Collection ID: HOM.002

Collection context


Materials relating to the life and medical career of Dr. William F. Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs was the first full-time pathologist in Buffalo as well as a graduate in 1908 of the Buffalo School of Medicine and later faulty member. The collection includes birth/death records, correspondences, minutes of the Buffalo Pathological Society, and personal reminiscences.
3 Linear Feet and 6 manuscript boxes
Preferred citation:

[Description and date of item], Box/folder number, Collection number, [Collection name], [Collection dates], The Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.


Scope and Content:

The collection includes Curriculum vitae and correspondence, 1929-1959; birth and death certificate stubs from his medical career, 1915-1923; as well as minutes, bank records, and other records of the Buffalo Academy of Medicine, 1929-1943. These include minutes of the Buffalo Pathological society, 1888-1893 and minutes of the Academy section on Anatomy, physiology, and Pathology, 1893. Also included are personal reminiscences by Dr. Jacobs on his career as a pathologist and personal experiences, articles about ballistics, and World War I papers such as identification cars and an Armistice telegram.

Biographical / Historical:

The first full time hospital pathologist in Buffalo, William F. Jacobs was born of German immigrant parents in the Clinton-Jefferson area of the city and attended School 13 and Night High School. In 1902 he enrolled in the University of Buffalo, School of Medicine and received his medical degree in 1908. Dr. Jacobs was a general practitioner for several years before specializing in pathology. He served as assistant to Dr. Herbert U. Williams, former dean of the Medical School and head of the Pathology Department for 40 years. In 1910, he began to work in the pathology laboratory of Buffalo General Hospital while simultaneously serving as an instructor in pathology at the University of Buffalo Medical School. In 1921 Dr Jacobs opened the Pathology Department at Meyer Memorial Hospital (formerly Buffalo General City Hospital); at the time of his retirement in 1946, that laboratory had been named in his honor. From June to November 1945 he served as acting superintendent of the hospital after the resignation of Dr. William T. Clark. Dr. Jacobs served as a pathologist at the Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital in 1946. He also served for Mt. St. Mary's in Niagara Falls and Lafayette General Hospital in Buffalo. Dr. Jacobs was active in the Buffalo Academy of Medicine, as chairman of the section on pathology, trustee of the Academy for three years, president from 1928-1929, and treasurer for many years beginning in 1936. In 1932 he wrote a history of the Academy, tracing the development of the medical profession in Western New York. Dr. Jacobs was also a founding fellow of the American College of Pathology and was active in several other professional organizations including Nu Sigma Nu fraternity and the Medical Society of the County of Erie.

Acquisition information:

Originally donated to the Buffalo Historical Society in 1970. Latter given by the Buffalo Historical Society to the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection.

Collection was donated to the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection by the Buffalo Historical Society.

Processing information:

Collection processed by Peter Nelson August 1992.


The collection is organized into six series: I. personal papers, 1886-1959; II. Professional Career, 1908-1959; III. Buffalo Academy of Medicine, 1888-1957; IV. Reminiscences, 1959; V.Articles by David E. Wheeler and Hartly H. T . Jackson, 1914-1957 and undated; VI. Wrold War I papers, 1914-1920. Materials within series are arranged chronologically.


No further accruals are expected.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard



The William F.Jacobs Collection is open to researchers.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection before requesting photocopies and/or publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Once permission is obtained, most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.


[Description and date of item], Box/folder number, Collection number, [Collection name], [Collection dates], The Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.

B5 Abbott Hall
3435 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214, United States