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COLLECTION Identifier: 74-209--85-M250

Papers of Dorothea May Moore, 1864-1982


Correspondence, diaries, account books, etc., of Dorothea May Moore, pediatrician.


  • Creation: 1864-1982

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Student evaluations and patient records are closed as follows: #138-139 closed until 2025, #151 closed until 2030, #152 closed until 2040, #153 closed until 2033, #154 closed until 2047, #164-167 closed until 2065.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Dorothea May Moore is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


5 linear feet ((5 cartons) plus 2 folio folders, 4 folio folders)

This collection consists of correspondence, diaries, account books, research notes, and photographs of Dorothea May Moore and her family.

Personal papers form the bulk of the collection: the correspondence spans three generations and includes that of Dorothea May Moore's mother (Eliza Coe Brown Moore) with her parents (1880-1917), as well as letters between Dorothea May Moore and her family (1900-1946). In both cases the correspondence documents the important role the parents (particularly the fathers) played in the lives of their daughters and the parents' concern for the daughters' development-both worldly and spiritual. Family members traveled often and there is frequent description throughout the correspondence of their experiences abroad. There are diaries of Eliza Coe Brown Moore (1894-1959) and Dorothea May Moore (1904-1934); most entries are brief. Mother and daughter also kept detailed account books. Concert programs (1888-1942; see #35) chronicle Eliza Coe Brown Moore's appearances as a pianist. Photographs are almost exclusively of family and friends, although there are some taken by Dorothea May Moore on her trip to the Soviet Union in 1934.

The collection is divided into personal and professional papers. Family correspondence, diaries, and account books are followed by letters, receipts, and itineraries concerning Dorothea May Moore's travels in Asia and Europe. Professional papers consist of correspondence documenting Dorothea May Moore's medical appointments and research, student evaluations, articles by her, patient records, and research notes. Four folders (#144-147) contain correspondence, articles, clippings, etc., of Fe del Mundo, a former student of Dorothea May Moore who founded the Children's Medical Center, an institution devoted to the health of children and mothers, in the Philippines.

Student evaluations and patient records (#138-139, 151-154, 164-167) are temporarily CLOSED to research.

The papers of Arthur Burkhard are at Harvard University Archives and those of Edward Caldwell Moore are at Andover-Harvard Theological Library. The papers of Eliza Coe Brown Moore's parents, John Crosby Brown and Mary Elizabeth (Adams) Brown, are at the New-York Historical Society. The papers of Dorothea May Moore's aunt, Mary Magoun Brown, are at the Nursing Archive, Special Collections, Mugar Memorial Library, Boston University.


Born in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 13, 1894, Dorothea May Moore was the eldest of the three children of Edward Caldwell Moore and Eliza Coe (Brown) Moore. At the time of Dorothea May Moore's birth, Edward Caldwell Moore was minister of the First Congregational Church; in 1902 he was appointed a professor at Harvard University in history, philosophy, and theology. Eliza Coe Brown Moore was a talented pianist who had studied in Vienna with Leschetitzky. Both of Dorothea May Moore's parents were fluent in several European languages, and German was for a time spoken at home.

Dorothea May Moore attended the Gilman School in Cambridge and graduated from the Misses May's School in Boston in 1911. She earned an A.B. cum laude in history, economics, and politics from Bryn Mawr College in 1915. At the end of her sophomore year, she had first considered medical work as her focus. There was debate as to nursing training, but by her senior year, with her family's approval, the decision was clear, and Dorothea May Moore shifted her college course work towards preparation for medical school. This was continued by attending Radcliffe Graduate School (1915-1916) and taking graduate courses at Harvard Medical School (1916-1917). She spent 1917-1918 in France working as a bacteriologist and technician in an American Red Cross Hospital, and then attended Johns Hopkins Medical School, where she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha and in 1922 received her M.D.

Described by her professors as intelligent, hard working, "wise and ambitious," she applied for an internship in the Children's Hospital of Boston but was turned down because of "a definite unwritten rule debarring women interns." Instead, after a competitive examination, she won an internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York in l922. The following year she worked for the obstetrical service of the New York State Department of Maternity, Infancy and Child Hygiene, traveling to clinics throughout the state. In 1925, having become the first female intern at the New York Nursery and Child's Hospital, Dorothea May Moore was stricken with diphtheria, and diphtheria cardiac complications followed; she spent a full year recuperating in France and traveling in Europe. Upon her return to the United States, she served briefly as an intern in the pediatrics service at University Hospital in Rochester, New York.

Declining an appointment as head of the Department of Health Education at Radcliffe College, Dorothea May Moore had intern and assistant residency appointments at New Haven Hospital while teaching at Yale Medical School (1928-1929), and a research and clinic appointment at Cornell Medical School (1929-1931). In 1934 she moved back to Cambridge, where she maintained a successful private practice for thirty years and participated in local organizations concerned with the care of children, including the Child Care Association, the Head Start program, and monthly well-child conferences held in communities in southern Massachusetts. Dorothea May Moore was also on the board of directors of the Cambridge Mental Health Association from 1955 to 1985.

Dorothea May Moore worked in the outpatient clinics of Children's Hospital (1934-1964), and taught at Harvard Medical School from 1937 to 1968, first as Assistant in Pediatrics and later as Associate in Medicine of the Child's Health Division. She was also pediatrician for the Preschool at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (1952-1960), on the staff of the Massachusetts Mental Retardation Project's Task Force for Prevention (1965-1966), and pediatrician for the Maternal-Infant Health Study of the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (1966-1974).

The author of a number of articles on children's diseases, Dorothea May Moore also assisted Dr. Clement Smith in the preparation of The Children's Hospital of Boston: "Built Better than They Knew" (Boston: Little, Brown, 1983). She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, member of the New England Pediatric Society and the Massachusetts Medical Society, and from 1953 to 1969 served as trustee of Connecticut College.

Dorothea May Moore married Arthur Burkhard, scholar and professor of German arts and literature, in 1941. Arthur Burkhard died in 1983.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 74-209, 77-M69, 80-M88, 84-M136, 85-M158, 85-M250

The papers of Dorothea May Moore were given to the Schlesinger Library by Dorothea May Moore in August 1974, May 1977, May 1980, July 1984, and August and November 1985.


The following items have been removed from the collection and deposited in the Countway Library, Harvard Medical School, May 1986:

  1. Notebooks of Dorothea May Moore re: histology and embryology with Dr. Frederic Lewis and Dr. J.L. Bremer, 1916-1917.

The following items have been removed from the collection and deposited in the Countway Library, Harvard Medical School, June 1986:

  1. Clippings, programs, pamphlets, etc., re: Grover Powers, Edwin Cohn, Kenneth Blackfan, Sidney Farber, Charles Janeway, et al.; also photographs and reprints.

The following items have been removed from the collection and deposited in the Harvard Yenching Library, August 1986:

  1. Japanese poster; printed sheet re: Daibutsu temple.

The following item has been removed from the collection and donated to the Schlesinger Library book sale, June 1986:

  1. 1 silver certificate.

The following item has been removed from the collection and deposited in the Schlesinger Library manuscript division (A/H8935), September 1986:

  1. Journal of Louisa Walter Bishop Hughes, 1858-1871.


  1. ABB Arthur Burkhard (Dorothea May Moore's husband)
  2. ECBM Eliza Coe (Brown) Moore (Dorothea May Moore's mother)
  3. ECM Edward Caldwell Moore (Dorothea May Moore's father)
  4. ERM Elizabeth Ripley Moore (Dorothea May Moore's sister)
  5. JCB John Crosby Brown (Dorothea May Moore's maternal grandfather)
  6. JCBM John Crosby Brown Moore (Dorothea May Moore's brother)
  7. MEAB Mary Elizabeth (Adams) Brown (Dorothea May Moore's maternal grandmother)
  8. MMB Mary Magoun Brown ("May," Dorothea May Moore's aunt)


  1. Carton 1: 1-25
  2. Carton 2: 26-53
  3. Carton 3: 54-82
  4. Carton 4: 83-106
  5. Carton 5: 107-168

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: August 1986

By: Anne Engelhart, Camilia Wankaner

Moore, Dorothea May, 1894-1995. Papers of Dorothea May Moore, 1864-1982: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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