Archives & Special Collections is pleased to announce the personal papers of Dickinson W. Richards are now processed and open for research.
Dickinson Woodruff Richards, Jr. (1895-1973) was best known for his work in the fields of pulmonary and cardiac diseases in collaboration with André Cournand at Bellevue Hospital. Cournand, Richards, and German physician Werner Forssmann, all received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1956 for their discoveries concerning heart catheterization and pathological changes in the circulatory system. The Richards papers contain film footage depicting the awards ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.
Richards was both an alumnus (M.A. 1922; M.D. 1923) and an esteemed faculty member of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S). He held several positions at Presbyterian and Bellevue hospitals, in addition to the Merck Institute. One unique item found in his collection includes a photo album created by the Merck Institute, presented to Richards upon his retirement. He left Merck in 1967 and retired from P&S and Presbyterian Hospital in 1961. The Merck Company Foundation endowed a professorship in medicine in his honor at Columbia University in 1968.
Although a relatively small collection, his correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs will be an asset to research in the history of cardiology, pulmunology, and P&S. The Richards papers were generously donated to Columbia University in 2013 by his granddaughter Mary Chamberlin, M.D. The library had previously acquired the André Cournand papers in the early 1990s, which are also available for research.