Henry Herbert Donaldson diaries and papers, 1869-1938

Mss.B.D713, D713m, D713p

Date: 1869-1938 | Size: 50 volume(s)


The collection consists of diaries, 1890-1938, containing brief records of professional work and family events (49 vols.); also autobiography entitled "Memories for my boys," 1930 (B D713m), referring to his childhood and to his professional career and mentioning Franz Boas, William Comstock, Livingston Farrand, William W. Keen, S. Weir Mitchell, Elihu Root, and W. T. Sedgewick and also APS, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, and Wistar Institute (1 vol.); also a few miscellaneous papers, 1869-1932, chiefly letters to and from members of his family, and also Poultney Bigelow, Simon Henry Gage, and W. B. Van Ingen; two essays ("The Days of Man" and "A Venetian Night"): genealogical data; verses dedicated to his wife; extracts of letters to supplement his diaries.

Background note

Henry Herbert Donaldson was born 1857 May 12 and died in 1938. He was a neurologist, and the major theme running through the whole of Dr. Donaldson's work was organic growth. In 1889 he was called to Clark University at Worcester, Massachusetts to be assistant professor of neurology. His proven ability in this field led to the assignment to study the brain of Laura Bridgman, a blind deaf mute who had been taught to speak and had attained marked mental ability.

In 1892 he joined the faculty at the University of Chicago, where he became professor of neurology and was very active in the development of the scientific departments. From 1892 to 1898 he served as dean of the Ogden Graduate School of Science of the University of Chicago.

Dr. Donaldson published a classical anatomical study of the brain, "The Growth of the Brain" (1895)and conducted research at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology in Philadelphia, where he also served on the Scientific Advisory Board of that Institution.

Digital objects note

This collection contains digital materials that are available in the APS Digital Library. Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here.

Collection Information

Physical description

50 volumes.


Presented by Emma Brace Donaldson and accessioned, 1939 (78453-78501).

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Philosophical Society
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Chicago
  • Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology.
  • Yale University.

Family Name(s)

  • Van Ingen, W. B.


  • Autobiographies.
  • Diaries.
  • Essays.
  • Genealogies.


  • Neurologists -- United States.

Personal Name(s)

  • Bigelow, Poultney, 1855-1954
  • Boas, Franz, 1858-1942
  • Comstock, William
  • Donaldson, Henry Herbert, 1857-1938
  • Farrand, Livingston, 1867-1939
  • Gage, Simon Henry, 1851-1944
  • Keen, William W. (William Williams)
  • Mitchell, S. Weir (Silas Weir), 1829-1914
  • Root, Elihu, 1845-1937
  • Sedgwick, W. T. (William Thompson), 1855-1921


  • Medicine -- United States.
  • Neurology.

Detailed Inventory

 Series I. Diaries
 Diary, 1893
 Series II. Correspondence

Other Descriptive Information: Call number: B D713p.

 Henry H. Donaldson to Mrs. John J. Donaldson
1869 December 27 Box 1:
folder 1
 Henry H. Donaldson. Extracts of letters to various persons to supplement his diaries.
1907-1932 Box 1:
folder 2
 Henry H.Donaldson. Comments on his wife's article on St.Francis.
1907 March 24 Box 1:
folder 3
 Bigelow, Poultney, 1855-1954.
Bigelow, Poultney to Henry H. Donaldson
1907 June 30 Box 1:
folder 4
 Donaldson, Henry H. A Venetian night.
1925 June 3 Box 1:
folder 5
 Van Ingen, S. B. to Henry H. Donaldson
1926 December 13 Box 1:
folder 6
 Donaldson, Henry H..
Donaldson, John C. to Henry H. Donaldson
1927 May 16 Box 1:
folder 7
 Gage, Simon Henry, 1851-1944.
Gage, Simon H. to Henry H. Donaldson
1932 November 4 Box 1:
folder 8
 Donaldson, Norman V..
Donaldson, Norman V. to Henry H. Donaldson
1932 November 17 Box 1:
folder 9
 Donaldson, John, C..
Donaldson, John C. to Henry H. Donaldson
1932 November 19 Box 1:
folder 10
 Donaldson, Henry H. Adventures in verse...
1932 Box 1:
folder 11
 Donaldson, Henry H. The days of man...
undated Box 1:
folder 12
 Donaldson, Henry H.. Genealogical material...
undated Box 1:
folder 13