Thomas D. Dow, DDS papers

Identity elements

Reference code

MS 241

Level of description



Thomas D. Dow, DDS papers


  • 1884-1944 (Creation)


0.25 cubic feet (1 box)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Thomas Davidson Dow, DDS was a Michigan dentist who built an extensive collection of books on dentistry and the records of state dental societies. Dr. Dow was born in Ontario in 1876. He graduated from the University of Michigan dental school in 1900 and went on the practice in Stanton, Michigan until his retirement in 1947. He served as historian for the Michigan State Dental Association, publishing numerous articles in its Journal, and receiving the Association's Centennial Award in 1956. He died on January 29, 1960, in Marne, Michigan.

Dr. Dow collected for more than fifty years, ultimately amassing what was referred to as "the largest privately owned dental library in the country." Dr. Dow's collection was international and, while focused on late 19th century and early 20th century works, contained some manuscripts dating to the 1600s.

In 1960 the University of Texas Dental Branch (UTDB) Library purchased his collection. In 2010, Dr. Dow’s collection and other historical books on dentistry were transferred to The TMC Library.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection contains materials related to Thomas D. Dow's collecting of books and journals on dentistry. Correspondence and book lists make up the bulk of the materials, which date from 1884-1944.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Material is open for research.

Physical access

Materials are in good condition

Technical 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


In 1960, following Dr. Dow's death, the University of Texas Dental Branch (UTDB) Library purchased his collection of dental books and journals.

Immediate source of acquisition

In 2010, Dr. Dow’s collection and other historical books on dentistry were transferred from the University of Texas Dental Branch to The TMC Library. It is presumed that the correspondence and other materials in this small archival collection accompanied the larger book collection.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


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Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Processing information: Collection processed by Matt Richardson, September 2021
  • Citation: Thomas D. Dow, DDS Papers, MS 241; McGovern Research Center, Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.

Alternative identifier(s)



Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS 2021

Sources used

Archivist's note

Matt Richardson, September 2021

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