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Jay Arthur Myers papers

Identifier: ua-00041

Scope and Content

The collection reflects Myers crusade to conquer tuberculosis from the 1930s to the 1970s. He was involved in the compilation of a number of medical treatises on diseases of the chest and served on the editorial boards of medical journals. The collection does not contain any teaching materials created by Myers as a faculty member of the University of Minnesota.

Scope and Contents

The large section devoted to the journal, Diseases of the Chest, was sampled. Myers was an editor for many years and was influential in selection of articles for the journal.


  • Creation: 1914-1977


Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical Sketch of Jay Arthur Myers (1888-1978)

Jay Arthur Myers was born on 25 November 1888 on a farm near Hartford, Ohio to Charlie and Clara (Baker) Myers. He was home schooled until the age of 7 when he was enrolled in public school. He graduated from Hartford High School in 1906 and from the Doane Academy preparatory department of Denison University in 1907. He attended Ohio University, receiving a B.S. degree in 1912 and M.S. degree in 1913. In 1914 he was awarded a Ph.D. from Cornell University. He married Faith McCracken on 23 June 1909.

In 1914 Myers accepted an instructorship under Clarence Martin Jackson, professor and director of the Department of Anatomy and dean of the Medical School at the University of Minnesota. In 1915 Myers contracted tuberculosis. He was initially treated at Ohio State Sanatorium at Mount Vernon and later at Agnes Memorial Sanatorium. After returning to the University of Minnesota, Myers made the decision to devote his professional life to the treatment of tuberculosis. He spent summers studying at the Glen Lake Sanatorium (1918) and the Trudeau School, Saranac Lake, New York (1920). He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in June 1920.

Also in the summer of 1920, John Sundwall, director of the Students' Health Service, invited Myers to organize a clinic for tuberculosis at the University of Minnesota. It was the first clinic of its kind in the country and while focusing on the immediate problem, also provided an opportunity to learn the natural history of tuberculosis in young adults.

In 1921 Myers was appointed chief of staff at the Lymanhurst School of Tuberculosis for children and served there until it closed in 1934. Besides providing a school, nursing and medical care, the staff at Lymanhurst also conducted a prolonged study of tuberculosis in children in order to determine the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease.

Myers held many editorial positions, including chairman of the editorial board of the Journal Lancet, (1930-1969) and editor-in-chief of Diseases of the Chest (1946-1969).

In addition to a private practice, Myers held several positions at the University of Minnesota. He served as instructor in medicine, 1920-1922, assistant professor of medicine, preventative medicine and public health 1922-1926, associate professor, 1926-1931 and professor, 1931-1957. He retired in 1957 as a professor emeritus.

He was a member of dozens of professional organizations and traveled extensively the world over in his campaign against tuberculosis. In addition to his lectures, Myers wrote approximately 700 articles on tuberculosis and diseases of the chest and 21 books. He received many local, national and international awards for his work on tuberculosis. He died on 11 September 1978 at the age of 89.

For further biographical information on Jay Arthur Myers, consult the biography file and Autobiographylocated in University of Minnesota Archives.

Related Material in University of Minnesota Archives

Gaylord Anderson papers

Department of Surgery papers

Myers, J. Arthur, Autobiography, 1977. Typescript is located in the University of Minnesota Archives print collection. (MEG/M992a)

Lymanhurst: a report of ten years of activity compiled from the records and the medical staff papers, by J. Arthur Myers, M.D. to F.E. Harrington for the Board of Public Welfare and the Board of Education, Minneapolis, 1932. Located in the University Archives print collection. ((MM/M992l)


24 boxes (24.5 cubic feet)


Collection contains personal and professional correspondence of Jay Arthur Myers, tuberculosis crusader, author, editor, and member of the faculty of the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.


The collection is arrangement into the following series:

  1. Series 1 - Personal material including a autobiography, scrapbooks and family correspondence (Box 1-3, 22-24)
  2. Series 2 - Professional correspondence and his involvement in professional organizations. This section is arranged alphabetically (Box 4-21).

Source of acquisition

Received in increments, 1970-1979.


Jay Arthur Myers Papers, 1914-1977
Penelope Krosch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area