Thomas R. Cole, PhD papers

2007 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2008 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2009 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2010 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2011 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2012 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2013 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2014 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2015 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2016 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2017 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2018 Faculty Meeting Minutes 2019 Faculty Meeting Minutes Faculty Meeting Project Updates

Identity elements

Reference code

MS 225

Level of description



Thomas R. Cole, PhD papers


  • 1973-2019, undated (Creation)


32.75 cubic feet (66 boxes)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Thomas R. Cole was born in 1949 in New Haven, Connecticut. He graduated with his bachelor’s in Philosophy from Yale University in 1971, and he would finish his Master’s in History in 1975 at Wesleyan University. Dr. Cole obtained his PhD. in History from the University of Rochester in 1981.

Dr. Cole has held many faculty positions at various universities throughout his career. The bulk of his work and research was and is conducted between 1982-2019 at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He has worked in several departments: the Institute for Medical Humanities, School of Public Health, Department of Family Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Institute for the Medical Humanities, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. His research conducted here has been dedicated to the writing of several articles, books, and films on Aging and (Humanistic) Gerontology. Dr. Cole’s work is concerned with how society and the medical field view Aging and the ethical practice of medicine, especially within Geriatrics. He has published several books and articles on Aging that have been published in a variety of medical journals and international publications. Dr. Cole’s work also reflects the passion he has for autobiography and the telling of an individual’s ‘story.’ Cole has hosted several writing workshops and other programs to help people record their life’s memories. This passion has also led him to produce films such as The Strange Demise of Jim Crow and books such as No Color is My Kind: The Life of Eldrewey Stearns and the Desegregation of Houston. He has earned numerous awards and mentions for his extensive work.

As of 2020, Dr. Cole was the McGovern chair in the Medical Humanities Department as well as the Director of the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He has served on several committees. Dr. Cole plans to publish Old Man Country: My Search for Meaning Among the Elders in the Fall of 2019; this book’s research materials are now found within his papers.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Thomas R. Cole, PhD papers consists of scholarly projects and history of the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics in the University of Texas' McGovern Medical School. The papers include articles, journals, monographs, correspondence, notes, transcripts, books, syllabi, DVDs/CDs, Betacam tapes, cassettes, realia, and research primarily chronicling Dr. Cole’s professional career.

The collection contains materials documenting Dr. Cole’s research in gerontology. Dr. Cole’s articles and drafts of these articles are found within the papers and include reviews of his publications. Some of the books Dr. Cole published are also in the collection. There is a significant amount of correspondence between Dr. Cole and his colleagues, publishers, and contributors. There are materials relating to his projects, teaching, and presentations and events. In addition to his role at the University of Texas and in the Texas Medical enter, the collection reflects his involvement in professional organizations, conferences, and events. Small portions of the collection concerns postdocs as well as expenses and contracts. The AV materials and digital media are products of Dr. Cole’s numerous lectures, university courses, talks, and publications.

The subject scope of the collection includes: Gerontology, Aging, Social gerontology, Science and the humanities, Humanities, Civil Rights, and Medical ethics.

System of arrangement

The initial donation(s) were arranged into Series 1-3. Series 4 corresponds to the 2019 digital-only donation. The 2022 donation is arranged into Series 5-9. The exception is digital media from the 2022 donation, which has been added to Series 3.

The collection is arranged in the following series:
Series 1: Journey of Life Project and Other Projects
Series 2: Professional Papers
Series 3: Digital Media and AV Materials
Series 4: Faculty Meeting, Minutes (Digital Submissions)
Series 5: Sacred Vocation
Series 6: Teaching
Series 7: Presentations and Events
Series 8: Postdocs
Series 9: Expenses and Contracts

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Open for research.

Physical access

Materials are in good condition.

Technical access

Digital and audiovisual materials need equipment to access.

Conditions governing reproduction

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

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids


Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Deed-1. This collection was in possession of Thomas R. Cole, PhD and the UT McGovern Medical School's Center for Humanities and Ethics until the end of August 2019. At the end of August the records were transferred to the McGovern Historical Center. A deed of gift has been signed.

Immediate source of acquisition

Thomas R. Cole donated 17 boxes on 9/24/2019. A digital submission of 169 files took place in 2019. He donated an additional 10 physical boxes in December 2022.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Accruals may occur for this collection.

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Thomas R. Cole, PhD papers; MS 225; McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.
  • Processing information: Rehoused in 0.5 cubic foot boxes and archival folders. Name folders: Some folder names may be reformatted. Remove rusty paper clips and staples. Weed multi copies of materials. Only keep two. Binder contents need to be rehoused in archival folders.
  • Processing information: Separated and inventory audiovisual (AV) materials and digital media (DM) into AV and DM sections. Process and store born-digital materials in Digital Collection Drive (DCD).
  • Processing information: Restrict PSI: Must also review boxes w/ financial records. Also restrict patient slides.
  • Processing information: Updated inventory for 2022 accrual by Alethea Drexler. Front matter and series descriptions reviewed with minor updates by Matt Richardson, April 2023.

Alternative identifier(s)



Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Archivist's note

Front matter and series descriptions reviewed with minor updates by Matt Richardson, April 2023. ted inventory for 2022 accrual by Alethea Drexler. F

Access points

Place access points

Accession area