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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c57

Felix Fleischner papers


The Felix Fleischner papers, 1919-1971 (inclusive), are the product of Fleischner’s activities as a radiologist, lecturer, consultant, and contributing member of national and international organizations, including the American Roentgen Ray Society and the New England Roentgen Ray Society.


  • Creation: 1919-1971 (inclusive).


Language of Materials

Records are predominantly in English. Some reprints and correspondence are in German.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series I, II, and IV. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in all series. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.

The Papers are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to consult Public Services for further information concerning retrieval of material.

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.


24.33 cubic feet ((22 records center cartons, 1 letter size document box, 2 half letter size document boxes, 1 legal size document box, and 8 oversize flat storage boxes).)

The Felix Fleischner papers (1919-1971) are the product of Fleischner’s activities as a radiologist, educator, lecturer, and contributing member of national and international radiological societies. The Felix Fleischner papers consist of six series: Series I. Subject Files; Series II. Professional Association Records; Series III. Writings and Publications; Series IV. Personal and Professional Correspondence; Series V. Patient Records; and Series VI. Photographs, Negatives, Slides, and Patient Case Notes.

The bulk of the collection consists of Fleischner’s topically arranged, radiology-related subject files (Series I) that include: his notes on scholarly journal articles of other professionals in the field; collected reprints from a wide variety of radiology, surgical, and respiratory-related publications; newspaper clippings; and photographs. Predominant subjects include atelectasis, bronchiectasis, diverticulitis, mitral stenosis, and pulmonary embolism and edema. Professional records (Series II) include Harvard Medical School course syllabi and lecture notes (1945-1967) and New England Roentgen Ray Society meeting minutes, conference records, and correspondence. Writings and publications (Series III) consist of article and lecture drafts, reprints of Fleischner’s articles, and article citation cards. The remainder of the collection is comprised of personal and professional correspondence concerning manuscript drafts, lectures, patient cases, and meetings of professional organizations, such as the American Roentgen Ray Society and the Radiological Society of North America (Series IV), and patient-related x-rays (radiographs), negatives, photographs, slides, and textual records generated by Fleischner as a product of working at Beth Israel Hospital, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and the Veterans Affairs Hospital, Boston and West Roxbury, Massachusetts (Series V and VI).

Materials are predominately in English. Some reprints and correspondence are in German.

Biographical Note

Felix George Fleischner (1893-1969), M.D., 1919, University of Vienna, Austria, was Clinical Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and Radiologist-in-Chief, Emeritus, Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital), Boston. Fleischner’s research focused on pulmonary diseases, including atelectasis and bronchiectasis, as well as diseases of the heart and colon.

Felix George Fleischner was born on 29 July 1893 in Vienna, Austria. He graduated from State Gymnasium, Vienna VI, in 1912 and earned an M.D. from the University of Vienna in 1919. After finishing his graduate studies, Fleischner completed internships at the Karolinen Kinderspital and the First University Medical Clinic, and was a resident, and later Assistant in Radiology, at the Wilhelminenspital from 1921 to 1929. Fleischner left Wilhelminenspital to train under Austrian radiologist and inventor Guido Holzknecht (1872-1931) at the Zentral Roentgen Institute (1929-1930), after which he served as a Docent of Radiology at the University of Vienna (1931). In 1932, Fleischner joined the Vienna C.S. Child’s Hospital as Director of Radiology.

Fleischner and his family moved to the United States in 1938, where he served as a Graduate Assistant under George W. Holmes (1876-) in the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Following his assistantship, Fleischner opened a radiologic practice in Greenfield, Massachusetts (1940-1942), which he left to become the first full-time radiologist at Beth Israel Hospital (1942-1960), eventually serving as the Hospital’s Radiologist-in-Chief. During this time, Fleischner held several positions at Harvard Medical School, including Instructor in Radiology (1943), Clinical Associate in Radiology (1947), Clinical Assistant Professor of Radiology (1952), and Clinical Professor of Radiology (1955). He also served as Instructor in Radiology (1943) and Assistant Professor (1945) at Tufts College Medical School (now Tufts University School of Medicine). Fleischner remained at Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School until his retirement in 1960. Post-retirement, he continued to practice medicine, holding several consulting positions, including: Consultant in Radiology at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston, 1960 to 1966; Consultant Visiting Radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, 1966 to 1969; and Consultant in Radiology to the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Boston and West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

During the course of his career, Fleischner wrote over 250 articles on topics such as pulmonary embolism, mitral stenosis, emphysema, atelectasis, bronchiectasis, and diverticulitis. His articles appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Radiology, and American Journal of Roentgenology. Fleischner was also a contributor and a co-editor of Cardiology: An Encyclopedia of the Cardiovascular System, a five volume text edited by Aldo A. Luisada and sponsored by the American College of Radiology. Fleischner was a member and former President of the New England Roentgen Ray Society, as well as a member of the American Roentgen Ray Society, the Radiological Society of North America, and the American College of Radiology. In addition to membership in many national medical and scientific professional organizations, Fleischner was elected a Fellow of the Faculty of Radiologists of England in 1968. In honor of his contributions to research in pulmonary embolism and chest radiology, two international symposia were dedicated in his name. In the late 1960s, Fleischner and a small group of radiologists began to organize a thoracic radiology society. When the society was formally created in December 1969, Fleischner’s colleagues named it the Fleischner Society, in memory of the radiologist.

Felix Fleischner died in 1969 of acute cardiac arrest. He was survived by his wife, Risa Sporer, and their two daughters, Suzanne and Elizabeth.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

  1. I. Subject Files, 1926-1969, undated
  2. II. Professional Records, 1941-1967
  3. ___A. Teaching Records, 1941-1967
  4. ___B. Committee Records, 1955-1959
  5. ___C. Conference Records, 1942-1962
  6. III. Writings and Publications, 1919-1971, undated
  7. ___A. Reprints, 1920-1971, undated
  8. ___B. Manuscript and Lecture Drafts, 1919-1957, undated
  9. ___C. Citation Cards, circa 1950s-1960s, undated
  10. IV. Personal and Professional Correspondence, 1931-1970
  11. V. Patient Records, circa 1930s-1960s
  12. VI. Photographs, Negatives, Slides, and Associated Patient Case Notes, 1920-1969, undated
  13. ___A. Photographs, circa 1930s-1969, undated
  14. ___B. Negatives, circa 1930s-1969, undated
  15. ___C. Lantern Slides, circa 1920s-1960s, undated
  16. ___D. 35 millimeter Projection Slides, circa 1950s-1960s, undated
  17. ___E. Associated Patient Case Notes, circa 1930s-1960s

Related Collections in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Countway Library, Harvard Medical School

  1. Fleischner Society records. H MS c198.
  2. Morris Simon papers. H MS c227.


Microscope slides and lung sections sent to Felix Fleischner by Jethro Gough were transferred to the Warren Anatomical Museum, Fall, 2011.


  • Abrams, Herbert L., et al. Felix Fleischner Memorial Minute. Cambridge: Harvard University, 1970.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan M. Bannon, November 2011.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access. Items were removed from three ring binders and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals, with the creator's abbreviations retained.

Fleischner, Felix. Papers, 1919-1971 (inclusive): Finding Aid.
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Language of description
Processing of the Felix Fleischner papers was funded by the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine's Lloyd E. Hawes Fund for Radiology.

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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