Finding Aid

Peter A. Herbut Collection
1936 - 1979
12.5 Linear Feet (13 Boxes )

Biographical Note
Peter Andrew Herbut (1912-1976) was born in the Edson Province of Alberta Canada on 6 July 1912. He received his MD and CM (a graduate medical degree) from the Medical School of McGill University in 1937. Dr. Herbut originally planned to pursue a career in surgery but his interest in pathology brought him to the Medical College of Virginia, where he accepted a residency appointment in the Surgical Pathology Laboratory in 1938. The following year Dr. Herbut met Virgil Moon, Professor of Pathology at Jefferson Medical College, during a meeting of the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists at the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Moon recognized Herbut's talents and offered him an appointment as Assistant Demonstrator of Pathology at Jefferson Medical College. Herbut arrived at Jefferson in 1939 and rose swiftly through the ranks, becoming Associate Professor in 1945 and Assistant Professor in 1947. Upon Virgil Moon's retirement in 1948 Dr. Herbut was made Professor of Pathology and Chair of the department.

With his election as Chairman of the Executive Faculty in 1956, Dr. Herbut began to distinguish himself in the guidance of Jefferson's development programs. After serving in this capacity for nine years Dr. Herbut succeeded William Bodine to the Presidency of Jefferson Medical College (1966). This was the first time in Jefferson's history that a faculty member had advanced to the Presidency. Though Herbut downplayed his role in the changes that occurred at Jefferson during the course of his career he singled out, with particular pride, the creation of Thomas Jefferson University as a personal accomplishment. Fittingly, with the achievement of University status in 1969, Dr. Herbut became the first President of Thomas Jefferson University. He held this position until his untimely death in 1976.

During his first nine years at Jefferson Dr. Herbut published 75 articles. (His curriculum vitae lists a total of 104.) His first textbook, Surgical Pathology, was published in 1948 and was reissued in a second edition. This was succeeded by Urological Pathology (1952), which was also published in a Spanish translation; Pathology (1955), which had a second edition; and Gynecological and Obstetrical Pathology (1958).

Scope and Contents
The collection consists of addresses, correspondence, certificates, printed matter, and other personal materials collected by Peter Andrew Herbut, MD, documenting his career at Jefferson Medical College as pathologist and professor (ca. 1939-1966), Chairman of the Executive Faculty (1956-1995) and as President (1966-1976). The bulk of the collection is bound in 34 volumes personally prepared by Dr. Herbut. The collection also includes death notices and other necrology material, manuscripts from Dr. Herbut’s avocational research on the lives and works of classical composers, as well as signed copies of three of his pathology textbooks.

Organization and Arrangement

  1. Bound volumes (Boxes 1-9)
    34 bound volumes of personal papers as prepared by Dr. Herbut. The volumes, each of which includes a general list of contents, are organized around specific subject areas.

  2. Textbooks, 1952-1959 (Box 10)
    Signed copies of Dr. Herbut’s textbooks Urological Pathology (2 v., 1952), Gynecological and Obstetrical Pathology (1953), and Pathology (2nd ed., 1959).

  3. Addresses, 1960-1979 (Box 11)
    Speaker’s notes on index cards from a wide variety of public speaking engagements that Dr. Herbut delivered, predominately in his role as President of Jefferson Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University. Arranged in chronological order.

  4. Reports, 1971 (Box 11)

  5. Events & Ephemera, 1936-1974 (Box 12)
    Arranged in chronological order.

  6. Necrology, 1976-1979 (Box 12)

  7. Certificates, 1942-1974 (Box 12)
    Arranged in chronological order.

  8. Pathology Slides and Lecture Notes (Box 13)

Related materials

UA-CORP 031 - Records of the President’s Office
UA-CORP 031 contains the official University files of President Herbut at the time of his death. To a large extent, they replicate materials in MS 21, but they also contain materials not reproduced in the bound volumes. Like MS 21, the President's Office records also include documentation of Dr. Herbut’s career before becoming President. A finding aid with contents list at the folder-level is available.

View and print the full finding aid (including box and folder list) in PDF format (110KB)

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