College of Physicians Digitizes Silas Weir Mitchell Materials

The Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia is pleased to announce a major new addition to its digital collections with the online publication of much of our primary source material related to the life and work of Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914).
A Fellow and President of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Mitchell was a prominent 19th century physician and writer best remembered for his discovery and description of phantom limb syndrome and, controversially, as the inventor of the rest cure, the basis for Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s book The Yellow Wallpaper. A complex figure, his true impact on 19th century medicine and culture is still being uncovered.
Presented via a dedicated site, this research portal contains the fully digitized content of three major collections held at the Historical Medical Library: The Silas Weir Mitchell Papers (MSS 2/241-03), The Silas Weir Mitchell Collection (MSS 2/241-04) and the Turner's Lane Hospital case and follow-up studies of peripheral nerve disorders (Z10 40). The digitization and presentation of these materials offers unprecedented access for scholars in the history of medicine and medical humanities from all over the world, as well as the simply curious.
You will find the digitized collections at
We invite you to celebrate not only the release of this collection but also Mitchell’s 191st birthday on February 15, 2020 by submitting short form fiction, essays, commentaries, poetry or drawings that explore the varied aspects of Mitchell’s life and work.  Select submissions will be posted in a special edition of Fugitive Leaves.  Written pieces should be no more than 1300 words long.  Submissions must be received by December 13, 2019. For more information, contact Beth Lander, College Librarian, at