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School of Dentistry Records
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Collection Overview
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Collection includes photographs, printed material, and ephemera related to the history of the UCSF School of Dentistry, dated 1855-1997. Of special note is the “Treasure Chest” material, including Dental Department/College of Dentistry exams, course requirements, and other material.
The University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry mission is to advance oral, craniofacial, and public health through excellence in education, discovery, and patient-centered care. The Dental Department / College of Dentistry of the Affiliated Colleges of the University of California was established in 1881. Founders included Samuel W. Dennis, C. L. Goddard, and William Lewitt. The College grew into the School of Dentistry and includes the Departments of Cell and Tissue Biology, Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Orofacial Sciences, and Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences. Former deans of the school include Guy S. Millberry, Willard C. Fleming, Ben W. Pavone, John C. Greene, and Charles Bertolami.The Dental Department / College of Dentistry of the University of California was established in 1881. San Francisco practitioner Samuel W. Dennis, MD, DDS, was instrumental in its founding; he gathered support from Medical Department faculty, corresponded with other dental programs in the country to create a curriculum, and recruited dental instructors. He served as the first dean of the school from 1881-1882 and was later reappointed, serving from 1883-1885. Disagreements concerning curriculum and the school’s administration quickly developed between Dennis and his fellow dental faculty members. Tensions continued to mount for the next fifteen years until a disgruntled Dennis left the college in 1896. When Dennis left, he took with him a number of the school’s early records, including receipts, announcements, lecture notes, and examples of course requirements and examinations. Apparently, he then buried the material in a lead box in South San Francisco. When Dennis died in 1906 (some accounts say 1907) he had never revealed the exact location of the records. In 1929, as workers were excavating an area on which the Bayshore Highway was to be constructed, they uncovered a heavy box. Inside they found old documents labeled “Dental Department of the University of California.” One of the workers returned the material to the university. Dean Guy S. Millberry began investigating the papers and came to the conclusion that they had to be the missing Dennis material. The box came to be known as the “Treasure Chest.”
4 Linear Feet (1 carton, 1 box, 2 oversize boxes)
Copyright has not been assigned to the UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management. All requests for permission to publish material must be submitted in writing to the UCSF Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Library and Center for Knowledge Management as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Collection is open for research.