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The William H. Howell Collection

  • Creator: Howell, William Henry (1860 - 1945)

  • Collection Date: 1882 - 1945

  • Extent: 4 linear feet

William H. Howell
by Cecilia Beaux
oil on canvas, 43 by 30 inches, 1911


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.

Hopkins Affiliations

1884 - 1889 Johns Hopkins Hospital
1893 - 1945 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
1918 - 1931 Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health

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. Additional original material pertaining to Howell can be found in correspondence of the Office of the Dean from both the school of medicine and the school of hygiene.

Policy on Access and Use

This collection may contain some restricted records. Materials pertaining to patients, students, employees, and human research subjects, as well as unprocessed collections and recent administrative records, carry restrictions on access. For more information about the policies and procedures for access, see Policy on Access and Use.

Permissions and Credits

When citing material from this collection, credit The Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. For permission to reproduce images, contact the holder of the copyright.

For permissions:
archives at jhmi dot edu.