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John Rathbone Oliver was born in Albany, New York. He received his A.B. in 1894 from Harvard University, his M.D. in 1910 from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and his Ph.D. in 1926 from the Johns Hopkins University. He also graduated from the General Theological Seminary, New York, in 1900. Until World War I, Oliver studied under Sigmund Freud. During the war, he served as a medical officer in the Austrian army.

In 1915, he returned to the United States and joined the staff of the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Oliver later became associate professor of the history of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the faculty of the medical school at the University of Maryland. He was on the clergy staff at Mount Calvary Episcopal Church in Baltimore for 13 years. Oliver developed a reputation as a criminologist through his work as a psychiatrist in the courts of Baltimore. He was also renowned as a classicist, a collector of rare books, and a novelist.

Scope and Content

The John Rathbone Oliver Collection covers the earlier part of his career and emphasizes his scholarly interests. It includes notebooks, correspondence, lecture notes, photographs, and patient logs. A manuscript entitled Specimen Historico-Medicum de Corporis Hippicratici Doctrina Neurologico-Psychiatrica is accompanied by its source material. Personal items include photographs, poems, and memorabilia.

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