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Victor Robinson papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description



Manuscripts by Other Authors

Research Material

Published and Printed Material


Alexander Berry Bates Correspondence

Victor Robinson papers, 1863-1968 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

By Jordan N. Bennett

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Collection Overview

Title: Victor Robinson papers, 1863-1968Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 337

Primary Creator: Robinson, Victor, (1886-1947)

Extent: 5.0 Cubic Feet

Arrangement: Arranged into 7 series: 1) Correspondence, 1856-1968; 2) Manuscripts, 1911-1941, undated; 3) Manuscripts by Other Authors, 1901-1960, undated; 4) Research Material, 1892-1945; 5) Published and Printed Material, 1930-1968; 6) Photographs, circa 1840-circa 1935; and 7) Alexander Berry Bates Correspondence, 1863-1904.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1968

Subjects: Gonorrhea - History, Medicine - History, Medicine - Research, Physicians - Portraits, Sexually transmitted diseases - History, Sexually transmitted diseases - Study and teaching

Forms of Material: Bates, Alexander Berry - Correspondence, Berkman, Alexander, 1870-1936 - Correspondence, Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley - Correspondence, Photographs

Languages: English, Russian, German, French

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Victor Robinson papers document his interests and aspects of his career as a doctor and medical historian.  The collection consists of manuscripts by Robinson concerning Florence Nightingale, Ernst Haeckel, Giuseppe Girabaldi, nursing, Otology, and gonorrhea, as well as poetry and a short story.  Additionally, it includes published articles by Victor Robinson, including, "The Nurse of Greece," "Coal-Tar Contemplations," "The Life of A. Jacobi," "Victory over Pain": A History of Anesthesia, "The Birth of Syphilis," and "Chronology of Otology."

Other papers include essays and manuscripts written by other authors, collected by Robinson for research purposes, or submitted to him for his Medical Life journal.  The collection contains other materials Robinson collected for research, including printed histories on medical topics, reproduced photographs of medical devices, and numerous engraved portraits of historic medical professionals.  Topics among these series focus on sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and the history of nursing.

Photographs document Robinson’s European travel in Greece and Italy, as well as Robinson as a child and young man.

General correspondence (1856-1968) includes letters from Alexander Berkman, Elbert Hubbard, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, George Kennan, Elbert Hubbard,  Peter Kropotkin, and Willard Huntington Wright among others.  The correspondence documents discussion surrounding medical topics, areas of Robinson's research and intellectual interest, billing and publication information.

Biographical Note

Victor Robinson (1866-1947), son of a Russian physician, was born in Ukraine and brought to the United States as a child.  He studied pharmacy at New York University and the New York College of Pharmacy and law at Columbia University.  In 1917, Robinson received his doctor of medicine degree from Chicago College of Medicine (now Loyola University).

He founded Medical Life, the first English language journal on the history of medicine, and helped organize the History of Science Society in 1924.  In 1932 he photographed and studied archaeological sites of medico-historical interest in Crete, Greece and Italy.  In addition to editing Medical Life, Robinson also wrote and edited many works on the history of medicine.  He was the subect of Victor Robinson, a romantic medical historian (1959) by George Rosen.  Among his writings are Essay on hasheeh:  including observations and experiments (1912, 1925), Pathfinders in medicine (1912, 1929), Don Quixote of psychiatry (1919), Pioneers of birth control in England and America (1919), Life of Jacob Henle (1921), Story of medicine (1931), Dr. Jad; the way of life of a physician (1941), Morals in wartime (1943), White Caps; the sotry of nursing (1946) and Victory over pain; a history of anesthesia (1946).  He served as editor for Encylopedia sexualis; a comprehensive dictionary-encyclopedia of the sexual sciences (1936), Modern home physician; an encyclopedia of medical knowledge (1938) and New peoples physician; the concise encyclopedia of heath (1941). 

Subject/Index Terms

Gonorrhea - History
Medicine - History
Medicine - Research
Physicians - Portraits
Sexually transmitted diseases - History
Sexually transmitted diseases - Study and teaching

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Related Materials:

Victor Robinson Papers 1898-1947, MS C 28, U. S. National Library of Medicine.

MSS 6181; Victor Robinson and S. R. Shapiro papers; 19th Century Western and Mormon Americana; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

Preferred Citation: [Item(s)/Box/Folder], Victor Robinson papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Processing Information: Original inventory created by Special Collections staff in 1968.

Finding Aid Revision History: Processed by Jordan Bennet and Matt Gorzalski in November-December 2014.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1856-1968],
[Series 2: Manuscripts, 1911-1941, undated],
[Series 3: Manuscripts by Other Authors, 1901-1960, undated],
[Series 4: Research Material, 1892-1945],
[Series 5: Published and Printed Material, 1930-1968],
[Series 6: Photographs, circa 1840-circa 1935],
[Series 7: Alexander Berry Bates Correspondence, 1863-1904],

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1840-circa 1935Add to your cart.
This series contains photographs of Victor Robinson as a child and young man, as well as his travels to Greece and Italy.  Some such as the medical buildings in New York related to his research interests.  The photographs and postcards are arranged by topic or format.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Photographs of Greece and ItalyAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Photographs of Jacob HenleAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Medical School Buildings, mostly in New YorkAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Unveiling of Victor Robinson Portrait, 1960 MayAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Photographs: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Victor Robinson--child, young manAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Postcards from Léo FalkerslerAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: PostcardsAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1856-1968],
[Series 2: Manuscripts, 1911-1941, undated],
[Series 3: Manuscripts by Other Authors, 1901-1960, undated],
[Series 4: Research Material, 1892-1945],
[Series 5: Published and Printed Material, 1930-1968],
[Series 6: Photographs, circa 1840-circa 1935],
[Series 7: Alexander Berry Bates Correspondence, 1863-1904],

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