Dickinson W. Richards papers, 1916 - 1973

Descriptive Identification

Repository
Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library,
701 W. 168th Street
HHSC LL1-111
New York, NY 10032
Archives & Special Collections
Extent
2.5 cubic feet
Creator
Richards, Dickinson W.
Language
EnglishSwedish
Abstract
Personal papers of U.S. physician, Dickinson W. Richards (1895-1973), alumnus (M.A. 1922; M.D. 1923) and faculty member (1925-1973) of Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons. Richards served as Intern (1924) and Resident (1925-1927) at Presbyterian Hospital, with later positions there (1928-1961) and at Bellevue Hospital (1933-1961), and consulted for Merck & Co. Richards received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1956, along with André Cournand and Werner Forssmann for their work relating to heart catheterization.

Administrative Information

Processing Information

Processed 2016-2017.

Preferred Citation

Dickinson W. Richards Papers, Archives & Special Collections, Columbia University Health Sciences Library.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mary Chamberlin (granddaughter), 2013 and 2017 (Accessions #2013.010; #2017.008). The 2017 was also the gift of Abigail Woodruff Russell Prior.

Access Restriction

These records are open for research without restriction.

Use Restriction

Open for research

Biographical/Historical Commentary

Dickinson Woodruff Richards, Jr. was born in Orange, New Jersey on October 30, 1895 to his father, also D.W. Richards and mother, Sally. He had three sisters: Katherine, Josephine, Gertrude, and a brother Edward.

He attended Yale University (B.A. 1917) and upon graduation, joined the United States Army, serving as an artillery officer in France at the end of the First World War. In 1919, he was discharged and entered Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (M.D. 1923). In addition to his medical degree, he also received a Master of Arts degree (1922) in physiology under the guidance of Professor Ernest L. Scott.

He taught at Columbia beginning in 1925 and served as Intern (1924) and Resident (1925-1927) at Presbyterian Hospital, with later positions there (1928-1961) and at Bellevue Hospital (1933- 1961). Before 1968, Bellevue Hospital’s First Medical Division was staffed by faculty from Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons. During this time, he collaborated with André Cournand at Bellevue Hospital in the fields of pulmonary and cardiac diseases. Dickinson, along with Cournand and German physician Werner Forssmann, received a Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1956 for “their discoveries concerning heart catheterization and pathological changes in the circulatory system.”[1]

Richards also served as Scientific Director (1937-1950), among other roles, to the Merck Institute and edited the Merck Manual. The Merck Company Foundation endowed a professorship in medicine in his honor at Columbia University in 1968.

He co-authored the book, Circulation of the Blood: Men and Ideas (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964) with Alfred P. Fishman, and Medical Priesthoods and Other Essays (Connecticut Printers, 1970). He received the Trudeau Medal from the National Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association (1968), the Kober Medal from the Association of American Physicians (1970), and the Diamond Jubilee Medal from Bellevue Hospital (1973).

He retired from Presbyterian and Bellevue hospitals in 1961, serving as a medical consultant for a number of years. He died in Lakeville, Connecticut on February 23, 1973 at the age of 77.

  • References
  • [1]"The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1956." The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1956. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.

Biographical/Historical Commentary

Dickinson Woodruff Richards, Jr. was born in Orange, New Jersey on October 30, 1895 to his father, also D.W. Richards and mother, Sally. He had three sisters: Katherine, Josephine, Gertrude, and a brother Edward.

He attended Yale University (B.A. 1917) and upon graduation, joined the United States Army, serving as an artillery officer in France at the end of the First World War. In 1919, he was discharged and entered Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (M.D. 1923). In addition to his medical degree, he also received a Master of Arts degree (1922) in physiology under the guidance of Professor Ernest L. Scott.

He taught at Columbia beginning in 1925 and served as Intern (1924) and Resident (1925-1927) at Presbyterian Hospital, with later positions there (1928-1961) and at Bellevue Hospital (1933- 1961). Before 1968, Bellevue Hospital’s First Medical Division was staffed by faculty from Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons. During this time, he collaborated with André Cournand at Bellevue Hospital in the fields of pulmonary and cardiac diseases. Dickinson, along with Cournand and German physician Werner Forssmann, received a Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1956 for “their discoveries concerning heart catheterization and pathological changes in the circulatory system.”[1]

Dickinson also served as Scientific Director (1937-1950), among other roles, to the Merck Institute and edited the Merck Manual. The Merck Company Foundation endowed a professorship in medicine in his honor at Columbia University in 1968.

He co-authored the book, Circulation of the Blood: Men and Ideas (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964) with Alfred P. Fishman, and Medical Priesthoods and Other Essays (Connecticut Printers, 1970). He received the Trudeau Medal from the National Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association (1968), the Kober Medal from the Association of American Physicians (1970), and the Diamond Jubilee Medal from Bellevue Hospital (1973).

He retired from Presbyterian and Bellevue hospitals in 1961, serving as a medical consultant for a number of years. He died in Lakeville, Connecticut on February 23, 1973 at the age of 77.

[1]"The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1956." The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1956. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.

Scope and Content

These papers contain correspondence written during his military training and deployment in France during the First World War, and correspondence, academic papers, notes, films, and other material documenting his career as a physician and research physiologist at Columbia University, Bellevue and Presbyterian Hospitals, and the Merck Institute.

Arrangement

Arranged into two accessions.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections’ André F. Cournand Papers also hold papers of Richards in Boxes 35-36, as well as correspondence from Richards to Cournand.

The "Reminiscences of Dickinson W. Richards: Oral History, 1964," is found in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University. Library, Columbia University.

Components List

  • Accession #2013.010, 1933 - 1973

    Box
    1-6
    Scope and Content:

    Correspondence; academic papers and talks in the form of manuscripts and reprints; notes, drawings, reports, a photograph album and films document the life and career of Richards. Of note are black and white photographs of Richards and colleagues housed in a custom-made album presented to Richards by Merck & Co; moving pictures depicting Richards and other recipients honored at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Sweden in 1956.

    The photograph album entitled, “Dickinson W. Richards, M.D. Merck Institute, 1937-1968,” contains 22 black-and-white photographic prints mounted to leaves. Photos depict Richards and colleagues, interiors and exteriors of Merck facilities, meetings, dinners, etc. The album has a maroon binding and is housed in a clamshell case.

    Details for the three films / four reels:

    1. “Film [fran?] Nobel festen 1956. 5 minute run with sound track in English” Opening credit: Stockholm Fox Movietone. Black-and-white, 16mm. Depicts Nobel Prize ceremony.

    2. Picture and sound reels. Label: The Nobel Prize festivities at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10th, 1956. “Given by Leon Warsha[w?] who was on Bellevue staff and then also physician N.Y. staff of Paramount pictures. The synchronous tone on the sound track to be synchronized with No. 8 on the film band.”

    Picture reel: Black-and-white, 16mm. appears similar to other Nobel ceremony film, but appears lengthier/greater run time. Sound track in Swedish.

    3. Untitled. Black-and-white, 16mm. Depicts Richards and André Cournand conducting procedure with patient?

    • Bellevue Hospital correspondence, 1969
      Box-folder
      1.1
    • "Boston City Hospital talk", 1964
      Box-folder
      1.2
    • Boston City Hospital, Thorndike Memorial, 1964
      Box-folder
      1.3
    • CIBA Foundation Symposia "Pulmonary structure and Function" notes, 1961
      Box-folder
      1.4
    • "Continuing Education," Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 47.11 (1971) Part of a symposium titled "Introduction to Old Age", 1971
      Box-folder
      1.5
    • Diamond Jubilee Medal for new Bellevue Hospital, 1973
      Box-folder
      1.6
    • Dickinson W. Richards Professorship in Medicine, Columbia University, 1968
      Box-folder
      1.7
    • Dickinson W. Richards Professorship in Medicine and Merck Company Foundation correspondence, 1968
      Box-folder
      1.8
    • Dickinson W. Richards Professorship in Medicine, Merck Company Foundation Dinner, October 21, 1968
      Box-folder
      1.9
    • Photograph Album: “Dickenson W. Richards, M.D. Merck Institute, 1937-1968”, 1968

      Stacks

    • "The effect of pancreas extract on depancreatized dogs: Ernst L. Scott's thesis of 1911" manuscript,, 1966
      Box-folder
      1.10
    • Funeral prayers for Dickinson W. Richards, Sr. (1858-1933), 1933
      Box-folder
      1.11
    • George Merck Memorial Loan Fund, printed report, 1959
      Box-folder
      1.12
    • Hippocrates and history manuscript, 1968
      Box-folder
      1.13
    • Homostasis correspondence, 1962
      Box-folder
      1.14
    • Hyper / Hypo ventilation chapter, 1961
      Box-folder
      2.1
    • Kober Medal, 1970
      Box-folder
      1.15
    • Kober Medal to Dana W. Atchley, reprint, 1969
      Box-folder
      1.16
    • Medical ethics course clinical research, January 9, 1973
      Box-folder
      1.17
    • Memorial Resolution, Columbia University, 1973
      Box-folder
      1.18
    • Merck & Company, Inc. correspondence and agreements, 1967 - 1971
      Container
      1.19
    • Note with drawing of "Radio-krypton injected into pleural space…" , September, 1956
      Box-folder
      1.20
    • "Our are medical schools qualified to teach medicine?" manuscript read at the annual meeting of the Medical Alumni Association of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, April 5, 1968
      Box-folder
      1.21
    • "Presentation of the Academy plaque to James Burns Amberson, MD," reprint, Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, September, 1970
      Box-folder
      1.22
    • Scott, Ernst: research, 1965
      Box-folder
      1.23
      Box-folder
      2.4
    • Trudeau Medal, 1968
      Box-folder
      1.24
    • Textbook chapters and correspondence, 1960s-1971
      Box-folder
      2.2
    • Speeches and other writings, 1957 - 1973
      Box-folder
      2.3
    • Film [fran?] Nobel festen, 1956
      Box
      3
      Extent
      1
      Dimensions
      16 mm
      Genre/Format
      motion pictures (visual works)
      Physical Facet
      5 minutes
      Physical Facet
      Black-and-white
      Physical Facet
      Sound track in English
      Physical Facet
      Depicts Nobel Prize ceremony.
      Language
      English
    • The Nobel Prize festivities at the Stockholm Concert Hall , December 10, 1956
      Box
      4
      Box
      5
      Extent
      2
      Dimensions
      16 mm
      Genre/Format
      motion pictures (visual works)
      Genre/Format
      motion picture formats
      Physical Facet
      Black-and-white picture reel
      Physical Facet
      Sound reel
      Language
      Swedish
    • Untitled film, Depicts Richards and André Cournand conducting procedure with patient?, 1960s
      Box
      6
      Dimensions
      16 mm
      Genre/Format
      motion pictures (visual works)
      Physical Facet
      Black-and-white
  • Accession #2017.008: World War I Correspondence, 1916 - 1919

    Scope and Content:

    Correspondence from Dickinson Richards to his family members, the bulk being letters addressed to his mother, Sally Richards, living at 163 Irving Avenue South Orange, New Jersey; her summer residence at Sunapee, New Hampshire; and her New York City residence at 43 East 72nd Street. He also writes to his father, Dickinson W. Richard; his sisters Katherine, Josephine, and Gertrude; and his brother Edward. Included are postcards, telegrams, and accompanying photographs.

    His letters offer details from his summer training at Tobyhanna [Pennsylvania] camp in the Headquarters Company, 10th Field Artillery, National Guard, Connecticut—the training grounds populated by Yale University students and faculty. His training continued in Company 11 at Fort Myer, Virginia; and 1st Training Company at Fort Monroe, VA, with excursions to locales such as Washington DC, Newport News and “surf bathing.” He was transferred on September 17, 1918 to Camp Eustis, Virginia, and then marched to the embarkation Camp Stuart, located in Newport News, Virginia on September 27th before deployment, but departed from Hoboken, New Jersey.

    A letter to his mother (May 1, 1918) includes five black-and-white photograph portraits of Dickinson’s friends posed in uniform, identified as Sutherland Dows, David Dows, Browne, Parsons, and Griffith. Another photograph of his Fort Monroe’s quarters is found enclosed in a letter to his mother (May 5, 1918). A letter to Dickinson (September 5, 1918) from friend “Ken,” an officer in the American Expeditionary Forces stationed in France, includes Ken’s portrait in uniform. A photograph of Dickinson in uniform—a duplicate from his identification card—is enclosed with his letter to his mother (Nov 24, 1918) from Le Havre, France.

    His letters continue after leaving Le Havre. He then served with the 49th Artillery Coast Artillery Corps (C.A.C.) at La Tresne in Bordeaux and Poudrerie Barrack, Bessens. He returned to the U.S. from Europe on March 13, 1919. His correspondence ends April 1, 1919.

    • From Dickinson W. Richards [Jr.] To Sally Richards, 1916 - 1918

      Box
      7
      Box
      8
      Box-folder
      9.1
      Box-folder
      9.2
    • From Dickinson W. Richards [Jr.], 1917 - 1919

      Box-folder
      9.3
      Box-folder
      9.4
      Box-folder
      9.5
      Box-folder
      9.6
    • To Dickinson W. Richards [Jr.], September 5, 1918 - October 18, 1918

      Box-folder
      9.8