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John E. Bordley was born in Baltimore. He earned a Ph.B. from Yale University in 1925 and an M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in 1929. He completed a surgical internship at Union Memorial Hospital and an internship and residency in otolaryngology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1933, Bordley began his academic career in laryngology and otology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in the 118th General Hospital. He was chief of the ear, nose, and throat division from 1942 to 1944, and chief of the surgical division from 1944 to1945. In 1952, he was appointed professor and the first full-time director of the division of otolaryngology. Bordley served as director of the division until 1969, establishing the first separate speech and hearing clinic connected with a medical school. His clinical research included long-term studies of hearing loss, and he helped to devise a method using Pavlov’s conditioned reflex and the galvanic skin response to test the hearing of small children.

Scope and Content

The John E. Bordley Collection spans his career at Johns Hopkins. Series include professional correspondence, subject files, committee records, grant materials, manuscripts, speeches, photographs, newspaper clippings, slides, reprints, and other publications. The collection also contains historical materials related to the Johns Hopkins 118th General Hospital unit. The collection documents the rise of otolaryngology as a surgical specialty both at Johns Hopkins and throughout the United States.

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