This is personal collection of medical medallions acquired by John P. McGovern, MD. There are 188 medals, three of which are numbered and stored as pairs.
The collection consists of 6 large boxes, totaling 6.0 cubic feet, of medical medallions dating from the late 1700s to the 20th century. Many of the medals were produced as commemorative items in the 1960s and 1970s. The bulk of the medals come from the Great Men of Medicine Art Medals series. The collection contains two complete sets of the 50 medals, in both the silver and bronze versions. These were sculpted by Abram Belskie and distributed by Presidential Art Medals, Inc. of Vandalia, Ohio, from 1969 to 1974. In addition to the medals themselves, these commemorative series also include pamphlets describing the medals and the accomplishments of the figures portrayed.
A second group of modern medals includes examples from the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at New York University, presented by the Medallic Art Company and also sculpted by Belskie. In addition, there are several examples of the medals issued for the Medical Library Association's Seventy-fifth Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota in June of 1976.
The remaining 70 or so items are historical medallions ranging in dates from at least 1773 to 1971, though many of them are undated. Many of them recognize physicians, hospitals, organizations, events, or developments in medicine. Many are in English, while others appear to be in Latin, French, or other languages. Many of these arrived in the archives in envelopes with accompanying notes with information such as their size, composition, and sculptor. These notes have been added to the descriptions of individual medallions when available.
Many of the medals--particularly modern ones--arrived at the archives in their original boxes. These have been retained and are stored along with the medals, separated by tissue paper for preservation reasons.