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University Hospital records

Identifier: RG0061

Scope and Contents

Materials in this collection include the School of Nursing Alumnae Association meetings journal and the Medical Staff Executive Committee and Department minutes. The materials range in date from 1898 to 2004.


  • Creation: 1898-2004


Restrictions on Access

Series 1 is closed to research for 25 years from date of record creation.

Some series are not completely processed. Please see staff for assistance.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical Note

In 1847 the medical department of Columbian College became the National Medical College. In the early 1850s, it was in the forefront of medical education in the nation.

The GW infirmary was enlarged in 1853, in response to growing need. The improved facility allowed the faculty to include clinical studies formally in the curriculum. Since few schools taught clinical medicine before the early twentieth century, this addition was remarkable in its foresight.

The following years were prosperous ones for the GW Infirmary, but with the beginning to the American Civil War in 1861, the school entered a difficult era. Both medical students and faculty joined forces in the North and the South, though their numbers were significantly higher among the Confederate ranks. Beginning a long tradition of GW service to presidents, Dr. A.Y.P. Garnett left Washington to become Jefferson Davis's personal physician, while Dr. Robert King Stone remained to serve Abraham Lincoln.

After the war began, the government reclaimed the Infirmary for use as a military hospital, and less than seven months later the building was destroyed by fire. The Washington Star of November 4, 1861, headlined the disaster with "The Burning of the E Street Infirmary Terrible and Thrilling Incidents--Removal of More than One Hundred Patients." This ended GW's first established teaching hospital.

Despite the chaos of the war, the medical college regrouped and in 1863 reopened in the Constitution Office on E Street between 12th and 13th Streets, NW. From 1865 to 1867 it shared space in the Columbia College Law Building on 5th Street between D and E Streets, NW. The building also served as a church on Sundays.

The GW hospital and medical school moved to 1335 H Street in 1868. The new building previously housed the Army Medical Museum's specimens and was donated by W.W. Corcoran. This was GW's main hospital until 1948.

The GW University Hospital (on 23rd Street, GW campus) was completed and opened in 1948. The Meyer Pavilion was added in 1968, Duncan Pavilion in 1978 and the Southeast addition in 1978. A new GW Hospital was completed in 2002 and located on 23rd Street north of the Foggy Bottom Metro stop.

This note was written in 2005


20.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Collection includes the School of Nursing Alumnae Association meetings journal and the Medical Staff Executive Committee and Department minutes.

Collection Organization

Organized into three series: Committee and department minutes; Nursing alumnae association; and Office files

Acquisition Information

Materials acquired through transfers from the University Hospital.

Guide to the University Hospital records, 1898-2004
University Archives, Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

George Washington University Gelman Library
2130 H Street NW
Washington DC 20052 United States of America