the MD from HMS as a member of the Class of1943. He married Margaret “Peggy” Eustis in 1951, and they hadthree children.

Following graduation, EPR Jr. served briefly asa medical intern at MGH before becoming a neuropsychiatrist in the US Army.In 1946, he returned to MGH to study neurology and psychiatry under Dr. StanleyCobb. For fifteen months during 1947-1948, EPR Jr. studied at TheNational Hospital for Nervous Diseases in Queen’s Square, and TheMaudsley Hospital, in London. He returned to MGH in 1949 as an assistant inneuropathology to Dr. Charles S. Kubik, whom he succeeded as ChiefNeuropathologist in 1951. In 1954, he became director of the neuropathologylaboratory that was subsequently named after Dr. Kubik, a position he helduntil 1989.

EPR Jr. was appointed assistant professor at HMS in 1960,Professor of Neuropathology in 1974, and Bullard Professor of Neuropathology in1984. In addition, he held a number of international posts and visitingprofessorships, including appointments in Germany, Switzerland, and Australia.He trained and mentored many HMS medical students, MGH residents, andinternational fellows in neurology, neuroanatomy, and neuropathology. He wascourse director at HMS for the Neurology-Neuropathology Course from1972-1989.

EPR Jr.’s contributions to neuropathology included theoriginal description of progressivemultifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), and research on Creutzfeldt-Jakobdisease, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, systemic lupuserythematosus (SLE), tuberous sclerosis, the leukodystrophies, and otherdemyelinating and neurodegenerative disorders.

He frequentlycontributed to professional publications on topics concerning neurology andneuropathology, and served as an editor for a number of journals, including ActaNeuropathologica, Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, andNeurology. For over fifty years, he regularly contributed to the CabotClinicopathological Cases, reported in the New England Journal ofMedicine. He co-edited a volume of articles, Neurologic ClinicopathologicalConferences of the Massachusetts General Hospital, with Benjamin Castleman(1968), and co-wrote a volume, Pathology of the Peripheral Nerve, with UmbertoDe Girolami (1995).

EPR Jr. maintained active memberships in manyprofessional societies. He was Secretary-Treasurer, then President of theAmerican Association of Neuropathologists (1973-1974), and received its Awardfor Meritorious Services to Neuropathology (1988). He became a member of theAmerican Neurological Association (1961), serving as First Vice President(1970-1971), and Honorary Member (1993). He was on the Advisory Committee ofthe National Multiple Sclerosis Society (1974-1977), and served on the MedicalAdvisory Board (1975-1996). He was elected to membership in the Royal Academyof Medicine (1984), and was invited to be the Litchfield Lecturer at Oxford,England (1975, 1990). He received the Senior Scientist Award of the Alexandervon Humboldt Foundation (1982). He was an active consultant to theNational Institutes of Health (1966-1973).

EPR Jr. died at home in Brookline,Massachusetts on 30 November 1998, at age 80. A memorial service was held atthe First and Second Church, Boston, on 23 January1999.

Seriesand Subseries Arrangement

  1. Series I. EPR Jr. Student Notes,1936-1948
  2. ___ Subseries A. Harvard College, 1936-1939
  3. ___ Subseries B. Harvard Medical School, 1939-1942
  4. ___ Subseries C. United States Army Service, 1944
  5. ___ Subseries D.National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen’s Square, London,1947-1948
  6. Series II. Teaching Records,1945-1957, 1972-1993
  7. Series III. Research Records,1898-1998
  8. Series IV. Manuscript Review Correspondence, 1955-1998
  9. Series V. Photographs, 1958-1991,n.d.
Arrangement Photographs are noted where they were found in the collection, then listed againas Series V, in the order in which they appear in the collection. There is patient information listed in Series III that is housed separately in box 4; the records are restricted for 80 years.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Edward Peirson Richardson, Jr. Papers were donated to the HarvardMedical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine by Margaret E.Richardson in 1999.

Related Materials

Related collections in the Center for the History of Medicine include the:
  1. EdwardPeirson Richardson, Sr. 1881-1944. Papers, 1875-1931.
  2. Richardson, Maurice Howe, 1851-1912. Papers, 1869-1913.
Consult the Public Services Librarian for further information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Alyson Reichgott, May2001

Processing Note: Seven cubicfeet of material were received in good order to form the four series of this collection.Approximately nine cubic feet of patient records were discarded. Appointment books totalling 0.25 cubic feet were removed. Duplicateunmarked photocopies and reprints were removed and discarded, along with onecubic foot of unmarked, damaged glass slides. Patient names have been eliminatedfrom correspondence, reports, and notes accompanying unrestricted material.
Link to catalog
Richardson, Edward Peirson, 1918- , Papers,1898-1998: A Finding Aid.
Center for the History of Medicine. Francis A. Countway Library ofMedicine.
The Edward Peirson Richardson, Jr. Papers were processed with support from Margaret E. Richardson.

Repository Details

Part of the Countway Library of Medicine Repository

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