Anne Pappenheimer Forbes personal and professional papers
The Anne Pappenheimer Forbes Papers, 1930-1991, are the result of Forbes's research and teaching activities as Clinical Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and as an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. The bulk of the collection falls between 1953 and 1975 and includes data, statistics, graphs, notes, correspondence, and lecture notes from her career as an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1939 to 1978. Research topics include Cushing's, Klinefelter's, and Turner's syndromes, amenorrhea, bone diseases, osteoporosis, and chromosomal abnormalities. The collection also contains lecture outlines and notes from Forbes's tenure at Harvard Medical School and personal correspondence and notes.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series I and II. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.
Series I and II contain personnel and patient information that is restricted for 80 years. The end of the restriction period is noted with each folder. Researchers may apply for access to these records.
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.
Extent6.2 cubic feet (6 record cartons, 1 half legal document box)
The Anne Pappenheimer Forbes Papers, 1930-1991, are the product of Forbes’ research, administrative, and teaching activities as an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. and as Clinical Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 1939 to 1978.
The bulk of the collection falls between 1953 and 1975 and consists of correspondence, data, notes, lecture notes, writings, graphs, and photographs resulting from her activities as an endocrinologist in Fuller Albright’s endocrinology laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. Correspondence and notes outlining Albright’s experiment procedures and writings detail Forbes's professional relationship with Albright. The collection contains correspondence, grant proposals, research data, notes, statistics, photographs, prints, writings, and lectures recording her research activities on gonadal dysgenesis, adrenal disorders, dermatoglyphics, amenorrhea, pituitary tumors, kidney stones, bone diseases, pseudohypoparathyroidism, and the connection between menopause and osteoporosis while at Massachusetts General Hospital. Additional research topics include Cushing's, Klinefelter's, and Turner's syndromes. Funding for these research projects was a large component of Forbes's research as discussed in her correspondence with the American Cancer Society and officials at the National Institutes of Health, and several grant applications and progress reports located throughout the collection. Forbes's professional activities and contacts are identified by her international colleague correspondence, participation in international endocrine congresses, and her collaboration with several European colleagues as recorded in correspondence, notes, research data, and statistics. Her research also focused on international studies including male testicular deficiencies while working in several hospitals in Paris and skeletal maturation in children in Iran. Reprints, graphics, writings, and correspondence with French colleagues highlight Forbes's two-year sabbatical in France during the late 1950s. Photographs, x-rays, correspondence, research data and statistics, patient records, article manuscripts and drafts, and endocrinology teaching notes record Forbes's two-year sabbatical in Shiraz, Iran teaching at the Pahlavi Medical School. Also includes case histories from endocrine patients receiving psychiatric consultations at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital from Henry M. Fox.
Anne Pappenheimer Forbes (1911-1992) was Clinical Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. While at Massachusetts General Hospital, Forbes collaborated with Fuller Albright and contributed to the discovery of several diseases including Forbes-Albright Syndrome, a dysfunction of the pituitary gland, which bears their names. Much of her research focused on Cushing’s, Turner’s, and Klinefelter’s syndromes, as well as calcium and phosphorous metabolism, amenorrhea, kidney stones, bone diseases, estrogen use, parathyroid glands, and the link between osteoporosis and menopause. Her ovarian research contributed to the study of reproductive endocrinology within internal medicine rather than obstetrics, and the development of the Ovarian Dysfunction Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Forbes was born on 11 November 1911 in New York City. She received an A.B. from Radcliffe College in 1932 and an M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1936. After Forbes completed a two-year internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., she started a fellowship in Albright’s endocrinology laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1939, beginning a 40-year career with Harvard Medical School.
Forbes held several appointments at Harvard Medical School between 1939 and 1978, culminating in her appointment as clinical professor in medicine in 1977. Forbes was named assistant in medicine in 1948, and later served as instructor in medicine from 1953 to 1959; clinical associate in medicine, from 1959 to1962; assistant clinical professor in medicine, from 1962 to1971; associate clinical professor in medicine, from 1971 to 1977; clinical professor in medicine, from 1977 to 1978; and clinical professor in medicine emerita in 1978. Forbes was the second of three siblings to be named to the Harvard faculty; she followed older brother Alwin Pappenheimer, professor of biology, emeritus, to Harvard and preceded brother John Pappenheimer, Harvard Medical School Higginson Professor of Physiology, Emeritus.
Forbes was appointed Albright’s permanent research associate at Massachusetts General Hospital during World War II. She held several appointments at the institution during her career, culminating in her appointment as physician in 1976. Forbes was named assistant physician in 1951, and later served as associate physician from 1965 to 1976, and physician from 1976 to 1978. Much of her endocrine research focused on international medicine including population growth, a topic that she lectured on as a visiting professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and implanted birth control. She collaborated with international colleagues and was an active participant in international endocrine congresses. From 1954 to 1955, Forbes worked in several hospitals in Paris studying male testicular deficiencies. She completed a two-year sabbatical from Massachusetts General Hospital to teach endocrinology courses at the Pahlavi Medical School in Shiraz, Iran, and examine skeletal maturation of Iranian children from 1967 to 1969. She published Skeletal Maturation of Children in Shiraz, Iran detailing her data and x-rays collected from Iranian children.
Aside from her research activities, Forbes taught postgraduate courses in obstetrics and gynecology from the late 1950s through the 1970s in the Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education. She also taught sections of Harvard Medical School pathophysiology courses and electives, and participated in forums, roundtable discussions, and conferences pertaining to her research. Forbes also taught postgraduate courses in pediatric endocrinology, and lectured on endocrine diseases in the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing.
Forbes published over 100 articles, abstracts, monograph chapters, and editorials during her career. Topics included pseudohypoparathyroidism, gonadal dysgenesis, ovaries, Cushing’s, Klinefelter’s and Turner’s syndromes; amenorrhea, dermatoglyphics, menopause, thyroiditis, and bone diseases. Forbes was one of the first women to become a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the most distinguished research organization for clinical investigators in 1950.
Forbes died of Hodgkin's Disease on 25 February 1992.
Series and Subseries in the Collection
- I. Massachusetts General Hospital Research Records, 1932-1981
- ___A. Research Records, 1932-1981
- ______1. Endocrine Research Records, 1932-1981
- ______2. Hand Prints, 1969-1971
- ______3. Karyotype Research and Images, 1963-1977
- ______4. Ovary Prints, 1971-1975
- ___B. Professional Correspondence, 1937-1991
- ______1. Chronological Correspondence, 1937-1981
- ______2. Alphabetical Correspondence, 1945-1991
- ___C. Research Writings, 1942-1991
- ___D. Conference, Lecture, and Symposia Records, 1951-1981
- II. Peter Bent Brigham Hospital Patient Case Histories, 1946-1960
- III. Teaching Records, 1938-1978
- ___A. Harvard Medical School Teaching Records, 1952-1978
- ___B. Endocrine Teaching Records, 1938-1973
- IV. Personal and Biographical Records, 1930-1982
The Anne Pappenheimer Forbes Papers consist of four series: I. Massachusetts General Hospital Research Records, 1932-1981; II. Peter Bent Brigham Hospital Patient Case Histories, 1946-1960; III. Teaching Records, 1938-1978; and IV. Personal and Biographical Records, 1930-1982.
Oversized items are housed in box 6. Photographs and illustrations are housed in their appropriate locations in the collection.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Anne Pappenheimer Forbes Papers were donated to the Harvard Medical Library by Forbes's daughter Andrea Forbes Schoenfeld in 1992.
Processed by: Jennifer Pelose, December 2005
- Forbes, Anne Pappenheimer, 1911-1992. Personal and Professional Papers, 1930-1991: A Finding Aid.
- Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
- Language of description
- The Anne Pappenheimer Forbes Papers have been processed and made available by the Archives for Women in Medicine project with generous support from our donors.
- EAD ID
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