McArthur, Janet W. Papers, 1939-2005 (inclusive), 1988-2000 (bulk). H MS c326


McArthur, Janet W. Papers, 1939-2005 (inclusive), 1988-2000 (bulk). H MS c326

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The Janet W. McArthur Papers are the product of McArthur?s career as a professor and researcher in gynecology and endocrinology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital from 1943 to 1984. The bulk of the collection comes from the end of her career (1988-2000); earlier records are primarily professional correspondence. Professional activities records include raw research data about polycystic ovary syndrome and exercise, correspondence about research and medical students, and subject files. Manuscripts include drafts and correspondence regarding articles authored by McArthur about polycystic ovary syndrome. Personal papers contain photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings, correspondence, and notebooks addressing subjects of interest (medicine, women in medicine) and McArthur?s religious faith. The collection also contains a complete set of her reprints and miscellaneous honoraria.

Janet Ward McArthur (1914-2006), was Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology (1972-1984) at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Vincent Memorial Hospital Laboratory (1977-1979) at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research interests included the thyroid gland, use of bioassays, menstruation, ovulation, polycystic ovary syndrome, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and the hormonal effects of exercise. She discovered that levels of LH peak during the middle of the menstrual cycle, triggering ovulation; LH is present in pre-pubertal children; and menopause coincides with increases in LH and FSH. She also investigated the relationships between LH and polycystic ovary syndrome, and between weight loss and menstruation.

The McArthur Papers are arranged into five series: Series I. Professional Activities Records, 1946-2002. Series II. Manuscripts and Related Materials, 1988-2000. Series III. Article Reprints, 1939-1995. Series IV. Certificates and Honoraria, 1945-1992. Series V. Personal Papers, 1940-2005.

Papers in the collection are in English.

Please note that digitized items found in this community are selections from a collection consisting of 5 boxes. Please also note that keyword searches retrieve information from the titles assigned to digitized items. Records were scanned and saved as image files, and therefore are not keyword searchable.

Subjects, individuals, and corporate entities addressed in the McArthur Papers include:
Gynecology -- Research.

Endocrinology -- Research.

Polycystic ovary syndrome -- Endocrine aspects -- Research.

Women in Medicine.

Scientists -- Religious life -- Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.

Harvard Medical School -- Study and Teaching.

Harvard Medical School -- Faculty.

Massachusetts General Hospital -- Faculty.

Vincent Memorial Hospital.

Van Wagenen, Gertrude, 1893-

Reproductive Medicine


Hormones -- physiology


Laboratory notebooks


Please browse the following groups of records for digitized items from the collection. For information about using the collection, please contact the Center for the History of Medicine: 617.432.2170 or email the Center at:

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For more information about the McArthur Papers, please see the collection finding aid .

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