ThoVT, Vivien T. Thomas Collection in the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions


[Series 5] Subject Files
This series features articles, clippings and ephemera collected by Vivien Thomas and organized into three distinct areas of interest. The first, and possibly most intriguing, is that of ‘Alcoholism in the medical community’, a file which includes resources on the definition of alcohol dependence and guidance for receiving help. From the correspondence between Ravitch and Thomas, it is apparent that Thomas struggled personally with alcohol but was able to eventually overcome his issues, though this is never elaborated extensively in the collection. An item of note is the article by Ransom R. Buchholz which reveals his own drinking problem and describes the culture of alcoholism amongst doctors and surgeons that allows addiction to flourish. Interestingly, alcoholism is rarely mentioned in the autobiography. For Thomas’ account of Blalock’s late alcoholism and attempts at recovery, see the March 8, 1981 handwritten letter from Thomas to Ravitch.
Next is Johns Hopkins related magazines, articles and clippings, a collection which features a broad range of Hopkins related ephemera.
Finally there are ‘Invitations and Event Programs at Johns Hopkins’ which features items such as invitations for special events, menus and programs. An item of note is the invitation for Helen Taussig’s 82nd surprise birthday party which was to be held in the hospital lobby. Material related to hospital events, including speeches (such as that given by Alfred Blalock on his retirement), give an interesting insight into the surgeon community and raise important questions about the roles of prestige, reputation and public self-image. Contrasting these speeches with details given in Thomas’ private correspondence makes for a complex portrait of hospital life.
Each subject file has its own folder and where possible is arranged chronologically.

[Folder 26/1] Alcoholism and Medical Practice. — December 15, 1979, October 1, 1980, December 31, 1981, Spring 1981
Alcoholics Anynomous, The New England Journal Of Medicine, Fulton Oursley, Ransom R. Buchholz

[Folder 26/2] Clippings And Articles About Alfred Blalock. — September 16, 1964
Sanford E. Leeds, Hutzler's Magazine

[Folder 26/3] "The Dome". — February 1976, June 1976, May 1978, October 1978, November 1978, May 1979,
Copies of "The Dome" Johns Hopkins publication

[Folder 26/4] Johns Hopkins Medical Journal . — November, 1971; October 1978; October 1982
November 1971 issue includes 3 articles on Long-Time Observations on the Blalock-Taussig Operation

[Folder 26/5] Johns Hopkins. — December 6, 1949, May 15, 1964, February 26, 1971, June 25, 1974, May 1976, December 23, 1987
Steven Muller, Johns Hopkins Hospital, American Medical Association, Time

[Folder 26/6] Johns Hopkins Magazine. — July 1978-June 1980
selected issues of the magazine

[Folder 26/7] Hopkins Medical News. — May 1979
Includes article, "Hopkins has 'Something of Substance' for Young Blacks" regarding the efforts of Levi Watkins, Jr. and Earl Kidwell, Jr. to recruit African American students to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

[Folder 26/8] Program for the Helen Taussig International Symposium on Pediatric Cardiology. — May 24-26, 1976

[Folder 26/9] Clippings related to Johns Hopkins. — 1982