Chesney Archives
Search Menu


William H. Howell was born in Baltimore. He attended the Johns Hopkins University as an undergraduate and graduate student, receiving his A.B. in 1881 and his Ph.D. in 1884. He was a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University from 1884 until 1889, and then served on the faculties of the University of Michigan and Harvard University. He returned to Johns Hopkins in 1893 to become the first professor of physiology in the school of medicine. Howell succeeded Osler as dean of the medical faculty in 1899 and held the position for twelve years. In 1918, Howell was appointed assistant director, and later director, of the newly formed school of hygiene and public health, where he remained until his retirement in 1931. He was the author of the Textbook of Physiology for Medical Students and Physicians. Most of Howell’s research was devoted to the physiology and pathology of blood. He was also a leader in curriculum reform and was an early and ardent advocate for the standardization of medical education throughout the United States.

Scope and Content

The William H. Howell Collection spans his entire career. Series include correspondence (1897-1937), laboratory notebooks (1907-1935), reprints (1884-1945), manuscripts, bibliographies, and research notes. Memorabilia include diplomas, certificates, and Howell’s academic cap and gown. The collection is a resource for studying the development of physiology at Johns Hopkins.

Catalog Record

Additional Links

Finding Aid for the Records of the Deanship of William Howell Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1899-1911)

Finding Aid for the Records of the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Director/Dean’s Office, William H. Welch and William H. Howell Correspondence (1916-1927)

Finding Aid for the Records of the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Director /Dean’s Office, William H. Howell Correspondence (1927-1931)

Policy on Access and Use
Permissions and Credits

Support the Archives