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History of Medicine and Public Health: A Guide: Tulane and Local

This Matas Subject Guide focuses on historical resources for medicine and public health. The focus of Matas Library collection is the history of medicine and public health in New Orleans and Louisiana.

History of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Wellman Article from NOMSJ (1912) PDF Version for printing

Louisiana Historic Journals (online) - Matas Library has print collection in the open stacks


Local History

Louisiana Biography

Tulane Resources 1834-

"1863 1864 1865 No Graduates War" from manuscript belonging to the Graduate Medical Education Department (No public access available)Medical School bulletins, catalogs, and yearbooks are the sources of biographical information for medical physicians, dentists and public health professionals that graduated from Tulane University. These materials are available in print and the Matas Library and also in University Archives. The "annual bulletins" list graduates for that academic year. Additional materials in the Matas Historical Collections are graduation announcements, composites and other publications relating to the academic program.  There is a card file of Matriculates based upon the Medical School bulletins with name and year.   Generally the searches of the print resources are hand searched by the Matas Library Staff.

University Archives and the Matas Library have ongoing scanning projects.  Here are some of the resources available online:

Tulane - Medicine and Medical History

Rudolph Matas

Historic New Orleans Newspapers

Background on Louisiana Medical Schools

Tulane University School of Medicine was founded in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana, in 1847 the Medical College of Louisiana became the Department of Medicine of the University of Louisiana.  it has been called Tulane University since 1884.

Medical College of New Orleans was granted a charter in 1835, however it failed to materialize.

New Orleans School of Medicine was founded in 1856 and closed in 1870.

Charity Hospital Medical College was organized in 1873 and extinct since 1877.

New Orleans University in 1889 opened a medical department for blacks, in 1901 it was renamed the Flint Medical College.  The College closed in 1911.

Medical Department of Straight University, also for blacks, was listed in The Medical and Surgical Directory of the United States, R. L. Polk, & Co, 1886.  There was not any history of the University listed

Shreveport Charity Hospital (1876), the hospital was renamed Confederate Memorial Medical Center (CMMC).

Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans was established in 1931.

Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport (1965) was established and became affiliated with the CMMC. CMMC was renamed Louisiana State University Medical Center Hospital and in 1999, the entire complex was renamed Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

New Orleans School of Medicine began in 1856 and closed in 1870

New Orleans School of Medicine was a competing medical school from 1856-1870.  Dr. Erasmus Fenner was the Dean and the school used the Charity Hospital of Louisiana.  Tulane does not have the records for the New Orleans School of Medicine.  Various announcements and lists of graduates were published in newspapers of the day.  

We do have some names in a card file for matriculates of the New Orleans School of Medicine (1857-60, 1867, 1869).

New Orleans medical news and hospital gazette v.1-v.7 (1854-1860) - scanned issues available in Internet Archive.

 Examples of Annual circulars circa 1858-1860 from the Matas history collection:

Registre du Comite Medical de la Nouvelle Orleans, 1816-1854

Names of people licensed in New Orleans

April 29, 1816 - August 14,1854

For additional information consult: Duffy, John. (1958) The Regulation of Medicine and Pharmacy in Louisiana, In The Rudolph Matas History of Medicine in Louisiana, Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, v.II., p. 103-121.

Physicians and surgeons of Louisiana, registered in 1885

Medical Directory of Louisiana (1894)

Transactions of the Louisiana State Medical Society, v.15 (1894)

AppendixG (p494-537)

Louisiana Digital Archive

A suggested list of books about physicians & hospitals:

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