Collection ID: M-0233

Collection context


De Forest, Henry Pelouze, 1864-1948
Correspondence, alumni lists, invitations, programs, and other printed material documenting reunions and other alumni activities compiled into bound volumes by Henry Pelouze de Forest, 1890 class secretary for the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University.
9 volumes, 1 box, and .8 cubic feet
Preferred citation:

College of Physicians and Surgeons Class of 1890 alumni records, Archives and Special Collections, Columbia University Health Sciences Library.


Scope and Content:

Bound volumes containing pasted circulars, broadsides, commencement programs, newspapers clippings and other printed material. Includes correspondence between de Forest and officials from the Columbia University Alumni Federation and individual alumni. Contents of volumes compiled and arranged chronologically for alumni reunions held in 1910, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1935, and 1940. Non-bound volumes were compiled by de Forest in a similar fashion to the bound volumes, in addition to a single program from the 15-year anniversary dinner (1905) and correspondence between de Forest and alumni relating to the reunion Christmas card (December 1935-January 1936).

Biographical / Historical:

Henry Pelouze deForest, born in 1864 in Fulton, New York, was a surgeon who practiced medicine in New York City, including at the Sloane Hospital for Women. He served as secretary of the Class of 1890, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University (MD 1890). He was also class secretary for the Class of 1884 at Cornell University (PhB 1884, MS 1887). He married Anna Catherine Gilmour (A.B., Smith, 1889) on December 6, 1891. He was author of the book, Ten years’ examinations: a complete set of all the written examination questions given in the College of Physicians and surgeons, in the City of New York. Medical department of Columbia College 1880-1891 (1891?).

In 1912, Dr. deForest trained in forensic medicine with police departments in Europe. Among his many positions, he was president of the Brooklyn Pathology Society (1900-1902), adjunct professor of obstetrics at the New York Post-Graduate Medical School (1903-1921), Chief Medical Examiner for the New York City Municipal Civil Service Commission (1912-1919), and President of the International Society for Personal Identification (1920-1935). He invented the dactyloscope, a magnifying device used in fingerprint identification.

He died at age eighty-three in Manhattan on June 13, 1948.

Acquisition information:
Bound volumes, Christmas letters, and 15 and 20-year reunion programs with unknown provenance. Remaining materials: accession record #2021.028.
Custodial history:

Correspondence and Memorabilia, 1920-1933 Originally donated to Columbia University in 1948 with enclosed note, "We have recently received from you through the Alumni Office two packages of correspondence of the Class of 1890 of the College of Physicians & Surgeons as put together by the late Henry P. de Forest. This correspondence extends from 1920 until the time of his death..."

Christmas letters (1935-1936), printed material from 15 –year and 20-year reunions, and bound volumes for reunions held in 1910, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1935, 1940 were acquired previously.

Processing information:

Processed by Jennifer Ulrich, December 2021.


Arranged in chronological order.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: a Content Standard



Open for research.


Columbia University does not hold the copyright to letters authored by individuals.


College of Physicians and Surgeons Class of 1890 alumni records, Archives and Special Collections, Columbia University Health Sciences Library.

630 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032, United States