Reference Files

Bertner, Ernst William. "E. W. Bertner, MD, FACS (1889-1950): Cancer Fighter and First Presi... Hermann Hospital Annual Report Hermann Hospital Patient Booklet Hermann Hospital, The Mirtha G. Dunn Interfaith Chapel Hermann Hospital Annual Report Iron Lung Oral History 2018 Agenda for the Archival Music Project Groups review archival materials Archival materials exhibited in reading room Musicians collaborate in the archive stacks Musicians perform original songs Video. Musicians perform original songs Video. Musicians perform original songs Video. Musicians perform original songs Nursing Book Club Tom Wheeler Audio Interview Sara Rozin Video Interview Boris Yoffe Video Interview Ridha Arem Video Interview Robert Emery Video Interview Tomoko Steen Video Interview Tom Abrahams Video Interview Randy Wright Video Interview Teresa Hayes Video Interview Neal Palafox Video Interview

Identity elements

Reference code


Level of description



Reference Files


  • 1970s-2000s (Creation)


30 linear feet (9 file drawers)

Name of creator


Administrative history

The McGovern Historical Center (MHC) is the historical and special collections department for The TMC Library. The MHC maintains rare book and archival collections. Artificial collections have been created to provide access to materials without clear provenance in order to increase discoverability.

The earliest acquisition records for the books in the MHC are found in the Houston Academy of Medicine’s (HAM) Library Committee reports for 1935 and 1936. Thirty Fellows of the Academy raised $300 to purchase a collection of 275 French medical books published between 1730 and 1830. In 1949, HAM and Baylor College of Medicine combined their medical libraries. In anticipation of the completion of the Jesse H. Jones Building for the library, the MD Anderson Foundation purchased the rheumatology collection of a New York physician, Dr. Reginald Burbank. This purchase was followed by a gift from the Cora and Webb Mading Foundation of more than 1,000 titles on sanitation and communicable diseases. After the 1954 dedication of the library building, many physicians donated books or historical pamphlets to be stored in a very small, locked room on the second floor. Soon after his arrival in Houston, Dr. McGovern became one of the Library’s most staunch supporters, annually supplying funds for the purchase of rare books and travel support for the librarians to attend meetings of the American Association for the History of Medicine. In 1977, The Library formed a new department with new quarters to collect historical materials and to enhance the rare book collections. In 1982, Dr. McGovern donated his personal collection of rare and historical books to the Library. In 1996 the Library’s Board of Directors named the historical department in his honor.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Reference Files of the Historical Research Center is a collection of materials compiled by archivists. The collection deals with items of historical note regarding the history of medicine in Houston, in Texas or related to the Texas Medical Center. The Reference Files house materials that are of interest but may not warrant a named archival collection because the materials may consist of copies, lack adequate provenance, or simply not be rich enough in detail. However, the Reference Files provide insight and helpful historical information to researchers. The files include news stories, articles and scholarly papers written by journalists, scholars, and historians who used McGovern Historical Center materials for research. The material deals with all aspects of the history of medicine in Texas. The files, also contain information on institutions, leaders in the medical community, Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission files, Houston medical history, and items related to the foundation of medicine in the Houston area. Formats include newspaper clippings, magazine articles, pamphlets, and papers. Languages are predominately English with some Japanese.

System of arrangement

Files are arranged in alphabetical order. Note: Folders are filed with family name first. For the most part, Asian names, particularly Japanese names, are shown with the family name in all capital letters. This is a standard method for denoting non-Western family names. Family names in all capital letters help Westerners who are unfamiliar with Japanese or Chinese spellings to determine the family name of an individual.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Open for research

Physical access

Materials are in good condition.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Most of the collection is open for research, copyright restrictions may apply. Consult an archivist for more information. Call 713-799-7899 or email

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Japanese

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

The Reference File collection began in the 1970s.

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


New items are added to the collection continuously.

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Specific citations should be based on individual items.
  • Processing information: The original creation date for this inventory is February 4, 2014. This document is regularly revised as new items are added.

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Archivist's note

Inventory converted and reviewed by Sandra Yates and Gina Leonard, 2021.

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places