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Harry Justice Warthen Jr. papers

Identifier: MS-81

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, photographs, reprints, and materials related to Harry Justice Warthen Jr.'s undergraduate years at the University of Virginia. There are also rough drafts, research material, and biographical material related to Warthen.


  • Creation: 1895-1985

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply to some materials.

Biographical / Historical

Harry Justice Warthen, Jr. (1901-1984) was born in Port Norfolk, Virginia, and moved to Alexandria and then to Richmond in 1917. He did his undergraduate work at UVA and also graduated from UVA's School of Medicine in 1925. After an internship at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Richmond and a residency at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Warthen studied for a year at the University of Freiburg in Germany. He also served in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Warthen spent much of his career in Richmond, VA, where he was known as a talented surgeon and medical historian. He was an assistant professor and associate professor of surgery at the Medical College of Virginia from 1933 to 1966. In the years after WWII, he specialized in cancer surgery. Warthen also helped to found Richmond Memorial Hospital, which opened in 1957.

Warthen retired from medical practice in 1972 and became a chief surgical consultant to the Virginia Division of Rehabilitation. He was a member of the Richmond Board of Health, president of the Richmond Academy, and editor of the "Virginia Medical Monthly." Throughout his life, Warthen was interested in history, particularly Civil War medicine, and he wrote a number of articles on the subject. A prolific author, Warthen prepared more than 250 articles over his career; 45 dealt chiefly with surgical matters, the rest were editorials that appeared in the "Virginia Medical Monthly," 11 of which concerned the University of Virginia. A lifelong supporter of UVA, Warthen also served as president of the Medical Alumni Association. Other positions that he held included Chair of the Virginia Bicentennial Medical Exhibit and Curator of the Richmond Academy of Medicine.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Box 1 contains photos, correspondence, Warthen's French notebook from an undergraduate year at UVA, drawings, material related to his Phi Beta Kappa initiation, coeducation at UVA, Richmond Memorial Hospital, emphysema, the UVA Rotunda, biographical material, and a UVA Medical History Society survey. Box 2 contains reprints of Warthen's articles as well as reprints by others that he collected. It also has rough drafts of some of his papers. The material is arranged by date within each box. Material that was received in labeled folders was placed in acid free folders with the same labeling.

Physical Description

The material is in fair to good condition.

Processing Information

Duplicate reprints were removed from the collection. Dr. Warthen's student notebook in which he took notes mainly on urology from 1923 to 1925 has been added to the University of Virginia School of Medicine Student Notebook Collection, MS-37. A volume of "Transactions of the Southern Surgical Association, Ninety-sixth Annual Meeting," Volume 96, December 1984, has been sent to be catalogued with the Health Sciences Library's book collection.

Guide to the Harry Justice Warthen Jr. papers
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, Historical Collections & Services
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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