Wives of Aesculapius records
The collection consists of materials reflecting the organization, administration, and activities of the Wives of Aesculapius, an organization created by the wives of members of the Aesculapian Club at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Records include correspondence, minutes, membership surveys, scrapbooks, realia, and play scripts.
- 1908-1989 (inclusive)
- Majority of material found within 1920-1960
- Wives of Aesculapius (Organization)
Language of Materials
Records are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice. 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.
Extent1.25 cubic feet (1 records center carton, 1 letter size document box, and 1 flat box.)
The Wives of Aesculapius Records reflect the formation, administration, and activities of the Wives of Aesculapius, a social group made up of the wives of members of the Aesculapian Club at Harvard Medical School.
Executive Administrative Files (Series I) consist of records reflecting the initial organization and operation of the Wives, including correspondence, executive committee meeting minutes, lists of duties for officers, membership lists, and membership surveys.
Special Events Records (Series II) reflect the social events sponsored by the Wives, primarily the "Spring Play," which was usually written and performed by members of the group.
Memorabilia (Series III) consists of three scrapbooks, unbound scrapbook pages, and three pieces of realia related to the Wives of Aesculapius: a rubber stamp, a seal, and a gavel.
Records are entirely in English.
Wives of Aesculapius was founded in 1910 as an adjunct organization to the Aesculapian Club, a student organization at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, since women were not accepted as members to the latter organization. The Wives existed as a separate association until 1972 when the two groups merged.
The Wives pursued activities similar to those of the Aesculapian Club including an annual dinner for the membership and extensive fund-raising activities for the benefit of Harvard Medical School students. The Wives were responsible for the foundation of a leisure reading collection on the medical school campus as well as providing furnishings for student spaces in Vanderbilt Hall. For many years, the Wives also produced a Spring Play, usually written, performed, and produced by members of the Wives.
Participation and interest in the Wives organization dropped steadily during the late 1950s and 1960s and the decision was made by the remaining members to disband and merge with the Aesculapian Club. The Wives formally ceased to exist as their own club in 1972.
- I. Executive Administrative Files, 1909-1971
- II. Special Events Records, 1910-1972
- III. Memorabilia, 1912-1989
Processed by Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook and Faith Plazarin, 2018 October.
Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine refoldered and rehoused the collection and created a finding aid to increase researcher access. Two scrapbooks were housed in flat storage and tied to prevent further damage to fragile papers. The realia were also rehoused to prevent damage.
- Wives of Aesculapius. Records, 1908-1989 (inclusive), 1920-1960 (bulk): Finding Aid.
- Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- EAD ID
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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