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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c214

Raphael Isaacs papers

Overview

The Raphael Isaacs papers, 1757-1965 (inclusive), 1920-1965 (bulk), are a product of Isaacs’s research and personal and professional activities as conducted throughout his professional appointments, including: Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Assistant Physician, Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital, Boston; Assistant Director and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Attending Physician in Hematology, Director of the Department of Hematology and the Hematology Research Laboratory, and Senior Attending Physician in Hematology, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois.

Dates

  • 1757-1965 (inclusive),
  • Majority of material found within 1920-1965 .

Creator

Language of Materials

Papers are predominantly in English. Occasional correspondence and collected publications are in French, German, Italian, and Latin.

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, II, III, and 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

8.43 cubic feet ( (8 records center cartons, 1 legal size document box, and 1 oversize box))
The Raphael Isaacs papers, 1757-1965 (inclusive), 1920-1965 (bulk), are a product of Isaacs’s research and personal and professional activities as conducted throughout his professional appointments, including: Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Assistant Physician, Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital, Boston; Assistant Director and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Attending Physician in Hematology, Director of the Department of Hematology and the Hematology Research Laboratory, and Senior Attending Physician in Hematology, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois.

The papers are arranged in five series: I. Clinical, Research, and Publishing Files (1855-1899, 1910-1965, undated); II. Correspondence (1915-1965, undated); III. Professional Activities and Service Records (1922-1964, undated); IV. Professional Appointments Records (1923-1953, undated); and V. Biographical Resource Files (1757-1850, 1910-1951, undated). There is substantial topical overlap across series due to the collection’s original arrangement. Series content is as follows:
  1. • Series I (Clinical, Research, and Publishing Files) comprises the bulk of the collection, and consists of: research notes and related correspondence concerning various hematological disorders, particularly leukemia and pernicious anemia; reprints and manuscript drafts for Raphael Isaacs's publications and related correspondence; research notes, reports, and related correspondence related to clinical trials performed by Isaacs for numerous pharmaceutical companies; correspondence related to patient cases and associated medical records; assorted publications and newspaper clippings concerning Isaacs’s research interests; and illustrations and photographs composed by Isaacs featuring blood cells and patients from Isaacs’s research and routine medical practice.
  2. • Series II (Correspondence) consists of Isaacs’s personal and professional correspondence concerning professional appointments, research on leukemia and pernicious anemia, patient cases, involvement in professional societies, and personal matters.
  3. • Series III (Professional Activities and Service Records) contains correspondence, professional society conference programs and announcements, and research notes and reports.
  4. • Series IV (Professional Appointments Records) consists of: administrative correspondence concerning research funding, personnel, and patient cases; research funding applications; research notes; patient records; published reports and curricula of Harvard Medical School, the University of Michigan, and the Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research; and correspondence of George R. Minot concerning administrative duties at the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital.
  5. • Series V (Biographical Resource Files) contains Raphael Isaacs's course notebooks from the University of Cincinnati; a photocopied scrapbook and newspaper clippings related to Isaacs’s career and the city of Boston, Massachusetts; collected photographs of Isaacs, his friends and colleagues; collected prints and illustrations of well-known people in science and history; collected historical publications about medical practice and education; and a bibliography of Isaacs’s publications.
Papers are predominantly in English. Occasional correspondence and collected publications are in French, German, Italian, and Latin.

Biographical Notes

Raphael Isaacs (1891-1965), B.S., 1911, M.A., 1912, M.D., 1918, University of Cincinnati, Ohio, was Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, Assistant Director and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Attending Physician in Hematology at Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois. Isaacs worked throughout his career to improve treatments for hematological disorders, including leukemia and pernicious anemia.

Raphael Isaacs was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1891 to Abraham Isaacs (1859-1928) and poet Rachel Isaacs (1861-1929). He attended the University of Cincinnati, where he received his B.S. in 1911, his M.A. in Zoology in 1912, and his M.D. in 1918. Isaacs completed his internship and residency at the Cincinnati General Hospital before serving one year as Instructor in Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. In 1923, he became Instructor in Medicine (1923-1926) at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Physician (1923-1926) at Harvard University’s Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked under George R. Minot (1885-1950). Isaacs then moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1927, where he was appointed Assistant Director (1927-1939) and Assistant Professor of Medicine (1927-1939) at the newly opened Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research. In 1940, he left Michigan for the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, where he subsequently served as Attending Physician in Hematology (1940-1951), Director of the Department of Hematology and the Hematology Research Laboratory (1940-1965), and Senior Attending Physician in Hematology (1952-1965).

Isaacs’s work focused on hematological disorders and their treatments, notably leukemia and pernicious anemia. His research also included studying the effects of radiation on the blood and blood forming tissues. Throughout his career, he collaborated with George R. Minot and Cyrus Sturgis (born 1891) on chronic leukemia and pernicious anemia research. In 1925, he was awarded the Alvarenga Prize of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and in 1930 both he and Cyrus Sturgis were awarded the Silver Medal of the American Medical Association for the introduction of powdered hog stomach as an effective treatment of pernicious anemia. Isaacs served as Secretary of the United States Pharmacopoeia Anti-Anemia Products Advisory Board, Diplomat for the American Board of Internal Medicine, Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and Advisory Board Member for the Hematology Research Foundation. His professional affiliations also included the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Central Society for Clinical Research, and the International Society of Hematology. Throughout his career, Isaacs also performed clinical trials for numerous pharmaceutical companies. His publications include: Manual of Clinical and Laboratory Technic (1927, 1932) with Hiram Bertram Weiss and Dorothy Stewart Waller; Diagnosis and Treatment of Diseases of the Blood (1930) with Thomas Ordway and Lemuel Whittington Gorham; and Diseases of the Blood (1937) with Cyrus C. Sturgis; as well as over two hundred scientific papers.

Raphael Isaacs married Agnes Wolfstein (died 1964) in 1923. He had one son, Roger D. Isaacs (born 1925). Isaacs died of a myocardial infarction on 26 October 1965, in Chicago, Illinois.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

  1. I. Clinical, Research, and Publishing Files, 1855-1899, 1910-1965, undated
  2. II. Correspondence, 1915-1965, undated
  3. III. Professional Activities and Service Records, 1922-1964, undated
  4. IV. Professional Appointments Records, 1923-1953, undated
  5. V. Biographical Resource Files, 1757-1850, 1910-1951, undated

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Raphael Isaacs papers were donated to the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine by Roger D. Isaacs in two gifts (1985 and 2002).
  1. 2002-058. Donated by Roger D. Isaacs, 2002 August 13.

Related Collections in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Center for the History of Medicine

  1. Papers of George Richards Minot, 1908-1951. GA 55.

Separations

Books that came with the collection and constitute a part of Isaacs’s professional library were transferred to the Center’s Rare Books Collection to be catalogued, October 2012. A complete list of transferred publications is available in the Center’s control file for the collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Amber LaFountain, 2012 October.

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 rehoused and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals when available; titles supplied by the processing staff appear in brackets only on the physical folders.
Link to catalog
Title
Isaacs, Raphael, b. 1891. Papers, 1757-1965 (inclusive), 1920-1965 (bulk): Finding Aid.
Author
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Sponsor
Processing of the Raphael Isaacs papers was funded by the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine's Charles S. Minot Fund for Hematology.
EAD ID
med00172

Repository Details

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

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