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RECORD GROUP Identifier: RG M-DE01

Harvard Medical School. Office of the Dean records


The records of the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine are the product of the administrative activities of the Deans of Harvard Medical School.


  • 1828-2007 (inclusive)


Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Some restrictions apply (see below).

Access requires advance notice. Contact Public Services for further information.

Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in the collections. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. 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.


263.85 cubic feet (252 records center cartons, 16 document boxes, 7 half document boxes, 3 half legal document boxes, 1 legal size document box, 3 clamshell boxes, 3 flat oversized boxes)

The records of the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine are the product of the activities of the Deans of Harvard Medical School. Records reflect the Deans' administrative activities at Harvard Medical School, including their involvement with Harvard Medical School committees, and the interaction of the Deans with outside groups and institutions, Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and other Harvard University offices, departments, and organizations. The records of the following deans are represented: Walter Channing (1786-1876), Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), John Barnard Swett Jackson (1806-1879), David Humphreys Storer (1804-1891), George Cheyne Shattuck (1813-1893), Calvin Ellis (1826-1883), Henry Pickering Bowditch (1840-1911), William Lambert Richardson (1842-1932), George Packer Berry (1898-1986), Robert Higgins Ebert (1914-1996), and Joseph Boyd Martin (born 1938)

Records are entirely in English.

Function of the Office of the Dean

The Office of the Dean of Harvard Medical School is responsible for the day-to-day operations and long-range planning for Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. This includes all faculty appointments, medical education, research enterprises, community relations, student issues, and relations with affiliated hospitals and other offices of Harvard University. The Dean is assisted in this executive role by a number of decanal officers, including the Dean for Academic and Clinical Programs and the Executive Dean for Administration.

As one of the highest ranking officers of Harvard University, the Dean sits on a number of boards and standing committees affecting the central executives of the Medical School and Harvard University. The Dean reports directly to the President of the University.

Collection Arrangement

The record group is arranged into several subgroups reflecting Deans' individual tenures, with the exception of the subject files subgroup which spans multiple tenures.

  1. Early deans' records, 1828-1904 (inclusive), 1869-1874 (bulk)
  2. George Packer Berry records, 1941-1968 (inclusive)
  3. Robert Higgins Ebert records, 1911-1982 (inclusive), 1965-1977 (bulk)
  4. Joseph Boyd Martin records, 1991-2007 (inclusive), 1997-2007 (bulk)
  5. Office of the Dean subject files, 1899-1953 (inclusive)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquisition and accession information is listed with each individual subgroup.

Processing Information

In 2017, during the processing of the records of George Packer Berry, processing archivist Bryan Sutherland consolidated the various finding aids representing previously processed subgroups within the Office of the Dean Records into a single finding aid. Specific processing information for each subgroup of records is provided along with the description of that subgroup in this finding aid.

Harvard Medical School. Office of the Dean. Records, 1828-2007: Finding Aid. RG M-DE01
Bryan Sutherland
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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