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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c11

Arthur Tremain Hertig papers

The Arthur Tremain Hertig papers, 1922-1987, are the product of Hertig's activities as a pathologist, embryology researcher, author, and Harvard Medical School faculty member.


  • 1922-1987 (inclusive)

Language of Materials

Papers are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

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

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.


23.75 cubic feet (22 records center cartons, 1 legal size document box, 1 half letter size document box, 1 clamshell box, 1 drop front box, and 2 oversized boxes)

The Arthur Tremain Hertig papers, 1922-1987, are the product of Hertig's activities as a pathologist, embryology researcher, author, and Harvard Medical School faculty member. The papers contain: Hertig’s professional correspondence and research records, including those records related to his human embryo research with John Rock; his professional writings, together with research notes and edited drafts of his book Human Trophoblast; Harvard Medical School records, including records from the Department of Pathology, the New England Regional Primate Research Center, lecture notes from teaching, and records from his service on Harvard Medical School committees; records from his attendance at professional meetings and conferences, as well as his involvement in professional organizations; notes and illustrations from his time as a student at the University of Minnesota, along with photographs and other personal records; and reprints of his scholarly journal articles.

The Arthur Tremain Hertig papers consist of seven series: I. Correspondence, II. Research Records, III. Writings, IV. Harvard Medical School Records, V. Events Records, VI. Personal Records, and VII. Reprints.

Papers are entirely in English.

Biographical Note

Arthur Tremain Hertig (1904-1990), B.S., University of Minnesota, 1928, M.D., Harvard Medical School, 1930, was a pathologist, human embryo researcher, and professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. Hertig collaborated with John Rock to conduct studies of early human embryos, research which enabled later advances in the birth control pill and in vitro fertilization.

Hertig was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 12, 1904. While in high school, Hertig was a research assistant in entomology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. After graduating, he enrolled there as a pre-medical student and for his first two years of medical school. In between his first and second years of medical school, Hertig traveled to China to work as an assistant to his brother Marshall Hertig (1893-1978) researching the transmission of the disease Kala Azar (Visceral Leishmaniasis). While in China, Hertig met Harvard Medical School Dean David Edsall (1869-1945), which led to Hertig’s transfer to Harvard for his final two years of medical school. At Harvard Medical School, Hertig worked with pathologist S. Burt Wolbach (1880-1954) in Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, on a project to control ticks, leading to Hertig’s professional focus on pathology.

Hertig began working in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School in 1931. From 1933 to 1934, Hertig completed a National Research Fellowship at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C., in the Department of Embryology. In 1938 Hertig joined the staff of the Free Hospital for Women, Brookline, Massachusetts, as a pathologist, beginning his work with John Rock (1890-1984) on early embryological development. He joined the staff of the Boston Lying-In Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, as a pathologist in 1939. Hertig was promoted to Professor of Pathology in 1948, and in 1952 was named Shattuck Professor of Pathological Anatomy and Chairman of the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. After stepping down as Chairman in 1968, Hertig moved to the New England Regional Primate Research Center, Southborough, Massachusetts, in the Division of Pathobiology, where he remained active until retiring in 1987.

Hertig married Linda Woodworth in 1932, and they had two children, Andrew and Helen. Linda died in 1988 and Hertig married Frances Thomas in 1990. He died in July 1990 of cardiac arrest.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

  1. Accession number 2017-037. Warren Anatomical Museum. 2016 August 31.
  2. Accession number 2008-078. Found in collection. 2008 June 06.

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

  1. Records of the Harvard Medical School Department of Pathology. ACC. 2015-021.
  2. Records of the Dept. of Pathology. AA 168.
  3. Papers of John Rock. H MS c161.
Associated Collections at Other Institutions
  1. Marshall and Arthur Hertig photographs of China. Harvard-Yenching Library.
  2. Hertig Collection. OHA 189. National Museum of Health and Medicine.
  3. George Washington Corner papers. Mss.Ms.Coll.11. American Philosophical Society.
  4. George L. Streeter Collection. Collection StrG. Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
  5. Records of the Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Embryology. Collection CIWDE. Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

Processing Information

Originally processed in 2008, reprocessed and a new finding aid created by Bryan Sutherland, 2016 December.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the records and created a finding aid to improve access. To enhance preservation, processing staff re-housed the collection and, where necessary, items were removed from three ring binders and documents were photocopied onto acid-free paper. Duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine were discarded. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals
Link to catalog
Hertig, Arthur Tremain, 1904-. Papers, 1922-1987 (inclusive): Finding Aid.
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Countway Library of Medicine Repository

10 Shattuck Street
Boston MA 02115
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