Medical school

Robert J. Gorlin papers

img0018.jpg Last week a small but valuable collection came into the project; the papers of the late Dr. Robert J. Gorlin. Dr. Gorlin, who passed away last summer at the age of 83, was a larger than life presence at the University of Minnesota for over fifty years. Dr. Gorlin was a Regents’ Professor in the School of Dentistry but also held numerous joint appointments in the Medical School. An international expert in oral and maxillofacial pathology, Dr. Gorlin identified more than 100 syndromes related to genetic causes and published over 600 articles and text books including Syndromes of the Head and Neck, the authoritative work in the field.

The collection is a half linear foot and consists primarily of correspondence, research notes, drafts of publications, and photographs. There are also several recordings of recent lectures Dr. Gorlin gave.

The materials come from the Gorlin family. Unfortunately, most of Dr. Gorlin’s office files were lost after his passing due to the space constraints faced by the department.

Faculty meetings

Last week’s visitors from Seoul National University prompted several conversations with retired faculty either involved with the original partnership or international programs.

First, I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Neal Gault, former Dean of the Medical School. Dr. Gault lived in Korea with his family for two years. Dr. Gault and other university faculty acted as program supervisors at SNU during the reconstruction of the medical school and faculty training.

I also had the chance to meet Dr. John Arnold, former Head of Surgery and Radiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Arnold was the only CVM faculty member to stay in Korea during the partnership. He and his family were on site from 1960-1961. He described his work as modernizing the training of graduates and supporting the work of the younger faculty. Dr. Arnold also discussed his role as a faculty consultant in Columbia in 1963.

Although not a participant in the SNU partnership, I also met with Dr. Stanley Diesch, a retired faculty member of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Diesch served as director for the CVM’s international programs. In addition to his international work, Dr. Diesch was a founding member and former director of CENSHARE (Center for the Study of Human Animal Relationships and Environments) housed in the School of Public Health. Dr. Diesch also served as the Head of Food Hygiene and Veterinary Public Health.

All of the above conversations were enlightening and acted as a starting point for new collection leads.

Seoul National University

In the 1950s and 1960s the University of Minnesota partnered with Seoul National University in a cooperative relationship to develop educational and research programs in agriculture, the medical sciences, and engineering. The effort allowed University of Minnesota faculty and civil service staff to learn from their counterparts in Korea and assisted in SNU’s reconstruction after the war as an institution and as a source of intellectual labor to strengthen Korea’s post-war economy.

Recently, a cooperative partnership between the SNU Archives and the U of M Archives has worked to identify materials held by the two institutions documenting the cooperative arrangement. Currently, researchers from SNU are mining the materials at the U of M to locate unique items not known or held by SNU.

This is an opportune time to locate and identify individuals in the AHC that have a connection to the original partnership or departments and offices that may still have material related to the University’s work with SNU. The Medical School, School of Nursing, and Veterinary Medicine were all involved in the cooperative.

I have already noted that the small sampling of John Arnold’s papers have some correspondence resulting from the partnership. The School of Nursing has a binder of related documents as well. Dr. Neal Gault, former dean of the Medical School, was also a participant. We are working to identify additional individuals and I hope the current interest in the SNU partnership will generate collection leads and accessions for the AHC archives project.

Alpha Epsilon Iota records

collect003.jpgA recent acquisition to the archives project is the records for the Alpha Epsilon Iota women’s medical fraternity. In 1901 women medical students at the University opened the fifth national chapter of AEI that acted as a support organization by providing housing, social activities and fundraising. Ruth Boynton was an early alumna of AEI and later assisted the organization during the 1940s. During the increased enrollments of women in the medical school in the 1970s, the AEI had a difficult time maintaining its identity and holdings. In 1979 it sold its two properties at 524 & 528 Ontario St. SE. In 1982 the AEI split into two separate organizations, the AEI Foundation and the Minnesota Women Physicians. Proceeds from the sale of the properties helped to establish the AEI Foundation.

The collection is approximately 1 linear foot and contains AEI meeting minutes, incorporation documents, and records related to the sale of the fraternity’s houses and start up of the foundation. There is also a scrap book documenting social activities and news clippings of AEI students/alumni during the 1950s.

Pictured: AEI National Convention, Galveston, TX, 1950