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Guide to the Victor Bassett papers, 1877-1938 and undated

Summary

Physician, health officer, and librarian of the Georgia Medical Society; from Savannah. Collection contains public health information, including correspondence, health and mortality records, biographical information, genealogies, reports, and printed matter relating to the medical history and practice of medicine in Savannah. Also includes manuscript drafts from naturalist Walter J. Hoxie.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.00087
Title
Victor Bassett papers
Date
1888-1938 and undated
Extent
2.0 Linear Feet, 3 boxes
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

Public health information, including correspondence, health and mortality records, biographical information, genealogies, reports, and printed matter. Most of the material relates to Bassett's work in public health and medical professional education efforts for Savannah and Chatham County, Georgia. Some topics addressed are school health examinations, nurses and midwives training, vaccination efforts, and milk pasteurization and licensing. There is also a significant amount of material acquired and assembled by Bassett as part of his role as librarian and medical historian for the Georgia Medical Society, including his research about the history of the medical profession in Savannah and Georgia from the colonial period through the late nineteenth century. Collection includes photoduplicates of original manuscripts and artifacts held in other repositories as well as Bassett's notes and drafts of biographical sketches about prominent Georgia physicians and families. Collection also contains Bassett's extensive lecture notes and laboratory notebooks from his medical training at the University of Wisconsin and University of Pennsylvania. Subjects covered include bacteriology, chemistry, infectious diseases, obstetrics, and gynecology.

Also held in this collection is a series of drafts by author Walter J. Hoxie, a naturalist and Girl Scout pioneer who also wrote columns for the Savannah Morning News and was an apparent family friend of the Bassetts. Most of the drafts appear to be unpublished folk stories or family stories; there are also bird-watching lists.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], Victor Bassett Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Personal materials, 1898-1938 and undated

This series contains Bassett's correspondence as well as miscellaneous ephemera and personal materials from his medical training and career. Some of the correspondence predates Bassett, but the majority of it relates to his work as a bacteriologist and health officer in the Savannah Health Department; his efforts to research medical history and biographical data for the Georgia Medical Society; and his participation in various medical and public health professional organizations in the early twentieth century. Additional materials relating specifically to the Savannah Health Department and the Georgia Medical Society are held in those series.

Correspondence, general, 1898-1938 and undated
(2 folders)
Box 1
Jennie Johnson's medical (obstetrical) file, Johns Hopkins, 1902
Box 1
John Jarzinski's medical file and autopsy, 1907
Box 1
Clippings re: Bassett, 1922
Box 1
Clippings re: medical history, 1935
Box 1
Southern Medical Association pamphlets/ephemera, 1914-1937
Box 1

2. Savannah Health Department materials, 1887-1938

This series includes project files, reports, statistics, and publications related to Bassett's work as a bacteriologist, physician, and health officer for Savannah and its surrounding county, Chatham County. Some of the initiatives represented are vaccination; clean water; milk safety and inspections; infant/child health; prenatal healthcare; maternal healthcare; and Bassett's role in training for medical students, nurses, and midwives. This series also includes a selection of Bassett's reports on mortality and disease for the city of Savannah, divided by race.

City Water supply reports, 1887-1917
Box 1
Better Baby Contests, sponsored by the National Congress of Mothers and Parent Teachers Association, 1914

Contains correspondence and draft plans regarding Better Baby Contests, to be held at state fairs.

Box 1
Monthly Health Bulletins and Records, 1923-1924, 1929-1932
(2 folders)

Contains statistics re: Savannah mortality and disease rates, subdivided by race.

Box 1
Health Department notices and bulletins, 1924-1937
Box 1
Radio Healthgram scripts re: public health, 1930s
Box 1
Georgia Board of Health/Board of Public Health bulletins and reports, 1929-1937
Box 1
Health examinations and reports for schools and children, 1930-1938
Box 1
Midwives and nurses: training, newsletters, correspondence, etc., 1935 and undated
Box 1
A Brief History of Public Health Work in Georgia, by M.E. Winchester (draft), 1929
Box 1
Milk Inspection reports, 1912

Clippings.

Box 1
Bill amending Savannah's incorporation, 1925

Typescript.

Box 1
Georgia Public Health Association membership, 1930
Box 1
National Malaria Committee membership, 1938
Box 1

3. Georgia Medical Society, 1877-1936 and undated

Materials in this series relate to Bassett's work as a member and librarian for the Georgia Medical Society, including his work in building the library and its collections. There are also some overlapping materials from Bassett's Research Notes series, because he was involved in the GMS's efforts to prepare biographical sketches of early Georgia physicians and medical history.

Fee Bill of the Georgia Medical Society, 1877
Box 1
Officer elections/member lists, undated
Box 1
Correspondence re: library collections, subscriptions, activities, 1915-1936
Box 1
Library Committee meeting minutes and reports, 1912-1914
Box 1
Shelving for library, 1913
Box 1
Book labels/bookplates for library collections, 1913-1914
Box 1
Photographs of historical books, medical instruments, and artifacts, from GMS exhibit and library collection, undated
Box 1

4. Writings, 1912-1937 and undated

Bassett appears to have been a prolific author, and a small portion of his drafts and essays are in this series. Topics range from public health or medical issues and treatment to personal essays and genealogical research on various figures in Georgia medical history.

Anti-Typhoid Vaccination, 1912 May 28
Box 1
Diagnostic Value of Trachial Tug, undated
Box 1
Health Work in a Seaport City, 1931 Apr.

Published in Health News.

Box 1
Essay honoring midwives Rosa Ridle and Margaret Rushing, 1937

Contains drafts as well as correspondence about the retirement plans of these midwives.

Box 1
Intravenous Saline Infusion, undated
Box 1
Lemuel Kollock biography draft, 1860 and undated

Includes Bassett's draft as well as research and correspondence about Kollack; contains one original letter from Kollock dating from 1860 as well as reproductions of other original documents.

Box 1
Drafts of book review of "Medical Magic," by David Dietz, undated
Box 1
Response to "Place of the Practicing Physician in a Public Health Program," paper by James Paullin, 1935
Box 1
Quantitative Relationship of Malarial Parasitism, with Special Reference to Microscopic Diagnosis, undated
Box 1
Book review of "Significance of an Epidemic of Dengue," by Griffitts and Hanson, undated
Box 1
Untitled drafts on Vaccination in Savannah, undated
Box 1
Voices of the Past, 1937

Correspondence about reprints.

Box 1
What present is suitable for a boy interested in natural history?, undated
Box 1

5. Research notes

A range of materials from across Bassett's professional life are held in this series. Subjects are arranged alphabetically and include professional organizations; medical topics; public health issues; medical history, including genealogy for Georgia physicians; and other miscellaneous topics. Bassett's files include both his collected and composed notes as well as printed materials and typescript excerpts from other publications.

American Medical Association Library reprints, copies re: medical association history, undated
Box 1
Experimental ground itch treatment photographs, undated
Box 1
Georgia-degreed physicians list, 1798-1930, prepared by Cecilia Mettler, A.M., undated
Box 1
Georgia Medical Repository reprints, copies, undated
Box 1
Johns Hopkins Hospital clippings, 1889
Box 1
Le Conte genealogy, undated
Box 1
Notes from the Letters of James Habersham, in the Georgia Historical Society, 1902
Box 1
Macleod family notes, undated
Box 1
Marriages of doctors in the 1800s, undated
Box 1
Medical history notes, undated
Box 1
Medical training/licensing notes, undated
Box 1
Excerpts from the 4th Annual Meeting of Medical Society of the State of Georgia, 1853, undated
Box 1
Milk/pasteurization, undated

Includes publicity photographs of a model dairy farm in Wisconsin, undated.

Box 1
Mortality records for City of Savannah, 1803-1806, notes, undated
Box 1
Pathology, miscellaneous, undated
Box 1
Plantation doctors, undated
Box 1
Savannah Historical Research Association, undated
Box 1
Savannah Library Association founding, undated
Box 1
Remarks on the Sources and Qualities of Honey, by Paul Delacy Baker, 1858
Box 1
Typhoid, undated

Includes a flyer for an auto-closing latrine designed to prevent flies and disease.

Box 1
Research re: William R. Waring, J. J. Waring, and Frederick Waring, 1880s-1934

Includes copy of a diary from J.J. and Frederick Waring's travels in Europe, 1853-1855.

Box 1
Yellow Fever epidemics, 1888-1897

Contains two original documents collected by Bassett: a certification of clearance for the ship Lizzie Heyer, sailing between Havana and Savannah, 1888, and a health certificate for Rebecka B. DuPont, 1888.

Box 1

6. Walter J. Hoxie, 1922-1934 and undated

This series includes unsorted, undated, untitled manuscript drafts that appear around the theme of "Granpa's Stories," written by Hoxie. There is also a small number of titled drafts on Seminoles, porcupines, and salamanders, as well as a published obituary for Hoxie.

Obituary and biographical essay, 1934
Box 1
Birdwatching notes, 1922-1923
Box 1
Seminole customs and miscellaneous language notes, 1932 and undated
Box 1
Salamanders, undated
Box 1
Porcupine Camp, undated
Box 1
[Granpa's Stories] drafts, various, undated
(4 folders)
Box 1
Box 2

7. Lecture notes, 1891-1903 and undated

Bassett's lecture notes, lab books, and other materials from his medical training at the University of Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins University are held in this series. Some notes are bound by Bassett. Topics include infectious diseases, gynecology, obstetrics, bacteriology, and other medical subjects.

Bound notes re: anatomy/physiology taught by Ray Murlin, University of Pennsylvania, 1891-1892
Box 2
Notebooks re: bacteriology and chemistry, University of Wisconsin, 1896-1899 and undated
Box 2
Notebooks re: bacteriology, water analysis, University of Wisconsin, 1890s
Box 2
Notes re: infectious diseases (including lab book), 1898-1902
Box 2
Notes re: medicine/medical topics, miscellaneous, 1901
Box 2
Notes re: malaria, blood/blood diseases, treatments, miscellaneous topics, 1901-1903
Box 2
Notes re: obstetrics, lectures by Dr. Williams, 1901-1902
Box 3
Notes re: obstetrics, 1902 and undated
Box 3
Notes re: gynecology, 1902-1903
Box 3
 

Historical Note

Excerpt from the Georgia Historical Society: "Dr. Victor Hugo Bassett was born on May 7, 1871, in Aledo, Illinois, son of Isaac Bassett. He received his medical training at the University of Wisconsin and Johns Hopkins University. Bassett came to Savannah, GA in 1908, as the city bacteriologist. In 1923, he became the City Health Officer, and County Health Officer in 1928. His research topics included diphtheria, typhoid fever, tetanus, and dysentery. He was also active in the Georgia Public Health Association, the American Public Health Association, and the Georgia Medical Society. Bassett died on November 3, 1938."


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Provenance

The Victor Bassett Papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1952.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan Lyon, 2016.