University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Silas P. Holbrook Medical Daybooks 1860-1917

© 2010 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Holbrook, Silas P., Medical Daybooks




2.25 linear feet (5 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


The Silas P. Holbrook Collection of Medical Daybooks contains a record of the daily patient visits of Dr. Silas Holbrook. The collection consists of portable patient logs divided into daily visits, pocket diaries, a physician's ledger book, an alphabetical listing of names, and a pocket wallet. The professional and personal items in the collection provide valuable insight into nineteenth century medical and health practices in the U.S.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Holbrook, Silas P., Medical Daybooks, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Silas P. Holbrook was a general practitioner during the time between the Civil War and World War I. He resided in East Douglas, Massachusetts.

Scope Note

The Silas P. Holbrook Medical Daybooks contain daybooks, diaries, ledgers, and a wallet. The professional and personal items in the collection provide valuable insight into nineteenth century medical and health practices in the U.S.

Series I: Medical Daybooks and Diaries. This series contains medical daybooks and diaries from 1863-1917. The series also contains a book with notes on surgical and medical clinics and recipes from 1860-1864. The publisher of the daybooks that Holbrook used was Lindsay and Blakiston. The daybooks contain notes for physicians’ reference including tables to compute gestation, to convert metric measurements of temperature, weights and measures into various English systems, and short articles on “The immediate treatment of poisoning,” and “Incompatibility’ or allergic reaction. The daybooks are also interleaved with relics of the pharmaceutical trade and advertisements for medical services. The diaries in the series include a record of the weather and various memoranda.

Series II: Personal Items. This series contains a ledger with listings of the family expenses from 1863-1867. There is also a book with an alphabetical listing of names; several pages are torn out from the middle of the volume. A pocket wallet is included, as is a pocket diary of Jennie Holbrook from 1881.

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Subject Headings


Series I: Medical Daybooks and Diaries

Box 1    Folder 1

Notes on Surgical and Medical Clinics and Recipes, 1860-1864

Box 1    Folder 2

Daybooks: Physician’s Visiting List, Diary and Book of Engagements, published by Lindsay and Blakiston of Philadelphia, 1863 and 1864

Box 1    Folder 3

Daybooks, 1865 - 1866

Box 1    Folder 4

Daybooks, 1867 - 1868

Box 1    Folder 5

Daybooks, 1869 - 1870

Box 1    Folder 6

Daybooks, 1872 - 1873

Box 1    Folder 7

Daybooks, 1876 - 1879

Box 2   Folder 1

Miniature Diary, Daybook, 1880-1881

Box 2   Folder 2

Daybooks, 1883 - 1884

Box 2   Folder 3

Daybooks, 1885 - 1886

Box 2   Folder 4

Standard Diary, Daybook, 1886-1888

Box 2   Folder 5

Miniature Diary, Standard Diary, Daybook, 1890

Box 2   Folder 6

Standard Diary, Daybook, 1891-1892

Box 2   Folder 7

Standard Diary, Daybook, 1893

Box 3   Folder 1

Standard Diary, Daybook, 1895

Box 3   Folder 2

Daybooks, 1896 and 1897

Box 3   Folder 3

Daybooks, 1898 and 1899

Box 3   Folder 4

Daybooks, 1900 and 1901

Box 3   Folder 5

Standard Diary, Daybook, 1902

Box 3   Folder 6

Standard Diary, Daybook, 1903

Box 3   Folder 7

Daybooks, 1904 and 1905

Box 4   Folder 1

Daybooks, Standard Diary, 1907-1908

Box 4   Folder 2

Daybooks, Standard Diary, 1909-1910

Box 4   Folder 3

Daybooks, Standard Diary, 1911-1912

Box 4   Folder 4

Daybooks, Standard Diary, 1913-1914

Box 4   Folder 5

Daybooks, 1915 and 1916

Box 4   Folder 6

Daybook, 1917

Series II: Personal Items

Box 5   Folder 1

Holbrook and Campbell’s Book of Family Expenses, 1863-1867

Box 5   Folder 2

Alphabetical List of Names, undated

Box 5   Folder 3

Pocket wallet with ephemera and lock of hair, undated

Box 5   Folder 4

Pocket diary of Jennie Holbrook, 1881