Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Medical Examiner-Coroner's office records
Inclusive Dates: 1891-1963
Collection number: 2008-013
Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office
15 cubic feet
Santa Clara County Archives.
Abstract: The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office Records consist of coroner inquests and testimonies, coroner's official
registers, records of coroner investigations, hospital death records, and lantern slides of human cells and tissue samples
taken from the deceased. These records range from 1891 to 1963.
Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Archives staff.
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
The Archives can claim physical ownership only for some collections. Users are responsible for securing permission of the
copyright holder for publication or quotation.
Medical Examiner-Coroner's office records, 2008-013, Santa Clara County Archives.
These records were transferred by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office in 2008.
This collection was processed by Trista Raezer working under NHPRC grant NAR07-10047-07, the Santa Clara County Archives Project.
For more information about the project, please see the Archives website.
"The elective office of coroner was established in 1850. In 1876, the coroner was made the exofficio public administrator.
The coroner's duties include holding inquests over deaths of unknown cause. Under county charter, the coroner was appointed
by the county executive. In 1963, the coroner was separated from the pubic administrator, and each coroner thereafter was
required to have a medical degree."
Laffee, Glory Anne and Detlefs, Robert G. "County Leadership: Santa Clara County Government History." The County of Santa
Clara Historical Heritage Commission: San Jose, 1995. Page 140.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office Records consist of coroner inquests and testimonies, coroner's official
registers, records of coroner investigations, hospital death records, and lantern slides of cells and tissue samples taken
from the deceased.
The inquest records range from 1948 to 1958. These records contain testimony and evidence for investigation of suspicious
deaths or suicides.
The coroner's official registers and records of coroner investigations document investigations into cause of death. These
records contain the name of the deceased, birth and death date, place of birth, names of parents, occupation, place of death,
and cause of death. The hospital death records record the names of those who died in hospital with no extra information about
The lantern slides were most likely used for teaching purposes, and contain photographs of cells and tissue samples relating
to pathology. Some of these samples came from deceased Santa Clara County residents, while others were manufactured slides
for lectures and teaching purposes. These slides range from the 1930s to the 1950s.
These records are arranged into three series: Coroner's Inquests and Testimony, Coroner's Record Books, and Lantern Slides.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Coroners and medical examiners
Santa Clara County (Calif.)