In Her Own Right

Martha Tracy Papers

Date range 1850 – 1948
Creator Martha Tracy
Abstract Martha Tracy was a student (1904), professor and influential dean (1917-1941) at Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP). This collection includes publications by Tracy and other physicians, mostly concerning cancer [1894-1916]; documentation of activity as WMCP Dean; history of the school and Tracy's original cartoons and verse 'Ye Medical Student's Primer' (1904). Tracy's writings include coverage of cancer, preventive medicine, women in medicine, and ethics.
Description Martha Tracy (1875-1942) was dean of Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP) from 1918 to 1940. Some of these materials, including several materials about the history of WMCP, speak to an earlier era, including continued attempts at increased professional standing. Speeches and printed materials, meanwhile, demonstrate how justifications for women's participation in medicine had changed (or not) in the half century since Preston served as dean. Other documents, including correspondence with such women as Anna Howard Shaw and Lucretia Blankenburg, demonstrate the connection between WMC and others aspects of the women's rights movement, as well as its continued participation in missionary work. The collection includes several photographs of Tracy.
Research interest Historians of professionalization will find materials on the extent to which WMCP had attained professional standing by this point, as well as the continued difficulties the institution faced. Historians of feminism, meanwhile, will be interested to note the continued salience of arguments about both women's similarities to and differences from men as justification for their participation in medicine. Researchers hoping to learn more about Tracy's life will also find much of interest, as posthumous memorials provide significant biographical material.
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Contributing institution Drexel University College of Medicine Legacy Center
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