Skip to main content


Chalmers Laughlin Gemmill papers

Identifier: MS-23

Scope and Contents

The Chalmers Laughlin Gemmill Papers include correspondence and materials related to his research in the history of medicine, including papers on the Charlottesville General Hospital during the Civil War, Robley Dunglison, and ancient pharmacology. The collection also contains scrapbooks from his post-graduate research overseas and his attendance at the International Physiological Congresses. A set of medals from the Congresses, along with other medals depicting the history of medicine are also included.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1914 - 1997

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

Chalmers Laughlin Gemmill was born in Cresson Pennsylvania on November 24, 1901. He graduated with a degree in chemistry from Lafayette College in 1914, and received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1926. He worked for a while in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physiology, and also did post-graduate research at three institutions overseas: the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Heidelberg, Germany; Lund University in Lund, Sweden; and Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. He married Vivienne Angeline Warry on January 10, 1938, and had one child, Daphne.

In 1941, Dr. Gemmill became an instructor at the Navy's new research center for Aviation Medicine in Pensacola, Florida. He rose to the rank of Captain (MC), and was discharged in 1945, when he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia Medical School as a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, a position he held until he retired in 1972. He was Chair of the Department from 1949-1967. While at UVA, he conducted extensive research on a variety of subjects, and was given a grant to do research on the history of medicine, specifically a study of silphium, at the Wellcome Library in London. Dr. Gemmill traveled extensively, and attended a number of the international symposia, keeping scrapbooks of many of his travels.

Dr. Gemmill retired from the Medical School Faculty in 1972 and died in June of 1982.


5.1 Linear Feet


The collection is arranged in five series according to the type of content. Where appropriate, materials are organized chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Daphne Gemmill. The "Publications Department of Pharmacology, University of Virginia School of Medicine" 1947-1953 was given by the Department.

Physical Description

The collection consists of 3 record boxes and 5 Hollinger boxes of processed materials.


Processed by:
Historical Collections Staff
A Guide to the Chalmers Laughlin Gemmill papers, 1914-1997
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

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