Charles Loomis Dana Papers, 1876-1932

Charles Loomis Dana Papers

Biographical Note

Biographical Statement

Dr. Charles Loomis Dana was a New York physician specializing in neurology. He was born in Woodstock, Vermont, in 1852. He got his BA at Dartmouth in 1872. He then served as secretary for Senator Morrill of Vermont in Washington, DC. While there, he studied medicine and received his MD from the National Medical College (Columbian University) in 1876. For a year, he also worked as the private secretary of Spencer F. Baird, head of the Smithsonian. He continued his medical studies at the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons, receiving another MD in 1877, and spent 2 years at Bellevue Hospital training with Austin Flint and Edward Janeway.

He then established a private practice in New York City. His connections with the neurologists Drs. Édouard Séquin, William Alexander Hammond, and George M. Beard sparked his interest in neurology; Dr. Dana maintained Dr. Beard’s practice for two summers. He remained involved with Bellevue throughout his life, developing the neurological service there.

He began his teaching career as the Professor of Physiology at the New York Women’s Medical College. From 1884-1895, he was the Professor of Diseases of the Mind and Nervous System at the Post Graduate Hospital. In 1898, he became the Professor of Diseases of the Nervous System at the Cornell University Medical College, a post he had until his retirement. He contributed to periodicals and wrote the “Text Book of Nervous Diseases,” which was first published in 1892 and went through ten editions.

Dr. Dana was very active in professional organizations, serving as president for the New York Academy of Medicine, New York Neurological Society, and American Neurological Association. He was also a founding member of the Charaka Club, a group of doctors formed to explore the historical, literary and artistic aspects of medicine. He had a deep interest in the history of medicine and wrote the “Peaks of Medical History,” published in 1926.

Dr. Dana died on December 12, 1935.

Note: Reference sources differ on many of the dates associated with Dr. Dana.

Denny-Brown, D., Rose, A. S., and Sahs, A. L. (Eds.) (1975). Centennial anniversary volume of the American Neurological Association: 1875-1975. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Peterson, F. (1936). Obituary of Dr. Charles Loomis Dana. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 12(1), 27–30.

Collection Description

Scope and Content

This collection documents Dr. Charles Loomis Dana’s medical career and professional life. His professional papers include published articles and reprints, manuscripts for speeches and books, handwritten notes, and research materials. Topics documented include: handwriting, telepathy, insanity, psychiatry, alcohol, medical history, early physicians, and printing. These records include reproductions of anatomical illustrations, frontispieces, etc., many taken from sources such as bookseller’s catalogs, as well as photographs. There are also preservation photocopies of some materials; these copies were made before the collection was acquired by the Academy and the original documents are not present.

The case records and correspondence document Dr. Dana’s medical practice from 1918-1929. They include patient histories, along with correspondence and other records related to his patients. Some of the more common conditions found in Dana's cases include depression, anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, dementia praecox, migraines, neurasthenia, psychasthenia, epilepsy, lateral sclerosis, tinnitus, encephalitis, and encephalitis lethargica.

Additional Description

North, Michael. (1997). Charles Loomis Dana: A guide to the Academy's holdings. The Watermark, XXI (1), 1-5.

Administrative Info

Finding aid written by Rebecca Pou, 2015, and based on a guide written by Marie McAndrew-Taylor, Woodstock Historical Society, 1996. The case records and correspondence were processed by Doris Strauss, 2015.

Requests for permission to quote from or publish any materials should be directed to the reference librarian or curator in writing.

Preferred Citation

Charles Loomis Dana Papers, 1876-1932. The Drs. Barry and Bobbi Coller Rare Book Reading Room, New York Academy of Medicine.


The professional papers were donated by the Woodstock Historical Society in 1996. They previously formed Series II of the Woodstock Historical Society's Charles Loomis Dana Papers. The case reports were a gift of Dr. Dana's estate.

Collection Contents

Professional Papers

Box 1    Folder 1    Case of M. Frederick Minott - 1905-1924
Box 1    Folder 2    Narcotic data - 1912-1915
Box 1    Folder 3    Partial listing of published articles
Box 1    Folder 4    Published medical papers - 1882-1889

Dana and others

Box 1    Folder 5    Published medical papers - 1890

Dana and others

Box 1    Folder 6    Published medical papers - 1891-1893

Dana and others

Box 1    Folder 7a-c    Manuscript of book - n.d.

3 folders

Box 1    Folder 8a-b    Insanity - c. 1903

2 folders

Box 1    Folder 9    Notes on value of recreation and leisure - c. 1918
Box 1    Folder 10    Anatomical notes, localization, ataxia lecture notes - n.d.
Box 1    Folder 11    Notes and papers on aphasia - 1898, 1907, 1920
Box 1    Folder 12    Handwriting examples with disorders - n.d.
Box 1    Folder 13    Handwriting and nervous diseases - 1924
Box 1    Folder 14    Medical papers - prohibition, Neurological Institute - 1929-1931
Box 1    Folder 15a-b    Relation of psychiatry to other sciences and other material - c. 1904-1929

2 folders

Box 1    Folder 16    Medical speeches - 1925-1926
Box 1    Folder 17    Readings from classics
Box 1    Folder 18    4 lectures on the peaks of medical history - 1925-1926
Box 1    Folder 19    Lectures on babies and letter to Colwell Pharm Corp - 1930
Box 1    Folder 20a-b    Speeches - medical and non-medical - 1907-1926

2 folders

Box 1    Folder 21    Public letters on alcohol, euthanasia material - n.d.
Box 1    Folder 22    Newspaper interviews - medical and non-medical - 1913-1930
Box 1    Folder 23    Telepathy - 1926
Box 1    Folder 24    New York State Commission on Mental Hygiene - 1932
Box 1    Folder 25a-b    Profiles on early medical persons

2 folders

Box 2    Folder 1a-d    Medical personalities

4 folders

Box 2    Folder 2    Handwriting and miscellaneous
Box 2    Folder 3a-e    Plates, bindings, typestyles

5 folders

Box 2    Folder 4    Nicander
Box 2    Folder 5    Antonius Musa
Box 2    Folder 6a-b    Notes and correspondence for book on medical men - c. 1908-1922

2 folders

Box 2    Folder 7    The Monroes, prepared on Scotland trip - 1927
Box 2    Folder 8    Illustrations of medical life
Box 2    Folder 9a-c    Medical history illustrations

3 folders

Box 2    Folder 10    Published articles - 1880s
Box 2    Folder 11    Published articles - 1890-1894
Box 2    Folder 12a-b    Published articles - 1895-1899

2 folders

Box 2    Folder 13    Published articles - 1900-1904
Box 2    Folder 14    Published articles - 1905-1909
Box 2    Folder 15    Published articles - 1910-1919
Box 2    Folder 16    Published articles - 1920-1926
Box 2    Folder 17    Psychological and suffrage articles - n.d.
Box 3    Folder 1    Germ theory of disease, microscopic notes - 1876
Box 3    Folder 2    Thesis - 1877
Box 3    Folder 3    Medical records and charts - 1885, 1890, 1893-1896
Box 3    Folder 4    Notes on articles, reviews - n.d.
Box 3    Folder 5    Notes and drafts for articles - n.d.
Box 3    Folder 6    Respiratory neuroses - n.d.
Box 3    Folder 7    Professional thank you note - 1918
Box 3    Folder 8    "Medicine and the humanities" - 1922
Box 3    Folder 9    Newspaper articles - 1929
Box 3    Folder 10    "Religious healing," by Alice Paulson , bibliography on hypnotism - 1926
Box 3    Folder 11    Medical history illustrations
Box 4    Printed medical articles and pamphlets - 1876-1889

54 items

Box 5    Printed medical articles and pamphlets - 1890-1898

57 items

Case Reports

A name index to the patients is available.
Box 6    Case reports and correspondence - 1918-1919
Box 7    Case reports and correspondence - 1919-1920
Box 8    Case reports and correspondence - 1920-1921
Box 9    Case reports and correspondence - 1921-1923
Box 10    Case reports and correspondence - 1923-1925
Box 11    Case reports and correspondence - 1925-1929

Find Similar Resources

The Woodstock Historical Society has a collection of Dr. Dana's papers, which includes personal papers and materials related to his non-medical writing.

Dana materials can be found in some of the Academy's other archival collections, including its own institutional archives and the Charaka Club Records. The Academy also has an oil portrait of Dr. Dana.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The New York Academy of Medicine Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Dana, Charles L. (Charles Loomis), 1852-1935Search ArchiveGrid
Medical illustrationSearch ArchiveGrid
Medicine -- HistorySearch ArchiveGrid
Medicine -- New York (State) -- New YorkSearch ArchiveGrid
NeurologistsSearch ArchiveGrid
NeurologySearch ArchiveGrid
PsychiatrySearch ArchiveGrid