Monday, July 27, 2009


A volunteer here in HC&A is processing a sweet little collection of materials from the Xi Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Iota here at the University of Oregon Medical School (Accession 2004-023). AEI was a medical student sorority, first established in 1890, which spread across the country in the first half of the 20th century. In fact, a number of medical school archives hold collections that closely resemble ours: a small gathering of meeting minutes, a scrapbook, membership lists, correspondence, and ritual book (handwritten).

While small, the materials should be of interest to researchers interested in the history of the medical education of women in Oregon, and serve as a wonderful complement to the (newly renamed) Lucy I. Davis Phillips Collection on Oregon Women Medical School Graduates, Accession 2004-030. Indeed, the AEI collection contains information about some women graduates who did not appear in Lucy's index, including Dora Judson Underwood, M.D. (directory card below).

Last week, tantalizing new evidence was uncovered that suggests a different candidate for earliest female medical graduate in Oregon, with a date of 1868. Regular readers might recall that 1871 was the year of the blowup between the Willamette University Medical Department and student Mary Sawtelle. Stay tuned for more...

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