MedChi Archives

Archives stacks #1 (jpeg 2MB 2012)
 For the most up-to-date information on the MedChi Archives and stories about pieces which we’ve uncovered, please visit the MedChi Archives Blog.
book acquisition pages
Library Donation Register 1899-1921

The MedChi Archives

The archival records of MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society date from its founding year in 1799 up to 2002, with the bulk of collection materials dated between 1850 and 1999. Comprising 284 boxes, over 284 linear feet, the collection includes records created by every major organizational unit: the Council, Board of Medical Examiners, Board of Trustees, House of Delegates, officers (President, Secretary, Treasurer), committees, component medical societies, the Faculty library (including the librarian’s, archivist’s, and curator’s files), the Woman’s Auxiliary, as well as meeting and membership records and MedChi publications. The majority of nineteenth century documents consist of Board of Medical Examiners’ files, treasurer’s early financial accounts, secretaries’ correspondence, and Faculty meeting records.

A History of Medicine Collection

MedChi’s archives are an integral part of the history of medicine in Maryland. The collection documents efforts by the Faculty during the nineteenth and twentieth century to expand physician education; establish professional standards; regulate medical practitioners; facilitate physician collaboration; build a professional organization that advocates legislators on behalf of physicians; and address public health concerns in Baltimore City and the counties of Maryland. Collection materials document the creation of the Board of Medical Examiners in Maryland, the buildings that have been home to the Faculty, MedChi’s publications, the building of a medical library, and prominent MedChi physicians and staff.

Material Formats

The MedChi collection comprises the following types of materials: founding and governing documents (Act of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Constitution); account books; anniversary materials; rare book and portrait appraisal inventories; articles; awards; bookplates; rare medical library books lists; brochures; budgets; building blueprints; certificates; lists of committees; correspondence; lists of delegates; donor notes; ephemera; exhibition materials; financial statements; history files; journal subscription lists; library accession registers; library catalogs; library subject/reference files; manuscripts; meeting minutes; annual and semi-annual meeting programs; members’ cards; membership lists and directories; news releases; newspaper clippings; notes; obituaries; lists of officers; papers read at meetings; photographs; portrait and instrument collections lists and notes; meeting and convention proceedings; MedChi publications; radio broadcast scripts; recommendations; registration books; reports; reprints; resolutions; scrapbooks; sketches; slides; speech typescripts; statistics; survey questionnaires; and visitor lists.

MedChi’s major serial publications are well represented in the collection: the Transactions, or annual meeting proceedings, (1853-1859, 1873-1908, & 1922-1947); the Maryland Medical Journal, with title variations, (1877-1918 & 1954-1999); the Bulletin (circa 1908-1951); the Handbook (1955-1995); the Membership Directory (circa 1965-1998); Laws, Rules, & Regulations (circa 1966-1985); and The Assemblyman (1962-1986). Meeting minutes of the Council date from 1904 to 1979; of the House of Delegates from circa 1904 to 2002; and of the Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2001.


 Golden Jubilee Dinner, Mercy Hospital Staff, Hotel Belvedere, October 22, 1924

The Background of the Collection

The provenance of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty archives is not well documented. Eugene Cordell, author of the Medical Annals of Maryland, observed in 1899 that “the records of the first half-century of the Faculty’s history are sadly deficient” (MMJ, Vol XLI, 1899). According to notes located among the Archivist’s files, MedChi’s records had been stored throughout the Cathedral Street building with the oldest materials kept in the library stacks. Prior to the 1990s, no formal policy existed for the retention or disposition of the organization’s records and consequently there are gaps in the collection. The medical library was closed in 1999 and no digital files or finding aids survived.

In 2010, Dr. Mario Molina created a box contents list for collection boxes #1-64. An archivist consultant hired in 2012 conducted an inventory of the collection and consolidated the records on the top floor of the library stacks. Some archival materials remain in their original location including books in the Krause reading room, items on display in exhibition cases, the original card catalog on the third floor of the old building, and the bulk of the Woman’s Auxiliary records that are located in the Auxiliary office.


Materials remain in the order in which they were found. Twenty record groups have been identified and files are organized alphabetically by record group and, within record group in chronological order by date.

Accessing the Archives & Related Collections

Access to the collection is limited until the records are processed. MedChi members and staff who would like to peruse archival materials are encouraged to contact the Development Director of the Center for a Healthy Maryland. Access to fragile documents is restricted. Related MedChi collections include the Portrait and Artifact Collections  that are on display throughout the MedChi building and a MedChi physicians’ manuscript collection, the bulk of which has been transferred to the Maryland Historical Society.

Medchi’s 215 year long Timeline

Bibliography of MedChi History

Below are links to a selection of historical collection materials:

Founding & Governing Documents


Act of Incorporation 1799

Act of Incorporation 1870


Title page photo

Maryland Medical & Surgical Journal
The title, contents, and opening address of volume 1 of The Maryland Medical & Surgical Journal, the Faculty’s first medical journal publication. Begun in 1839, the journal was published quarterly and ran for just three volumes. It was suspended after the March 1843 issue. The MedChi Archives contains Volumes 1 & 3.

Maryland Medical Journal 1877
The initial issue of the Maryland Medical Journal, established in May, 1877.

As We Build
Written by MedChi’s long time librarian, Marcia C. Noyes.

Osler’s Influence
Written by MedChi’s long time librarian, Marcia C. Noyes.

Transactions 1853: First Issue
The fist issue of the Faculty Transactions.

Transactions 1874: Officers & Committees List

Transactions 1897: President’s Address


Annual Meeting Program 1893

Annual Meeting Program 1907

Mercy Hospital Dinner

Resolution on Quackery

Resolution on Temperance

photo #1 M. Noyes & Osler Sideboard (jpeg 1 MB)

Marcia Noyes, MedChi librarian from 1896-1946.

Osler Sideboard Letter


Osler Historical Club Minute Book
Opening pages of the Minutes Notebook of the Osler Historical Club for the years 1896 to 1941. The club was dedicated to raising funds for the Faculty Library.