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Alphonse M. Schwitalla Manuscript Collection [DOC MSS 49]

Identifier: DOC MSS 49

Scope and Contents

The Alphonse M. Schwitalla Manuscript Collection provides insight into some of the concerns of a Catholic medical educator and hospital administrator in the early and mid-twentieth century and reflects the theological study and religious devotion of a dedicated priest. The collection also offers material for the early history of Firmin Desloge Hospital and is a source of information on the military service of Saint Louis University Medical School graduates in World War II. The Bibliography series consists of index cards listing Schwitalla's published articles as of about 1950. The Manuscripts series contains drafts and finished versions of  speeches, articles, and book reviews by Schwitalla while the Works series encompasses copies of his published speeches, articles, and reports. Some of the subjects covered by Schwitalla include medical, dental and nursing education, hospital administration, social hygiene, the career development of physicians, medical ethics, the place of the physician and the hospital in society, government regulation of hospitals and the medical profession, the economics of medicine, social work, and evolution. The Religious Notes series consists of notes on religious themes made by Schwitalla in notebooks, where they were kept alphabetically by topic, in a diary, and on loose pieces of paper. Many of the notes concern themes for retreats. The Condolences series contains messages sent to Schwitalla during his illnesses and gives an idea of the impact the priest had on the personal and professional lives of many medical workers, religious, and friends. The Clippings series offers newspaper and magazine stories about Schwitalla's life and career, including his speeches to several groups, and about the building of Firmin Desloge Hospital. The Hospitals series is especially rich in documentation on Firmin Desloge Hospital, which in 1933 became the main teaching hospital of Saint Louis University. This series covers the planning, building, and daily operation of the institution. Also here is an appreciable amount of material on St. Mary's Hospital in Clayton. The Subject Files series is a catch-all grouping for material that did not seem to fit into any other series. Included here are topics with a connection to Firmin Desloge Hospital, such as Board of Children's Guardians, Crippled Children, and Union Electric Light and Power, as well as subjects such as the evolution controversy, the history of the Saint Louis University Medical School, and the St. Louis Award scheme. The World War II series documents the activities of Saint Louis University Medical School alumni who served in the armed forces during the war. Many photographs, however, are unidentified.


  • 1851-1960


Conditions Governing Access

Access granted upon consultation with archivist.  Collection contains some possibly sensitive personnel and institutional information.


14.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection came to the Saint Louis University Archives from the Health Sciences Center Library, where it had apparently been housed since Schwitalla's death in 1965. The bulk of the collection consists of material related to Firmin Desloge and St. Mary's Hospitals as well as manuscripts and published works by Schwitalla. Folder headings were retained as apparently assigned in Schwitalla's office when he was dean of the Medical School, and series were constructed from closely related material. Also here is an extensive series of subject files. This collection is made up of the following 16 series: 1. Bibliography; 2. Clippings; 3. Condolences; 4. Correspondence; 5. Ephemera; 6. Hospitals; 7. Manuscripts; 8. Medical Cases and Sketches; 9. Medical Library; 10. Medical Societies; 11. Pamphlets and Publications; 12. Religious Notes; 13. Spiritual Bouquets; 14. Subject Files; 15. Works; and 16. World War II.

Separated Materials

Please see collection of photographs which have been separated from this collection:  Alphonse M. Schwitalla Photograph Collection (AVA PHO 51)

Physical Description

7,367 items other_unmapped

Alphonse M. Schwitalla Manuscript Collection [DOC MSS 49]DOC MSS 49
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Repository Details

Part of the Saint Louis University Archives Repository

Pius XII Memorial Library
3650 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis Missouri 63108 United States