Collection Number: 00666

Collection Title: J. Marion Sims Papers, 1835-1884

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


This collection was processed with support from the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1993.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 150 items)
Abstract Papers of white surgeon and gynecologist J. Marion Sims (1813-1883) include correspondence, clippings, certificates, and other items pertaining to his life and medical career. In letters of 1835-1836, Sims wrote from Mount Meigs, Ala., to his fiancée Eliza Theresa Jones (1816-1890) in South Carolina, describing the establishment of his medical practice in a new community. Sims also discussed the sale of enslaved persons, but the papers do not include any documentation of the experimental gynecological and cancer surgeries he conducted on enslaved women. In letters of 1854-1856, Sims sought support for a woman's hospital in New York City. Also included are photographs of Sims and several of his family members. Scattered items, 1861-1876, relate to his career in New York City and in France, and those of 1883-1884 are letters of condolence and memorial resolutions on his death.
Creator Sims, J. Marion (James Marion), 1813-1883.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the J. Marion Sims Papers, #666, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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James Marion Sims (1813-1883) was a surgeon and gynecologist who conducted experimental surgical procedures on enslaved women during the 1840s in Alabama. He later played a role in founding the Woman's Hospital (now a division of St. Luke's Hospital) in New York, N.Y.

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Papers include correspondence, clippings, certificates, and other items pertaining to the life and medical career of surgeon and gynecologist, J. Marion Sims (1813-1883) of Alabama and New York. In letters of 1835-1836, Sims wrote from Mount Meigs, Ala., to his fiancée Eliza Theresa Jones (1816-1890) in South Carolina, describing the establishment of his medical practice in a new community. Sims also discussed the sale of enslaved persons, but the papers do not include any documentation of the experimental gynecological and cancer surgeries he conducted on enslaved women. In letters of 1854-1856, Sims sought support for a woman's hospital in New York City. Also included are photographs of Sims and several of his family members. Scattered items, 1861-1876, relate to his career in New York City and in France, and those of 1883-1884 are letters of condolence and memorial resolutions on his death.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, March 2011

Updated: June 2019

This collection was processed with support from the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1993.

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