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Clelia Duel Mosher was born in Albany, New York. She enrolled at Wellesley College in 1889 and transferred in her junior year to the University of Wisconsin. For her final year, she transferred to Stanford University where she received an A.B. in zoology in 1893 and an A.M. in physiology in 1894. Mosher graduated with an M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1900. She was a gynecology assistant at Dr. Howard A. Kelly’s sanitarium in Baltimore and an externe at the Johns Hopkins Hospital dispensary from 1900 to 1901. She returned to Palo Alto, California, and established a private medical practice. In 1910, she joined the Stanford faculty as an associate professor of personal hygiene. She became professor emeritus in 1929. Her research focused on women’s health issues such as female physiology, hygiene, and sexual attitudes. While a student at the University of Wisconsin, she developed a survey and collected data over a twenty-year span noting the sexual habits and attitudes of a group of women born prior to 1890. Although Mosher never published the information, her work is considered a pioneer effort in assessing nineteenth-century women’s sexuality.

Scope and Content

The Clelia Duel Mosher Collection contains student notebooks (1896-1897) and some letters (1903-1924) addressed to William H. Howell. The notebooks have anatomical drawings and notes from lectures in bacteriology, pathology, and physiology. The lecture notes include topics presented by William H. Welch and Simon Flexner.

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