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Albemarle County Medical Society records

Identifier: MS-29

Scope and Contents

The collection includes five boxes of membership applications; four boxes of subject-related files, including committee papers, the government and bylaws of ACMS, resolutions passed, and the women's auxiliary; one box of minutes from years 1951 to 2001; one box of correspondence from 1948-2002; and three boxes of financial records beginning in 1933. There is one photograph of nineteen of the presidents of the ACMS taken in 1981. The addition received in November 2019 was processed into four additional boxes generally maintaining the order in which they arrived which was primarily chronological. Those four boxes include meeting minutes, meeting speakers (some with the typed presentation), meeting attendance, membership lists, membership applications, Continuing Education documents, and Medical Society of Virginia documents.


  • Creation: 1933 - 2015

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are restrictions to access. User needs permission from the Curator of Historical Collections.

Biographical / Historical

The Seal of the Albemarle County Medical Society (ACMS) indicates that it was organized in 1914, but Dr. Armistead Page Booker who wrote an unfinished draft of the history of the society postulated that it may have existed as early as 1851. He quotes Dr. Wyndham Blanton in "Medicine in Virginia in the Nineteenth Century" as noting, "in January 1851, the 'Stethoscope,' a medical journal of that time, reported that there was a local society in Charlottesville." Booker's draft continues to trace the early days and states, "in the first published list of the component [local] societies, in the 22 January 1915 issue of the 'Virginia Medical Semi-Monthly,' there is the 'Doctors' Club' with Dr. J. Carroll Flippin as President and Dr. Halstead S. Hedges as Secretary. In October 1915, in the 'Transactions,' there is a listing of the component state societies, by congressional districts, as well as the names and places of residence of all of the members. The only local society included, the 'Albemarle County Society,' had 38 members." By 1925 membership had grown to 79 active members. In 1950 there were 131 and by 1982 the number reached 475. Booker points out that many members distinguished themselves over the years as teachers, practitioners, original thinkers in clinical and basic research, and leaders in organized medicine.

The Society has served as an arena for scientific talks and socializing as well as a forum for legislative information and action and community service. The Society was the driving force behind the mass oral polio virus vaccinations that were given in the Charlottesville area in the early 1960s. The Society weighed in on fluoridation of the Charlottesville water supply, health care of the elderly, medical malpractice, driving under the influence, and seat belts, and has lobbied state and national representatives concerning medically related legislation. That lobbying has resulted in letters from Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Harry F. Byrd, Thomas J. Michie, Virginius Dabney, and Huburt H. Humphrey among others.

The "Albemarle Medical News" has been published by the ACMS since Spring 1992. Originally a quarterly, it is now published twice a year. It includes medical articles of interest, legislative updates, memoriams for members, and medical students news. Its inaugural issue states that there are nearly 500 physicians (almost evenly divided between University physicians and physicians in private practice) who are members of the ACMS and that it is a component of the Medical Society of Virginia. The "Message from the President" goes on to say, "Our business is communication. Our monthly meeting is almost like the old town meeting where everyone gets brought up to date on the latest developments in medicine and then gets a chance to give feedback. We discuss local medical problems and help find solutions to them. At each meeting we have a scientific presentation of broad clinical interest. After the business and the scientific portions of the meeting we have a reception and dinner together."

Over the years the Society has financially supported various entities including the American Medical Education Fund, the Medical Student Scholarship Fund, the local rescue squads, the Bessie Dunn Miller Cancer Center, and the Virginia Council on Health and Medical Care.


7.5 Linear Feet


Boxes 1-5 are arranged alphabetically by the last names of the membership applicants, boxes 6-9 are arranged alphabetically by subject, and boxes 10-14 are arranged chronologically. Boxes 15-18 are arranged roughly in the order they were received which was mainly chronological.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to the Health Sciences Library by the Albemarle County Medical Society.

Physical Description

18 boxes 5" x 10.5" x 15.5", 7.5 linear feet


Processed by:
Historical Collections Staff
A Guide to the Papers of the Albemarle County Medical Society, 1933-2015
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
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Repository Details

Part of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library Repository

Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue
P.O. Box 800722
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0722 United States