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W. W. Russell was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended the Pennsylvania Military Academy, and after his graduation in 1887 entered the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, where he received his M.D. in 1890. He interned in gynecology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. After completing his residency there, he joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1895. He remained at Johns Hopkins as associate professor of clinical gynecology until his death in 1923.

Scope and Content

The W.W. Russell Collection spans his career at Johns Hopkins. It consists of correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs. Russell developed lifelong friendships with many Johns Hopkins associates, and his papers reflect these friendships and the warm collegial atmosphere reported by many in the early days of the hospital. His correspondents include John G. Clark, who served with him on the gynecology staff, and William H. Baltzell, who was a surgical resident. There are many letters (1893-1921) from his mentor, Howard A. Kelly, professor of gynecology. These letters provide news of faculty and staff and information relating to the department of gynecology. Other correspondents include: William Osler, William Welch, William Halsted, Henry Hurd, William B. Thayer, and Lewellys Barker. There are several folders labeled “letters from well-known people” and “distinguished friends.” The papers include an extensive series of letters written by Russell to his parents while he traveled in Europe visiting numerous clinics from 1894-1895. In addition, the collection contains some correspondence of his close friend John Goodrich Clark, who left Johns Hopkins to become professor of gynecology at University of Pennsylvania.

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