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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c378

Merrill Clary Sosman papers

Overview

The Merrill Clary Sosman papers, 1918-1959 (inclusive), are the product of Sosman’s activities as a radiologist, educator, lecturer, and contributing member of national and international radiological organizations.

Dates

  • 1918-1959 (inclusive).

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are predominately in English, with occasional correspondence in French, German, and Spanish.

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 are noted where they appear in Series I and III. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series I-IV. 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.

Extent

9.9 cubic feet (10 records center cartons, 1 half letter size document box, and 1 flat oversize box)
The Merrill Clary Sosman papers, 1918-1959 (inclusive), are the product of Sosman’s activities as a radiologist, educator, lecturer, and contributing member of national and international radiological organizations. The Merrill Clary Sosman papers consist of five series: Series I. Correspondence; Series II. Speaking Engagement Files; Series III. Subject Files; Series IV. Writings and Publications; and Series V. Audiovisual Records.

Correspondence (Series I) comprises the bulk of the collection and consists of Peter Bent Brigham Hospital administrative and patient correspondence, notes, report drafts, and Harvard Medical School administrative correspondence and lecture notes. Series I also contains New England Roentgen Ray Society, American Roentgen Ray Society, and Radiological Society of North America meeting correspondence, as well as correspondence from other professionals in the field requesting advice from Sosman on patient cases. The papers also include: lecture drafts, slide outlines, meeting programs, agendas, and travel correspondence from Sosman’s lectures at professional organization meetings and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital clinical pathological conferences (Series II); patient case notes, research article drafts, correspondence, and photographs on assorted topics, including pituitary adenomas, hemochromatosis, and Cushing’s syndrome (Series III); manuscript drafts, notes, photographs, correspondence, and patient case notes supporting the development of Sosman’s manuscripts, publications, and lectures on heart disease and xanthomatosis (Series IV); and phonograph records of a Yankee Network broadcast for which Sosman was a speaker (Series V).

Materials are predominately in English, with occasional correspondence in French, German, and Spanish.

Biographical Note

Merrill Clary Sosman (1890-1959), A.B., 1913, University of Wisconsin, Madison; M.D., 1917, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, was Clinical Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (1948-1956), and Roentgenologist-in-Chief at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston (1922-1956). Sosman was a leader in diagnosis by x-ray, the first to describe the calcification of heart valves as determined by x-ray, and significantly contributed to the establishment of a Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.

Merrill Clary Sosman was born on 23 June 1890 in Chillicothe, Ohio to Francis Sosman and Mary Browning Sosman. He received an A.B. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1913 and earned an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland in 1917. After graduating from medical school, Sosman became a First Lieutenant in the United States Army Medical Corps and was a resident physician at the United States Soldiers’ Home Hospital in Washington, D.C. At this time, the Surgeon General of the United States decided that Sosman should focus his work on the field of roentgenology (radiology using x-rays) and in 1919 he was assigned to Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, D.C. as a roentgenologist. In 1921, he moved to Boston to train under roentgenologist George W. Holmes (born 1876) at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. However, in 1922, Harvey Cushing (1869-1939), Surgeon-in-Chief at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston, recruited Sosman to become Roentgenologist-in-Chief at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, a position Sosman held until his retirement in 1956. Concurrent to this appointment, Sosman also served as: Consulting Roentgenologist at the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital, Boston, and Cape Cod Hospital, Hyannis; Associate Roentgenologist at Children’s Hospital, Boston; and Roentgenologist at the New England Peabody Home, Newton. After his retirement from Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Sosman served as Consultant in Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. At Harvard Medical School, Simon served as Assistant in Roentgenology, 1922 to 1923; Instructor in Roentgenology, 1923 to 1924; Assistant Professor of Roentgenology, 1928 to 1940; Clinical Professor, 1940 to 1944; and Clinical Professor of Radiology in 1948, becoming Emeritus in 1956.

During the course of his career, Sosman authored over eighty papers in scientific journals on the diagnosis and treatment of disease or tumors by x-ray and was an active member of many professional organizations. He was Chairman of the Section of Radiology for the American Medical Association from 1938 to 1939, and President of the New England Roentgen Ray Society, the American Roentgen Ray Society, and the Harvey Cushing Society. He was also a member of the Radiological Society of North America and the American College of Radiology. Sosman lectured extensively nationally and internationally and was named the Caldwell Lecturer of the American Roentgen Ray Society in 1947 and the Carman Lecturer of the Radiological Society of North America in 1948.

Merrill Clary Sosman married Arline Adams in 1918. They had two children, J. Leland Sosman, M.D. (1920-2008), who was a radiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a daughter, Barbara Munson. Sosman died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1959.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

  1. I. Correspondence, 1918-1958
  2. ___ A. Chronological Correspondence, 1918-1954
  3. ___ B. Subject Correspondence, 1942-1958
  4. ___ C. Biographical Research Correspondence, 1948-1958
  5. II. Speaking Engagement Files, 1923, 1948-1958, undated
  6. III. Subject Files, circa 1920-1958, undated
  7. IV. Writings and Publications, circa 1930-1959, undated
  8. V. Audiovisual Records, 1947

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan M. Bannon, 2012 April.

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.
Link to catalog
Title
Sosman, Merrill Clary, 1890-. Papers, 1918-1959 (inclusive): Finding Aid.
Author
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Sponsor
Processing of the Merrill Clary Sosman papers was funded by the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine's Lloyd E. Hawes Fund for Radiology.
EAD ID
med00154

Repository Details

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

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