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George Dock Papers: Finding Aid
mssDock papers  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: George Dock papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1866-2003
    Collection Number: mssDock papers
    Creator: Dock, George, 1860-1951.
    Extent: 4,801 items. 29 boxes, plus five scrapbooks, microfilm reel and oversize items.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The professional and personal papers of prominent physician Dr. George Dock.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. George Dock papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    On permanent deposit from the Los Angeles County Medical Association, 1992. In 1992, the Los Angeles County Medical Association put several collections on permanent deposit here at the Huntington Library.

    Biographical Note

    George Dock was born in Hopewell, Pennsylvania, April 1, 1860. He received his B.A. Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1881, where he later entered the school of medicine and received his M.D. in 1884. He spent his internship at St. Mary's Hospital in Philadelphia. He spent roughly two years, 1885 to 1887, in Germany studying with some of the outstanding professors of the day. When he returned to Philadelphia, he was hired by Drs. John Herr Musser and William Osler to conduct autopsies in their clinical laboratory at the University of Philadelphia. Through his work on hookworm disease as pathologist for the Branch Medical School of the University of Texas, Dock was offered an appointment as professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He accepted the appointment and in 1891 he began his 30 year career as a medical professor. From 1908 to 1910 he taught at Tulane School of Medicine and then he took a position at the Washington University, in St. Louis. He taught there for twelve years until his retirement from teaching in 1922.
    George Dock and his first wife moved to Pasadena, California where he had several acquaintances and friends among the local medical doctors. Dock did not leave medicine behind him when he retired. He continued to conduct research, write articles and see patients. He worked at the Barlow Sanatorium, served on the California State Medical Board and the National Board of Medical Examiners, conducted lectures at various medical schools, joined the board of directors of Dr. Paul Popenoe's American Institute of Family Relations, was a member of the board of Polytechnic Elementary School in Pasadena, and was greatly involved with the Los Angeles County Medical Association and the creation of its library. George Dock married Laura McLemore in 1892 and they had two sons, George and William. George Dock Jr. served in World War I, and later became an advertising executive and ornithologist. He published The Audubon folio in 1964. William, the youngest, followed his father and was a doctor and professor of medicine. Laura Dock died in 1924 and a year later George married Miriam Gould. In 1947, Dock's health began to fail. He died in 1951 at the age of 91.

    Scope and Content

    The Manuscripts series, which contains roughly 700 items, chiefly contain the works of George Dock, some of which relate to his autobiography, but chiefly to his medical work. These include articles, speeches, essays, book reviews, translations, notes, as well as copies of his autobiographies "Apologia Pro Vita Mea" and "My Medical Education." There are also several items written by other medical professionals. There are also a large amount of material related to Dock's work with several hospitals and their administration. This material includes reports, salary information, and other documents related to Barnes Hospital, University of Michigan Medical School and St. Mary's Hospital in Philadelphia. There is also a good amount of material related to medical students including student schedules, grades and evaluations, guidelines for students, lectures and George Dock's ideas regarding teaching medicine. Also included are several records belonging to patients of Dock's.
    The Correspondence series, which contains 3,229 items, consists mainly of letters to and from George Dock (the ones by Dock are usually unsigned copies he retained and a majority of those are in fragile condition). The main subjects are related to George Dock's involvement in the various medical schools of which he was a faculty member, the medical organizations to which he belonged, the medical libraries with which he was involved, and medical and personal correspondence. There are letters pertaining to the creation and running of the Archives of Internal Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association. The letters from the Human Betterment Foundation and California Department of Institutions contain discussions regarding their second survey of sterilization in California's mental institutions. The letters to his wife, Laura McLemore Dock, detail his studies and travels in Europe, his early years at the University of Michigan, his experiences in the Spanish-American War, and a 1919 trip to the Jesus Maria Rancho in Santa Barbara County, California. The correspondence with his family are mostly about his travels and local happenings, not discussions of his work, with the exception of letters to his son, William Dock. Notable participants include: American Heart Association, American Medical Association (and Journal), Barlow Society for the History of Medicine, Barnes Hospital (Saint Louis, Mo.), Charles C. Bass, Elmer Belt, Richard C. Cabot, California Medical Association, C. N. B. Camac, Isadore Dyer, John F. Fulton, M. Howard Fussell, E. S. Gosney, Huntington Memorial Hospital (Pasadena, Calif.), Los Angeles County Medical Association (and Library), John Herr Musser, Sir William Osler, Paul Popenoe, George Canby Robinson, St. Louis Medical Society, the medical schools of the universities of Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, Yale Medical Library and Casey A. Wood. Some specific subjects mentioned are: Leopold Auenbrugger, Biliary tract, Charity Hospital (New Orleans, La.), College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign, Le Roy Crummer, laboratory diagnosis, hospital administration, John Hopkins University, D. J. Larrey, malaria, medical history taking, medical societies, Florence Nightingale, physicians' salaries, sexually transmitted diseases in California, health aspects of the Spanish-American War, Typhoid fever, vaccinations, women physicians, Horatio C. Wood, and medical and sanitary affairs in World War I.
    The Ephemera consists of 793 items and consists of ephemera relating to Dock's life. This includes materials from the various universities at which Dock worked and associations of which he was a member (American Association for the History of Medicine, Los Angeles County Medical Association, and American Medical Association); booklets and publications related to Dock including a bibliography of his writings; biographies and obituaries of Dock; awards and certificates won by Dock; his personal medical records; items related to Dock's book collections and collecting; photographs of himself, his friends and family and his travels and some related to medical issues including smallpox and tuberculosis (two prominent people represented in the photographs are Elmer Belt and Sir William Osler). There are also several folders of newspaper clippings collected by George Dock and some about him. There are four folders of material related to celebrations held for Dock including his centennial celebration that was held in 1960.
    There are also five scrapbooks (1846-1913) of George Dock's. One scrapbook contains clippings that Dock kept of anecdotes, sayings, and articles of interest. The other four scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, articles and ephemera related to his career including one that pertains to materials collected on his travels through Europe and his studies in Germany from 1884 to 1912, including the International Congress of Medicine in 1897. There is also one microfilm reel that contains the correspondence of George Dock (Dock's son) who was serving in Europe during World War 1.
    The addenda contains material that was transferred back to the Manuscripts Department from the Rare Books Department. It includes correspondence, manuscripts, speeches, ephemera, etc. It includes correspondence between Sir William Osler and George Dock.


    The collection is organized in the following series 1. Manuscripts; 2. Correspondence; 3. Ephemera; 4. Scrapbooks; 5. Oversize; 6. Microfilm; and 7. Addenda. Arranged alphabetically in each series. Many off-prints and re-prints of scholarly articles by George Dock and other physicians, which were originally accessioned with this collection, have been transferred to the Rare Book Department. Please contact the Rare Books Department for information and access.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Auenbrugger, Leopold, 1722-1809.
    Crummer, Le Roy, 1872-1934.
    Dock, George, 1860-1951 -- Archives.
    Larrey, D. J. (Dominique Jean), baron, 1766-1842.
    Nightingale, Florence, 1820-1910.
    Wood, H. C. (Horatio C.), 1841-1920.
    Los Angeles County Medical Association.
    Biliary tract -- Diseases -- Treatment.
    Diagnosis, Laboratory -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Hospitals -- Administration -- History.
    Medical colleges -- United States -- History -- Sources.
    Medical education -- United States -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Medical education -- United States -- 20th century -- Sources.
    Medical history taking.
    Medical libraries -- California -- Los Angeles.
    Medical students -- United States.
    Medicine -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Medicine -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
    Medicine -- Societies, etc.
    Physicians -- Salaries, etc.
    Physicians -- United States -- Archives.
    Sexually transmitted diseases -- California -- Prevention -- History -- Sources.
    Spanish-American War, 1898 -- Health aspects.
    Typhoid fever.
    Women physicians.
    World War, 1914-1918 -- Medical care.
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
    Los Angeles County Medical Association Collection.


    Articles -- United States.
    Autopsies -- United States.
    Clippings (information artifacts) -- United States.
    Hospital records -- United States.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States.
    Manuscripts -- United States.
    Medical records -- United States.
    Photographs -- United States.
    Reports -- United States.
    Scrapbooks -- United States.
    Speeches -- United States.

    Additional Contributors

    Bass, Charles C. (Charles Cassedy), 1875-1975.
    Cabot, Richard C. (Richard Clarke), 1868-1939.
    Camac, C. N. B. (Charles Nicoll Bancker), 1868-1940.
    Dock, George.
    Dock, William, 1898-.
    Fulton, John F. (John Farquhar), 1899-1960.
    Fussell, M. Howard (Milton Howard), 1855-1921.
    Gosney, E. S. (Ezra Seymour), 1855-1942.
    Musser, John Herr.
    Popenoe, Paul, 1888-1979.
    Robinson, George Canby, 1878-1960.
    Wood, Casey A. (Casey Albert), 1856-1942.
    American Heart Association.
    American Medical Association.
    Los Angeles County Medical Association, former owner.
    Los Angeles County Medical Association. Library.