Bertha Van Hoosen papers
MSVanH80

 An inventory of the collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Summary Information

Repository
Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives
Creator
Van Hoosen, Bertha, 1863-1952
Title
Bertha Van Hoosen papers
ID
MSVanH80
Date [inclusive]
1931-1960
Extent
0.1 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract:
Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen was the first female faculty member of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. She experimented with the use of scopolamine-morphine anesthesia in surgery and received the highest score in the 1913 Civil Service Board examinations for gynecological staff at Cook County Hospital. Dr. Van Hoosen co-founded the Medical Women's National Association (MWNA) in 1915 and was appointed head of the obstetrics department at Loyola University's medical school in 1918.

Preferred Citation

Bertha Van Hoosen papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Biographical Sketch

Bertha Van Hoosen (1863 - 1952) was born in Stony Brook, Michigan, to Joshua and Saran Ann (Taylor) Van Hoosen. Her father, Joshua, profited from the California Gold Rush returning to Michigan in 1857 with sufficient money to buy a house and marry Bertha's mother. Bertha's mother was a schoolteacher and both parents sought to provide Bertha and her older sister with as much education as possible. She attended the Rochester Academy, Pontiac High School, and the University of Michigan.

Bertha's parents, however, were not supportive of her plans to study medicine and Bertha used money earned from teaching calisthenics and physiology to finance her professional training. Despite difficulties and occasional delays, Bertha Van Hoosen received her M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1888. She had medical residences at the Woman's Hospital in Detroit, the Michigan Asylum for the Insane in Kalamazoo, and at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Van Hoosen opened her own private practice in Chicago in 1892 and taught anatomy (without pay) at Northwestern University Woman's Medical School. She studied surgery under Byron Robinson and later headed the obstetrical department of the Chicago Hospital for Women and Children (1896 - 1899). She then joined the surgical staff of Provident Hospital, an institution that also provided service and training to African-Americans. She briefly headed the gynecology department at Northwestern University Woman's Medical School in 1901 for nine months prior to the institution's closure.

Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen later became the first female faculty member of the University of Illinois College of Medicine despite considerable opposition from male faculty. She experimented with the use of scopolamine-morphine anesthesia in surgery, received the highest score in the 1913 Civil Service Board examinations for gynecological staff at Cook County Hospital, and was ultimately appointed head of the obstetrics department at Loyola University of Chicago's medical school in 1918. Dr. Van Hoosen was a co-founder of the Medical Women's National Association (MWNA) in 1915 and supported the career of her niece, Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, who received a Ph.D. in Animal Genetics from the University of Wisconsin in 1921. Bertha Van Hoosen suffered a stroke in October 1951 and died at a convalescent home in Romeo, Michigan in 1952.

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Scope and Contents

The Bertha Van Hoosen Papers include correspondence, clippings, photographs, programs, brochures, typed manuscripts, and a book review.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives November 2004

801 S. Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60607
312.996.2742

Acquisition Information

Dr. Rose V. Menendian donated these papers to the University of Illinois at Chicago in February 1975.

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Van Hoosen, Bertha, 1863-1952 -- Archives

Subject(s)

  • Chicago Health Sciences History.

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Bibliography

Schultz, Rima Lunin and Adele Hast, eds. Women Building Chicago, 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Bertha Van Hoosen Papers 

Box Folder

Clipping, ca. 1913 

1 1

Brochure, 1931 

1 2

Book review, 1947 

1 3

Correspondence, 1947-1951 

1 4

Clippings, 1955 

1 5

Program - Mary Thompson Hospital Dinner, 1960 

1 6

American Medical Women's Association - Manuscript, undated 

1 7

Manuscript, undated 

1 8

Photograph, undated 

1 9

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