Texas Medical Center records

“The Texas Medical Center”, Methodist Hospital, Raymond O’Leary, production by TMC, Inc, color, 3... “The First 20 years of the Medical Center”, KPRC-TV, black and white, 25 minutes, “A Television report on the Texas Medical Center: a public service presentation. by the Medical C... “The Texas Medical Center: as featured on Television by Humble Oil & Refining Co.”, black and... “Visions Fulfilled,” 8 minutes, VHS, Texas Medical Center “The Power of a Dream,” 6 minutes, VHS, The Texas Medical Center. Narrated by Don Macon, Produced/Directed by Raymond O’Leary, 30 minutes...

Identity elements

Reference code

IC 002

Level of description



Texas Medical Center records


  • 1907-2019 (Creation)


40.75 cubic feet (94 boxes)

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Texas Medical Center is a comprehensive medical community located south of downtown Houston. It comprises 54 institutions, including four medical and seven nursing schools, 21 hospitals, three level-I trauma centers [8], eight specialty institutions, and academic and research institutions for many other health-related disciplines[9]. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is among the top-ranked cancer hospitals in the country[10]. As of 2017, it is one of the largest medical centers in the world[7].

The Texas Medical Center was proposed by Horace Wilkins, Col. William Bates, and John H. Freeman, the trustees of the M.D. Anderson Foundation. Established by cotton magnate Monroe Dunaway Anderson in 1936[1], the Foundation supported a variety of small causes until Anderson’s death in 1939, at which point the trustees, with the encouragement of Ernst Bertner, M.D., and Frederick Elliott, D.D.S., decided the funds should be used to build a medical center on par with Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic[2]. When, in 1941, the state legislature approved an act to create a cancer hospital[3], the Anderson Foundation trustees secured Houston as the location for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital, which would become first component of the medical center. The Texas Medical Center would be located on a site adjacent to Hermann Hospital, which had opened south of downtown in 1925.

The Texas Medical Center was officially incorporated in 1946 and Bertner was appointed president, replaced at the Cancer Hospital by R. Lee Clark, M.D. The Cancer Hospital was quickly joined by the Dental College, by then affiliated with the University of Texas[16], and Baylor University College of Medicine, which moved from Waco. The Anderson Foundation made grants to Methodist Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, a new building for Hermann Hospital, and for a library[15].

The Texas Medical Center grew quickly and has provided a home for innovators such as heart surgeons Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley; William Spencer and his work on rehabilitation of paralysis patients; trauma surgeon and medevac pioneer James “Red” Duke; and Nobel Prize-winning pharmacology researcher Ferid Murad[17].


[1-5] TMC History 1971
[6] Handbook of Texas Online, Ernst W. Bertner.
[7] Facts and Figures, About Houston, City of Houston, 2017 July 24, www.houstontx.gov/abouthouston/houstonfacts.html
[8] Texas Trauma Facilities, Texas Health and Human Services, Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 2017 July 24, https://www.dshs.texas.gov/emstraumasystems/etrahosp.shtm.
[9] “Texas Medical Center: Houston is where the world comes for treatment”, About Houston, Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2017 July 24, https://www.visithoustontexas.com/about-houston/texas-medical-center/
[10] Institutional profile, Facts and History, 2017 July 24, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, https://www.mdanderson.org/about-md-anderson/facts-history/institutional-profile.html.
[12] Handbook of Texas Online
[13] New York Times, 1994 May 05, online.
[11] Mary Schiflett obituary, Houston Chronicle online, January 19, 2007.
[14] Bryant Boutwell, Ph.D, Bout Time blog, 2014 January 31
[15] TMC History 1971, p178
[16] Handbook of Texas Online, University of Texas Dental Branch
[17] TMC News, 2014 August 19

Name of creator


Biographical history

Mary Schiflett (1925-2007) became Associate Director of Planning for the Medical Center in 1984 and was Vice President of Public Affairs by the time she retired in 1998, and then returned as a consultant from 1999 through 2006. The materials in Series I are from her office[1].

[1] Mary Schiflett obituary, Houston Chronicle online, January 19, 2007.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Texas Medical Center records include TMC charter material, correspondence, committee minutes, interviews and transcripts, photographs and slides, budgetary information, newspapers and clippings, research material for books, surveys, materials related to TMC events and visitors, films and audiocassettes, brochures, architectural renderings, guidebooks and directories, and maps. The materials date from the 1900s to the present. The collection also includes the papers of Mary Schiflett who held leadership positions in the TMC from 1970-2009. The collection has been processed at box and folder level. The material is generally in good condition and consists of 39 cubic feet totaling 93 boxes.

System of arrangement

Collection is arranged in the following series:
Series I: Mary Schiflett papers
Series II: Texas Medical Center News
Series III: Historical materials
Series IV: TMC administrative records
Series V: Photographs
Series VI: Audiovisual materials
Series VII: Oversized materials

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Unrestricted. Material is open for research.

Physical access

Materials are in good condition.

Technical access

Audiovisual materials require equipment for viewing.

Conditions governing reproduction

Permission to publish from this material must be facilitated through the repository, McGovern Historical Center.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Finding aid is available, processed at box and folder level.

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history


Immediate source of acquisition

Various donors contributed to this collection, including Mary Schiflett and Texas Medical Center.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Accurals are expected for this collection.

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

IC 104 Texas Medical Center (TMC) Photograph Collection; MS 002 Ernst W. Bertner, MD papers; MS 071 Frederick C. Elliott, DDS papers; MS 070 R. Lee Clark, MD papers; MS 202 Richard E. Wainerdi, Ph.D papers

Notes element

General note

The Texas Medical Center (TMC) records contains administrative records, photographs, printed materials, audiovisual materials, architectural documents, promotional materials, research materials, and maps that document the history and development of the TMC. The majority of the materials date within the record-keeping activity of the TMC from 1946 to present. Administrative records include TMC charter materials, correspondence, committee minutes, budgetary information, and directories. Photographic and audiovisual materials are promotional in nature and include prints, aerial photographs, slides, audio, video, and film. Printed materials include brochures, guidebooks, newspapers, and clippings. Architectural documents include drawings, blueprints, and maps. Collection also contains interviews, transcripts, surveys, and materials related to TMC events and visitors. The collection also includes the papers of Mary Schiflett who held leadership positions in the TMC from 1970-2009. Incorporated in 1946, the TMC is a comprehensive medical community located south of downtown Houston. It comprises 54 institutions, including four medical and seven nursing schools, 21 hospitals, three level-I trauma centers, eight specialty institutions, and academic and research institutions for many other health-related disciplines. The collection consists of 94 boxes, equaling 40.75 cubic feet. The materials are in good condition.

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Texas Medical Center records; IC 002; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.
  • Processing information: Materials were rehoused in archival folders and boxes. Oversize materials were stored in appropriate oversize boxes and placed in the oversize (OV) section. Larger sized materials were placed in a map drawer (MD). Audiovisual materials were inventoried and placed in appropriate sections according to format, audio, video, or film. Each AV item was assigned an identification number according to format: AVA.IC002.### for audio, AVV.IC002.### for video, and AVF.IC002.### for film. Some films and videos have been digitized and are available in the Digital Collection Drive (DCD). Filenames correspond to item identification numbers list in collection inventory below.
  • Processing information: The Mary Schiflett papers were rehoused in archival folders and boxes. The original order as received from the creator was haphazard, and an arrangement was imposed to improve accessibility. The materials are grouped according to material type, general subjects, specific projects, and various roles performed by Schiflett in the course of fulfilling her job responsibilities for the TMC.
  • Processing information: The TMC News series are arranged in chronological order. Oversize issues have been stored in oversize boxes and placed in the oversize (OV) section. New issues are added to the collection and published monthly as TMC Pulse. As boxes become full, new OV boxes are created and added to the collection.
  • Processing information: Photographs were rehoused in archival folders and boxes. When necessary, items were housed in PAT photographic preservers or polyester sleeves. The materials were generally arranged in the order as found. A large portion of the series pertains to the Photo Contest 2006. These materials were grouped together.

Alternative identifier(s)



Description control element

Rules or conventions

Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)

Sources used

Archivist's note

Processed by Alethea Drexler, 2017. Encoded by Sandra Yates, 2019.

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Accession area