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COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c514

Roderick Heffron papers


The collection consists of records reflecting the work of Roderick Heffron in researching and writing on pneumonia and the treatment of pneumonia with serum therapy, particularly within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


  • Creation: 1881-1977 (inclusive)
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1923-1949


Language of Materials

Papers are 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 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.


1 cubic feet (1 records center cartons)

Consists of records reflecting the work of Roderick Heffron in researching and writing on pneumonia, particularly Heffron's work on and the critical reception of the books published from the data gatherd during the Massachusetts Pneumonia Study on pneumonia and serum treatment. Included here are clippings of book reviews, correspondence with co-authors and other pneumonological specialists particularly George N. Papanicolaou (1883-1962), a Greek specialist in cytopathology, and collected reprints of research materials. The collection includes a small number of books collected by Heffron, many with annotations, marginalia, and insertions including newspaper and magazine clippings.

Biographical Note

Roderick Heffron (1901-1983), M.D., 1928, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts was a medical researcher and physician specializing in pneumonia.

Heffron was in born in Chicago, Illinois in 1901 and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1928. Between 1931 and 1935, Heffron was field director of the Massachusetts Pneumonia Study and Service and, in 1936, he and Frederick T. Lord (1875-1941) co-authored Lobar Pneumonia and Serum Therapy based on the research of the Service. Heffron took a position at the Commonwealth Fund in 1937 and served on the Pneumonia Committee of the United States Public Health Service in 1939. He retired from the Commonwealth Fund in 1966.

Heffron married Catherine Haman and died in Falmouth, Massachusetts, in 1983 at the age of 82.


Folders are arranged alphebetically by title; books are grouped separately and are listed at the end of the collection inventory.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Roderick Heffron papers were gifted to the Center for the History of Medicine by Roderick Heffron in 1976 (Accession #2017-173).

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

  1. Papers of Frederick Lord Taylor. GA 50.5.


Four items have been separated and transferred to the Warren Anatomical Museum. Researchers should request:

  1. Macgregor Instrument Company 2 cc VIM emerald ground glass syringe, No. 802, with red cardboard box, 1930-1940 Catalog number 21752.
  2. Macgregor Instrument Company 10 cc VIM emerald ground glass syringe, No. 810, with red cardboard box, 1930-1940 Catalog number 21753.
  3. Becton, Dickinson, and Company Luer tuberculin syringe, 1930-1940 Catalog number 21754.
  4. Collection of microscope lenses and objectives belonging to Roderick Heffron, stored in a Bleecker and Simmons tin, 1930-1950 Catalog number 21755.

Processing Information

Processed by Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook, 2017 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. Folder titles were transcribed from original folders which were then discarded. Titles were supplied for unfoldered materials.

Heffron, Roderick, 1901-. Papers, 1881-1977 (inclusive), 1923-1949 (bulk): Finding Aid.
Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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