Lucius E. Burch Papers
Collection Number 12

Summary Information

Lucius E. Burch
Repository
EBL Manuscripts Collection
Creator
Burch, Lucius E.
Title
Lucius E. Burch Papers
Date [inclusive]
1818 - 1959
Extent
3.0 Cubic feet
Abstract
Personal papers of Lucius Burch, Vanderbilt alumnus, Dean of the Medical School and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This collection consists primarily of Burch's diaries covering the period 1921-1959, also includes some family correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

Preferred Citation

Lucius E. Burch Papers. Eskind Biomedical Library Special Collections, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.

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Historical or Biographical Note

Lucius E. Burch (1874-1959) was a surgeon, professor, dean, and editor. He was a major participant in the reorganization of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, working with Chancellor James Kirkland, Abraham Flexner and G. Canby Robinson.

Dr. Burch was born in 1874 in Nashville. He attended the Webb School in Bell Buckle and was a star football player at Vanderbilt in the 1890's. Receiving his M.D. degree in 1896, Dr. Burch practiced briefly in Bear Spring, Tennessee before studying surgery at St. George's Hospital in London in 1897. Dr. Burch was a professor of gynecology at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine from 1904-1945. He was dean of the Medical School from 1914-1925. After service in France during World War I, he returned to play a key role in the transition between the old medical school and the new one. While supporting the changes proposed by Chancellor Kirkland and Dean-Elect G. Canby Robinson (a new medical school and hospital on the west campus and introduction of a full-time faculty), Dr. Burch upheld the position of the old, local, part-time faculty.

On retiring as dean in 1925, Dr. Burch was appointed chairman of Vanderbilt's department of gynecology and obstetrics, where he served another twenty years. In addition, he continued an active private practice. Dr. Lucius Burch served as president of the Nashville Academy of Medicine and as editor of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 1929, he was elected president of the Southern Surgical Association.

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Collection Scope and Content Summary

Personal papers of Lucius Burch, Vanderbilt alumnus, Dean of the Medical School and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This collection consists primarily of Burch's diaries covering the period 1921-1959, also includes some family correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Also included are typescripts and notes on letters of the maternal grandparents of Sarah Polk Cooper Burch and the family letters of the paternal grandfather of Lucius E. Burch. Dates on these letters range from 1818-1897.

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Administrative Information

Notes about Access to this Collection

All collections are subject to applicable VUMC privacy and confidentiality policies. Collection specific restrictions: No Restrictions.

Reproduction Rights

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Subject Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Burch, Lucius E.

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

  • MeSH Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Hospital
  • MeSH Surgery--history
  • MeSH Vanderbilt University. School of Medicine--history

Other Keywords - Digital Library Subjects

  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Surgery
  • Vanderbilt Alumni

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Collection Inventory

Series 01: Diaries and Papers of Lucius E. Burch, MD  

Box Folder

1921 Diary

1 --

1922 Diary

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1922 Folder, including: 1. Commencement program for Vanderbilt University (June 14, 1922). 2. Report card for John C. Burch, third-year student at Vanderbilt School of Medicine (June 15, 1922). 3. Telegram, John C. Burch to Lucius E. Burch, a

1 --

1923 Diary

1 --

1924 Diary

1 --

1925 Diary

1 --

1926 Diary

1 --

1927 Diary

1 --

1928 Diary

1 --

1929 Diary

1 --

1929 Folder, including: 1. Fishing log (May-June, 1929) for one of Dr. Burch's annual trips to Boca Grande, Florida. 2. News clipping (June, 1929) relating to delivered by Sir Henry Thornton, Canadian railway president and coach of Vanderbilt's

1 --

Diary (1926) kept by John C. Burch. M.D., containing detailed case notes (January, 1926 only).

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1930 Diary

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1930 Folder, including: 1. Card of the polish ambassador, T. Filipowicz (see diary entry, May 18, 1930). 2. News clipping announcing Miss Rachel Buntin's engagement to Dr. John C. Burch (July 1, 1930). 3. News clipping on the Burch-Buntin wed

2 --

1931 Diary

2 --

1931 Folder, including: 1. Typescript: entry for Dr. Burch in the National Cyclopedia of American Biography (dated 3-13-29). 2. News clipping of Vanderbilt's 1931 football team, including Lucius Burch, Jr. (September 20, 1931).

2 --

1932 Diary

2 --

1932 Folder, including: 1. Obituary for Dr. Burch's brother Robert (April, 1932). 2. Letter from Dr. Arthur H. Curtis of Evanston, Illinois congratulating Dr. Burch on his paper on mortality in hysterectomy (April 17, 1932). 3. Letter from Mr. an

Scope and Contents note

1932 Folder, including: 1. Obituary for Dr. Burch's brother Robert (April, 1932). 2. Letter from Dr. Arthur H. Curtis of Evanston, Illinois congratulating Dr. Burch on his paper on mortality in hysterectomy (April 17, 1932). 3. Letter from Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Baker of Nashville thanking Dr. Burch for donating blood to Mrs. Hale (April 17, 1932). 4. Fishing log from trip to Boca Grande, Florida (May, 1932). 5. Letter from Dr. J.G. Bridges of Gordonsville (June 7, 1932) congratulating Dr. Burch on performing a difficult Caesarian delivery. A newspaper article, "Mrs. Moss recovering from Serious Operation," accompanies the letter. 6. Note from Lucius Burch to his parents at Beersheba, asking for his shotgun and other supplies for a hunting trip (August, 1932). 7. Letter from Flora M. Lillentine (?) enclosing check and thanking Dr. Burch for professional services (September 14, 1932). 8. Vanderbilt Medical School Commencement book (1926). 9. Clipping from the Memphis Commercial Appeal, ca. 1907: Mrs. Burch returns to Nashville after attending a wedding in Memphis. 10. Abstract of Dr. Burch's article "The Diagnosis and Treatment of Uterine Bleeding"(1934)

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1933 Diary

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1933 Folder, including: 1. Two newspaper clippings detailing Dr. Burch's capture of a record (192 lb.) tarpon during his annual fishing trip to Boca Grande, Florida (May 24, 1933).

2 --

1934 Diary

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1935 Diary

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1935 Folder, including: 1. Newspaper photograph of Lucius "Birch" (Jr.) as president of the Vanderbilt Law School honor council. Also pictured is Robert Horsley, the retiring president.

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1936 Diary

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1936 Folder, including: 1. Admission tickets and receipts for Dr. Burch's admission to the study of surgery and tropical diseases at St. George's Hospital medical School in London (1898). 2. Typescript of a poem, "Success," by A.D. Armstrong. 3.

Scope and Contents note

1936 Folder, including: 1. Admission tickets and receipts for Dr. Burch's admission to the study of surgery and tropical diseases at St. George's Hospital medical School in London (1898). 2. Typescript of a poem, "Success," by A.D. Armstrong. 3. Postage stamp bearing the likeness of Edward VIII. 4. Photograph of Vanderbilt's Class of 1896, made at Belle Meade Country Club (June 7, 1936). Dr. Burch is in the top row on extreme left.

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1937 Diary

2 --

1937 Folder, including: 1. Program of the quarterly meeting of the Central Medical Society in Jackson, Mississippi, including a talk made by Dr. Burch (March 2, 1937). 2. Newspaper clipping of the Hindenburg disaster (May 7, 1937). 3. Letter

2 --

1938 Diary (entries for June 22-26 are contained on an insert)

3 --

1938 folder, including: 1. Receipt for funds paid to the Springfield Production Credit Association by the Burches (January 25, 1938). 2. Letter to Dr. Burch from "Rachel" (possibly his former daughter-in-law, since she addresses him as "father")

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1939 Diary

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1939 Folder, including: 1. Letter from Dr. George Crile of the American College of Surgeons (January 27, 1939) thanking Dr. Burch for his role in success of Nashville sectional meeting. 2. Newspaper cartoon "Side Glances" (April 24, 1939). 3.

3 --

1940 Diary

3 --

1940 folder, including: 1. Article, "Come to the Assistance of Finland," sent to Dr. Burch from Dr. Gunnar Nystrom, a former Flexner lecturer at Vanderbilt. Also included is one of Dr. Nystom's business cards (envelope dated January 3, 1940).

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1941 Diary

3 --

1941 Folder, including: 1. Photograph of S.S. Manhattan, aground in Florida (January 12, 1941). 2. Photographs of the June, 1941 reunion of the Vanderbilt Class of 1896, including Dr. Burch. 3. Letter from Dr. Tinsley Harrison (June 16, 1941), writte

Scope and Contents note

1941 Folder, including: 1. Photograph of S.S. Manhattan, aground in Florida (January 12, 1941). 2. Photographs of the June, 1941 reunion of the Vanderbilt Class of 1896, including Dr. Burch. 3. Letter from Dr. Tinsley Harrison (June 16, 1941), written upon leaving Vanderbilt to thank Dr. Burch for his friendship and professional assistance. 4. "Films (negatives) of Sarah, Elsie & Edith," the Burches' grandchildren. Envelope dated August 20, 1941. 5. Sunday School card belonging to Sarah Burch. 6. News clipping: "Bronze Tablet Is Unveiled at Dover" (November 4, 1941), describing a memorial erected by Dr. Burch to his father, Colonel John C. Burch of the Ft. Donelson garrison. Also included is a brochure on Ft. Donelson Military Park. 7. News clipping on Frances (Mrs. John C.) Burch, undated.

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1942 Diary

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1942 Folder, including: 1. News clipping: "Extension of Democracy Thru World Is Imperative" (talk made by Lucius Burch, Jr., January 24, 1942). 2. Notarized copy of Lucius Edward Burch's baptism at Christ Church, Nashville, February 10, 1888.

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1943 Diary

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1943 Folder, including: 1. Letter from Chancellor O.C. Carmichael of Vanderbilt (February 4, 1943) reappointing Dr. Burch as Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and setting forth the terms of his eventual retirement. 2. News clipping (March 5

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1944 Diary

4 --

1944 Folder, including: 1. Post card announcing the regular meeting of the Nashville Academy of Medicine, May 30, 1905, during Dr. Burch's tenure as president. 2. "Vignettes of Vanderbilt" from the Vanderbilt Alumnus (September, 1944). Articl

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1945 Diary

4 --

1945 Folder, including: 1. Wedding announcement for Katherine Newell Burch and Leslie Warner (November 13, 1880). 2. Photograph of Col. John C. Burch, with his sons John and Lucius, at Ft. Sam Houston (January 1, 1945). 3. Newspaper clipping:

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1946 Diary

4 --

1946 Folder, including: 1. Editorial from Nashville Tennesseean praising the work of a Nashville Academy of Medicine committee on hospital needs (April 18, 194[6]). The committee was chaired by Dr. John C. Burch. 2. Letter to Mrs. John C. Burch

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1947 Diary

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1947 Folder, including: 1. Memorial resolution by Calvary Church in honor of John C. Burch, Dr. Burch's brother (January 28, 1947). 2. Letter from Dr. William Witt and others to Mrs. Lucius E. Burch regarding her role as "Quinq Queen" at the class r

Scope and Contents note

1947 Folder, including: 1. Memorial resolution by Calvary Church in honor of John C. Burch, Dr. Burch's brother (January 28, 1947). 2. Letter from Dr. William Witt and others to Mrs. Lucius E. Burch regarding her role as "Quinq Queen" at the class reunion of Vanderbilt Class of 1896 (undated, but pre-June 4, 1947). 3. Message to Dr. and Mrs. Burch at Beersheba (July 16, 1947): "Mr. & Mrs. P[aul] Davis cannot come up." 4. Daily cash report for the Burch Clinic, October 22, 1947. 5. Inspirational quotation by Charles Kingsley (typed), with another in Dr. Burch's hand. Undated. 6. Memorandum (presumably by Lucius Burch, Jr.) on "Whether the Tennessee legislature may authorize a particular county to levy a local sales tax..." (undated). 7. Letters from the Burches' granddaughter Sarah and her sisters, along with report cards, greeting cards, etc. Of particular interest is a story about the Burches and Buffalo Bill.

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1948 Diary

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1948 Folder, including: 1. News clipping (January 11, 1948): replacement of Broadway viaduct in downtown Nashville. 2. Letter from Rev. Charles L. Widney to Sarah Burch (April 1, 1948), referring to her confirmation. 3. Letter from Donald M. Pear

Scope and Contents note

1948 Folder, including: 1. News clipping (January 11, 1948): replacement of Broadway viaduct in downtown Nashville. 2. Letter from Rev. Charles L. Widney to Sarah Burch (April 1, 1948), referring to her confirmation. 3. Letter from Donald M. Pearsall, chairman of the Vanderbilt Dormitory Committee, asking his support against eviction of upperclassmen from the Vanderbilt dormitories (April 29, 1948). A copy of the committee's report is also present. 4. Letter from Dr. Burch to President Harry S. Truman (June 28, 1948), offering information on philanthropic organizations and wishing him success in the November election. 5. News clippings of Dr. Burch and his granddaughters (one undated; one July 9, 1948). 6. Post card from Sarah Burch to Rosabell Crawford, Dr. Burch's cook (August 25, 1948). 7. Minutes of the Vanderbilt Hospital Committee (November 15, 1948), with an accompanying list of subjects for discussion. 8. Text of telegrams to Dr. Burch (December 9, 1948) regarding Dr. John D. Burch's selection as secretary of the Southern Surgical Assocation. 9. Handwritten letter from Estes Kefauver to Sarah Burch ("Tuesday" December 14, 1948), thanking her for a handkerchief. Sarah's father, Lucius Burch Jr., managed Kefauver's successful 1948 senatorial campaign. 10. Letters and other material from the Burch grandchildren.

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1949 Diary

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1949 Folder, including: 1. Statement regarding financial arrangements connected with Dr. Burch's retirement from the Burch Clinic (effective January 1, 1949). 2. Letter from Lucius Burch, Jr. to Dr. John Burch (February 12, 1949) regarding financial

Scope and Contents note

1949 Folder, including: 1. Statement regarding financial arrangements connected with Dr. Burch's retirement from the Burch Clinic (effective January 1, 1949). 2. Letter from Lucius Burch, Jr. to Dr. John Burch (February 12, 1949) regarding financial settlement above. Includes signed note by Dr. Lucius E. Burch. 3. Letter from Dr. J. Clinton Foshee of Michigan, asking Dr. Burch's help in getting a friend's son admitted to Vanderbilt (February 21, 1949). 4. Letters from Sarah Burch to her grandparents (April 25 and June 20, 1949). 5. Letter from Senator Estes Kefauver to Edward Meeman, editor of the Memphis Press-Scimitar (December 7, 1949), regarding a complimentary editorial on Lucius Burch, Jr. 6. Letter from Lucius Burch Jr. (dated "Tuesday") thanking Dr. Burch for birthday presents. 7. Copies of doggerel attributed to Chief Justice John Marshall and a poem by Uncle Will Tate. 8. Vanderbilt commencement announcement; cards and school papers by the Burch grandchildren.

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1950 Diary

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1950 Folder, including: 1. Unidentified photograph, possibly of Dr. John C. Burch as a young man. 2. Deposit receipts from American National Bank, dated December 12, 1949 and January 4, 1950. 3. Three letters of thanks from those who attended

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1951 Diary

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1951 Folder, including: 1. Letter from Chancellor Harvie Branscomb of Vanderbilt (January10, 1951), thanking Dr. Burch for his service on the board of trust. 2. Another letter from Chancellor Branscomb to Lucius Burch, Jr., thanking him for a

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1952 Diary

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1952 Folder, including: 1. Two letters from Devereux Lake (February 10 and March 10, 1952), giving information on surviving members of Vanderbilt Class of 1896 and discussing plans for a reunion. 2. Letter from Dr. Burch to his son John on John's bi

Scope and Contents note

1952 Folder, including: 1. Two letters from Devereux Lake (February 10 and March 10, 1952), giving information on surviving members of Vanderbilt Class of 1896 and discussing plans for a reunion. 2. Letter from Dr. Burch to his son John on John's birthday (July 21, 1952), "briefly reviewing" his 52 years. 3. News clipping (October 3, 1952) discussing an effort to draft Lucius Burch, Jr. as a member of the state constitutional convention. 4. Letter from Sarah Burch to Dr. Burch prior to their birthday (December 9, 1952). 5. Letter from Dr. Alfred Blalock (December 19, 1952) congratulating Dr. Burch on John's success in organizing the Southern Surgical Association meeting. 6. Philosophical quotation (?) in Dr. Burch's hand. 7. Letter from Sarah Burch to Lucius Burch, Jr.. (undated); offers birthday greetings. 8. School reports of the Burch grandchildren

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1953 Diary

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1953 Folder, including: 1. Letter from one of Dr. Burch's English relations, written from Jamaica and referring to an impending visit (January 2, 1953). 2. 1952 tax information for Dr. Lucius and Sarah Polk Burch. 3. Text of telegram sent by Dr

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1954 Diary

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1954 Folder, including: 1. Business card of Prefessor E.K. Cruickshank, University College of the West Indies. 2. News clipping: "Many Tennesseeans Won Success in Nation's Governmental Affairs" (undated); article mentions Dr. Burch's father, J

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1955 Diary

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1955 Folder, including: 1. Draft of a thank-you letter to Mr. and Mrs. Joe King (undated). 2. Valentine from Lucia Burch. 3. X-ray report on Dr. Burch's left knee (March 28, 1955). 4. Commencement program for Miss Hutchison's School, Washint

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1956 Diary

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1956 Folder, including: 1. Another copy of Longfellow's "Morituri Salutamus," read at the 50th anniversary reunion of Vanderbilt's Class of 1896; apparently also read at 60th anniversary (June, 1956). 2. News clippings from the Memphis society p

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1957 Diary

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1957 Folder, including: 1. Round Table schedule for 1956-57. 2. Letter from Paul Davis, a close friend of Dr. Burch and honorary chairman of First American National Bank, enclosing a check for a football bet (January 3, 1957). 3. Wedding anno

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1958 Diary

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1958 Folder, including: 1. Letter from Dr. Thomas N. Evans, acknowledging receipt of Dr. Burch's portrait (January 1, 1958). 2. Letter from Edward J. Shea of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association (February 6, 1958), thanking Dr. Burch for accepting

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1959 Diary

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1959 Folder, including: 1. Letters to Drs. Lucius and John Burch pertaining to LEB's being given honorary membership in the Southern Medial Association (January 7, 1959). 2. Letter from Congressman J. Carlton Loser congratulating Dr. Burch on

6 --

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Series 02: Addition to Burch Papers, Donated by Edith Burch  

Box Folder

1. Typescripts and miscellaneous notes on family letters of maternal grandparents of Sarah Polk Cooper Burch and family letters of paternal grandparents of Lucius E. Burch. Dates span from ca. 1818 to ca. 1897. 2. Copies of The Round Table (ca.

Scope and Contents note

1. Typescripts and miscellaneous notes on family letters of maternal grandparents of Sarah Polk Cooper Burch and family letters of paternal grandparents of Lucius E. Burch. Dates span from ca. 1818 to ca. 1897. 2. Copies of The Round Table (ca. 1931 and 1955). 1955 volume signed by members, including Lucius E. and John C. Burch.

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