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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c254

Carola Eisenberg papers,


Carola Eisenberg (born 1917), psychiatrist and medical educator, served as Dean for Student Affairs at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1972-1978; the first woman to hold that position) and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (1978-1990). The Carola Eisenberg papers consist of Eisenberg's lectures pertaining to the role of women in medicine, her letters of recommendation, and assorted personal papers.


  • 1945-2006 (inclusive),
  • Majority of material found within 1977-2006 .

Conditions Governing Access

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 II and Series III. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult the Public Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collection. Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to Public Services. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from Public Services. are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.


2 cubic feet (2 records center cartons)
The Carola Eisenberg papers (1977-2006) consist of lectures given by Eisenberg at conferences, commencements, and other events primarily on the topic of women in medicine, and often accompanied by related records. The collection also includes letters of recommendation and associated correspondence between Eisenberg and students, admission committees, and employers, and assorted personal papers, including correspondence, photographs, and newspaper clippings from her period of service as the Dean of Student Affairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Harvard Medical School.

The Carola Eisenberg papers consist of three series: Series I. Lectures, Conferences, and Related Records, 1993-2006; Series II. Letters of Recommendation, 1992-2006; and Series III. Personal Papers, 1945, 1972-2006.

Though Eisenberg was heavily involved in human rights work, especially through Physicians for Human Rights, this collection contains little documentation of her work in this area.

Except for two letters in Series III that are in Spanish, all materials are in English.

Biographical Notes

Carola Eisenberg (born 1917), B.A., 1933, Liceo Nacional De Senoritas, Buenos Aires, Argentina; M.A., 1935, School of Psychiatric Social Work, Hospicio De Las Mercedes, Buenos Aires, Argentina; M.D., 1944, University of Buenos Aires, is a psychiatrist and medical educator. Eisenberg served as Dean for Student Affairs at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1972 to 1978 (the first woman to hold that position) and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, from 1978 to 1990.

Carola Eisenberg was born Carola Blitzman in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1917. She attended the Liceo Nacional De Senoritas, graduating with a B.A. in 1933 and the Hospicio De Las Mercedes School of Psychiatric Social Work, graduating with an M.A. in 1935. After she was awarded an M.D. from the University of Buenos Aires in 1944, Eisenberg completed a fellowship in child psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland (1945-1947), continuing at Johns Hopkins as a psychiatrist in the outpatient department (1947-1950), an Instructor (1958-1966), and later an Assistant Professor (1966-1967) in psychiatry and pediatrics. Eisenberg also had a private practice in Baltimore, Maryland specific to child and adolescent psychiatry (1955-1967) and worked as a consultant in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (1968-). After working as Staff Psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1968-1972), she was appointed the Dean for Student Affairs (1972-1978), the first woman to hold this position. At Harvard Medical School, Eisenberg was the Dean for Student Affairs (1978-1990), Lecturer in Psychiatry (1968-1996), and Lecturer in Social Medicine (1996-2008).

Eisenberg’s professional activities have centered on promoting women in medicine and raising awareness of human rights issues. She is a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association with service on committees such as the Council on Emerging Issues (1974-1979), the Committee on International Abuse of Psychiatry and Psychiatrists (1991-1994), the Committee on Human Rights (1994), and as the Vice Chair on the Council on International Affairs (1995-1998). Among her many honors and awards are the Human Rights Award from the American Psychiatric Association in 2005 and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society in 2005. Eisenberg co-founded and acted as the Vice-President of Physicians for Human Rights in 1986 and served on human rights missions to El Salvador (January 1983, June 1989), Chile (July-August 1986), and Paraguay (May 1988). She is also a member of the Boston Examiner’s Club with services as President (1992–2001).

Eisenberg is the widow of the late Leon Eisenberg, M.D. (1922-2009). She had two children (Alan Edward Guttmacher, M.D. and Laurence Guttmacher, M.D.) with her first husband, Manfred Guttmacher, M.D. (1898-1966).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Carola Eisenberg papers were donated to the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine by Carola Eisenberg in 2007 and 2008.

Digitized Items

Selected items from this collection have been scanned and are available via the Center's online collections site, OnView:


  1. On Doctoring: Stories, Poems, and Essays, a book edited by Richard Reynolds, M.D., and John Stone, M.D. featuring Carola Eisenberg's essay, “It Is Still a Privilege to Be a Doctor,” was removed and transferred to the general collection of the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. (Call number WZ 330 O58 1991.)

Processing Information

Processed by Valerie Enriquez under the supervision of Jessica Sedgwick, October 2010.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine re-housed materials into acid-free folders, photocopied documents onto acid-free paper, arranged and described the collection, and created a finding aid. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals whenever possible; staff-supplied titles are indicated with square brackets on the physical folders. Processing staff discarded duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine.
Link to catalog
Eisenberg, Carola. Papers, 1945-2006 (inclusive), 1977-2006 (bulk): Finding Aid.
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
The Carola Eisenberg papers have been processed and made available by the Archives for Women in Medicine project with generous support from our donors.

Repository Details

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

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