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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Sarah Braunwarth papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1874-1913
Creator: Braunwarth, Sarah (1853-1927)
Extent: 5.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0863
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Medical school notebooks and clinical records of a physician who practiced in Muscatine, Iowa, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no.1269) were transferred from the University of Iowa Medical Museum in 2012.

Preferred Citation: Sarah Braunwarth papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Sarah Braunwarth, MD, was born in 1853 in Iowa, the daughter of German immigrants Jacob Braunwarth and Louisa Wagner (who was the niece of the composer Richard Wagner). The eldest of six children, Braunwarth's two brothers inherited her father's shoe store, while Sarah and her sisters favored medicine, with three matriculating through medical school, and the fourth pursuing pharmacy. A medical career was encouraged by Braunwarth's parents; while women entering the medical field was controversial in the United States, it was commonly accepted in the Braunwarth's native Germany. Sarah Braunwarth entered the University of Iowa medical school in 1873, two years after it opened as a co-educational facility. She graduated in the spring of 1876, and began a private practice in Muscatine, where she worked for fifty years. Braunwarth retired in 1926 and died the following year at the age of seventy-four.

The Sarah Braunwarth papers date from 1874 to 1913 and measure 5 linear inches. The biographical information folder includes two articles about Braunwarth and an editorial written by Braunwarth in 1891 for the Toledo Medical Compendium. The first notebook consists of her school notes, arranged according to date and lecturer. It reads in reverse-chronological order, and contains personal annotations throughout the margins added between 1880 and 1900. This is the most personal of the four notebooks. Notebook two contains Braunwarth's clinical notes while attending patients. In notebook three Braunwarth continues her school notes, with sporadic personal diary entries and comments about colleagues and professors. Notebook four consists of her patient records, chronologically listing patients by name and hometown, as well as diagnosis, treatment, and observation notes. Frequent diagnoses included influenza, syphilis, tuberculosis, hysteria, and measles. Changes in handwriting suggest records were inscribed by assistant(s). The cover dates the notebook from 1904 to 1905 although records continue until 1913. The last four folders contain facsimiles of the four original notebooks.
Mary Gantz papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical information - 1891, 1990, 2012
  • Lecture notebook - 1874
  • Clinic notebook - 1874
  • Lecture notebook c. - 1874
  • Clinic logbook - 1904-1913
  • Facsimile of 1874 lecture notebook - 1874
  • Facsimile of 1874 clinic notebook - 1874
  • Facsimile of c. 1874 lecture notebook - 1874
  • Facsimile of 1904-1913 clinic logbook - 1904-1913