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Thomas B. Turner was born in Prince Frederick, Maryland. He received his B.S. from St. John’s College in Annapolis in 1921 and his M.D. from the University of Maryland Medical School in 1925. He came to Johns Hopkins in 1927 as a Jacques Loeb fellow and later joined the faculty of the school of medicine. In 1932, Turner left Johns Hopkins to join the Rockefeller Foundation’s international health division. He returned to Johns Hopkins in 1936, and in 1939 was named professor and chairman of the department of bacteriology in the school of hygiene and public health. The department was renamed the department of microbiology in 1952 and was made a joint department with the school of medicine in 1957. Turner became the dean of the school of medicine in 1957 and held the office until 1968. During his tenure the school of medicine doubled its physical plant, added new departments, increased enrollment, and received a record amount of federal government grants and contracts. After leaving the dean’s office, Turner was named the first archivist of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. While serving as archivist he implemented a full-scale archival program and wrote a history of the medical institutions, A Heritage of Excellence. In 1982, he stepped down as archivist to head the newly-formed Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation based at Johns Hopkins.

Scope and Content

The Thomas B. Turner Collection documents Turner’s career in the department of microbiology, and as dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Included are correspondence, committee records, research records, manuscripts, and teaching notes. Turner’s research records deal mainly with studies of poliomyelitis, syphilis, and yaws. The papers also document his affiliations with the United States Public Health Service, the World Health Organization, the Rockefeller Foundation, and his activities as an alumnus of St. John’s College.

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