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Daniel Coit Gilman was born in Norwich, Connecticut. He received a B. A. from Yale University in 1852. With advanced study in geography from Harvard and two years at the American Embassy in St. Petersburg, Gilman returned to Yale in 1856 as a librarian and later professor and secretary to the board of the Sheffield Scientifc School. Gilman was the president of the University of California from 1872-1875 where he established a permanent campus and endowment funds and initiated new programs in science, engineering, philosophy and languages. In 1875 the trustees of the newly formed Johns Hopkins University recruited Gilman as its first president, a position he held for 25 years. Gilman was instrumental in the establishment of all aspects of the univesity’s educational philosophy, curriculum, and facilities, the hiring of faculty and the overall administration of the new university. As the Johns Hopkins Hospital neared completion in 1888- 1889, the joint committee of the Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital asked Gilman to design and implement an administrative organization for the new institution. Gilman served as the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s first director for six months in 1889. During that time, Gilman outlined the formal organizational structure of the hospital and hired crucial staff, all in time for the formal opeining of the hospital in May, 1889. Gilman retired as president of the university in 1901. Soon after he was appointed the first president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, a position from which he retired in 1904.

Scope and Content

The Daniel Coit Gilman Collection consists of correspondence related to his work with the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The collection is particularly strong in correspondence related to his work as director of the hospital. All documents are photocopies of original letters which are located at the university’s Special Collections, The Milton S. Eisenhower Library.

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