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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c293

American Roentgen Ray Society records


The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) records, 1913-1952 (inclusive), 1932-1941 (bulk), principally consist of correspondence, meeting minutes, and Board of Censors materials generated as a product of routine ARRS administration and member activities during the 1930s and early 1940s.


  • Creation: 1913-1952 (inclusive),
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1932-1941 .


Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Consult Public Services for further information.

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.


3.5 cubic feet (3 records center cartons and 1 half-letter size document box)

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) records, 1913-1952 (inclusive), 1932-1941 (bulk), principally consist of correspondence generated as a product of routine ARRS administration and member activities during the 1930s and early 1940s. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence between elected members of ARRS administration, including the Executive Council, Secretary, and President of the organization. Also included are copies of the ARRS constitution and by-laws; a bound copy of ARRS Transactions from 1905; Executive Council meeting minutes; Board of Censors actions taken against individual members; membership and conference attendance directories and lists; and assorted records that illustrate ARRS’s work with other scientific societies and organizations, including the American College of Radiology, the American Board of Radiology, and the American Standards Association. The ARRS was also involved in the work of the Inter-Society Committee on Radiology, a group dedicated to studying the position of radiology and radiologists in hospitals and medical care facilities.

Correspondents include Merrill C. Sosman (1890-1959), who helped establish the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Eugene P. Pendergrass (born 1895), a member of the faculty in the Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia; and Edward L. Jenkinson (1892-1972), faculty member of the Department of Radiology, Northwestern Medical School, Chicago, Illinois.

Subjects include the planning of American Roentgen Ray Society conferences, including choice of city and hotel, and correspondence between presenters and discussants for individual sessions. Additionally, there is correspondence concerning the American Journal of Radiology, including work with the publisher and voting correspondence regarding the disposal of back issues of the journal. Also included is correspondence concerning members, including the admission of new members and proceedings against delinquent members.

Materials entirely in English.

Historical Notes

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was organized as the Roentgen Society of the United States in 1900, in St. Louis, Missouri. It was the first organized society dedicated to studying and applying Roentgen rays (commonly called x-rays) and to advancing medicine through the science of radiology and its allied sciences. The organizing meeting for the ARRS took place in St. Louis in March of 1900. Herber Robarts (1852-1922) was elected first president; J.P. Girdwood, vice-president; J. Rudis-Jicinsky (born 1860), secretary; W.A. Price, assistant secretary; and E.A. Florentine, treasurer. The first annual meeting was held in December 1900 in New York City; 150 people attended.

The group became the Roentgen Society of America in 1901 and the American Roentgen Ray Society in 1902, when membership was opened to Canadians.

The ARRS celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1950 and its centennial in 2000. It is the oldest organized radiology society in the United States. Headquartered in Leesburg, Virginia, ARRS holds an annual meeting, publishes the monthly American Journal of Roentgenology (previously American Journal of Radiology), and offers continuing medical education credits to its members along with scholarships and fellowships to students of radiology.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifted to the Center for the History of Medicine by the Mayo Clinic Historical Unit, March 2008.

Resources about the American Roentgen Ray Society.

Information about the American Roentgen Ray Society, including a list of presidents from 1900-1950, may be found in:
  • American Roentgen Ray Society. The American Roentgen Ray Society, 1900-1950: Commemorating the Golden Anniversary of the Society . Springfield, ILL: Charles C. Thomas, 1950.

Processing Information

Processed by Hanna Clutterbuck, 2012 August.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine refoldered, arranged, reboxed, and described the records, and created a finding aid to improve access. Where folder titles existed, they were transcribed onto new folders; new titles were created as necessary for unfoldered or untitled material. Brass and pin fasteners were removed from the records and fragile materials, including newspaper clippings, were photocopied for long-term preservation. A bound membership directory was disbound and housed separately for preservation.

American Roentgen Ray Society. Records, 1913-1952 (inclusive), 1932-1941 (bulk) : Finding Aid.
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Language of description
Processing of the American Roentgen Ray Society records 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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