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COLLECTION — Box: Small Manuscript Collections 01 Identifier: H MS c520

Letters to Judith Kruger from Robert E. Gross and David Halbersleben

Content Description

Consists of three letters to Judith Kruger.

In a letter from Robert E. Gross, dated 25 June 1982, Gross explains his receipt of Kruger's letter via Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Gross alludes to Kruger's recovery from an "open ductus," and he also expresses satisfaction that more surgeons are performing procedures to correct congenital conditions. He also mentions his time working with David Halbersleben at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

There are two letters from Halbersleben, dated 26 January 1984 and 04 February 1984. The first is about Kruger's heating oil and Halbersleben's check to help Kruger pay for more oil. Halbersleben also comments on stocks and personal finance. In the second letter, Halbersleben writes about an opera singer he knows, whom he assisted with the physical aspects of her singing technique. He also includes an anecdote about Roscoe Pound, former Dean of Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


  • 1982, 1984


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. Contact 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.


0.01 cubic feet (1 file folder)

Historical Note

The following note is based on a conversation between Judith Kruger and Center staff:

Judith Kruger (born 1955) had heart surgery in the 1950s, when she was three years old. While in her twenties, she met David Halbersleben (1902-1984), a retired physician who was homebound. Kruger, who worked for a utility company, was invited in to speak with Halbersleben. When he learned that Kruger had had heart surgery as a child, he encouraged her to write to his old friend, Robert Gross (1905-1988), who "invented" the procedure.

Gross was the William E. Ladd Professor of Child Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts from 1947 to 1966, as well as the Surgeon-in-Chief at Boston Children's Hospital. In 1938, he became the first person to perform a successful ligation of the ductus arteriosus, a cardiovascular surgery to repair an open vein.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was gifted to the Center for the History of Medicine by Judith Kruger on 27 March 2017 (Accession #2017-193).

Processing Information

Processed by Charlotte Lellman in June, 2021. Collection was processed according to Level 1 protocol.

Letters to Judith Kruger from Robert E. Gross and David Halbersleben, 1982, 1984: Finding Aid.
Description rules
Language of description

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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