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Harvey Cushing Fonds

Harvey Cushing Fonds

Physical Description

2.08 m of textual records and other records.



Biographical Sketch / Administrative History

Harvey Cushing was born on April 8, 1869 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was the youngest child of Henry Kirke Cushing, physician,and Betsey Maria Williams. In 1902, he married Katharine Stone Crowell with whom he had five children : William Harvey, Mary Benedict, Betsey, Henry Kirke and Barbara. His primary and secondary education was in Cleveland. He received his A.B. at Yale University in 1891, and his M.A., M.D., at Harvard University in 1895. He died on October 7, 1939 in New Haven, Connecticut. Harvey Cushing began his career at the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1895-96. He moved to Baltimore to work at the Johns Hopkins Hospital where he stayed for 15 years, mostly at the Faculty of Surgery. In 1912, he returned to Harvard as Professor of Surgery and also worked at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (1913-1932). In 1933, he became Professor of Neurology at Yale, a position he held until 1937. Considered a pioneer of Neurosurgery, he made several fundamental discoveries about the pituitary gland. Bibliophile and an earnest collector of books, he published many essays and other literary works, among them the 1926 Pulitzer prize-winning biography of William Osler.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists entirely of the material of Harvey Cushing assembled for the biography of William Osler, from 1920 to 1924. It also contains a mine of information on Osler, as Cushing, for the purpose of his work, had collected and retyped over 7500 pieces of Osler’s correspondence, among which are some original letters of the latter. The fonds is separated into three series : Manuscripts, Working Notes and Osler’s Correspondence. It also contains photographs, annual reports, publications, clippings, one watercolor painting, one postcard.

Finding Aids

Searchable index of materials available at William Osler Letter Index.

Custodial History

The fonds was donated to the Osler Library by Harvey Cushing in 1932. Old accession numbers 234, 235, 348, 417 and 455.


The documents are mainly in English, but some are in German and there are notes in Latin.

Source of Supplied Title Proper

Title based on the document of the fonds.

Retrieval Number




Cushing, Harvey, 1869-1939
Osler, Grace Revere
Osler, Sir William, 1849-1919
Scholarly Works or Manuscripts of Books