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Owen H. Wangensteen papers

Identifier: ua-01008

Scope and Content

The papers of Dr. Owen H. Wangensteen document his personal and professional life from 1912-1987. Personal and professional correspondence, research and notes, and publications compromise the bulk of the collection. A small amount of correspondence of Mrs. Sarah Wangensteen, as well as family correspondence, is also included. Of note is correspondence between Dr. Wangensteen and other leading surgeons of the time, including Dr. C. Walt Lillehei, Dr. Richard Varco, and Dr. Norman Shumway.

Because Dr. Wangensteen served as chair of the department of surgery during his tenure at the University of Minnesota, researchers should also consult the Department of Surgery records in conjunction with this collection.


  • Creation: 1912-1987


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 Owen H. Wangensteen 1898-1981

Dr. Owen H. Wangensteen, B.A. 1919, M.B. 1921, M.D. 1922, Ph.D. 1925 University of Minnesota. Professor and chair of the department of surgery at the University of Minnesota 1930-1967. World renowned expert in the research and treatment of ulcers and development of surgical procedures to treat cancer. Winner of the John Scott medal for distinguished work in surgery 1941, the Samuel D. Gross prize in surgery 1935, Alvarenga prize 1949, the American Medical Association's Distinguished Service Award, and the American Cancer Society's Award. Best known for his development of suction syphonage treatment of acute intestinal obstruction intestinal suction pump or Wangensteen tube.

Owen Harding Wangensteen was born in Lake Park, Minnesota, on September 21, 1898.


50.5 Cubic Feet (49 boxes)


Collection contains the personal and professional papers of Dr. Owen H. Wangensteen, Regents' professor emeritus of surgery at the University of Minnesota.


The collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Administrative Materials
  2. Biographical
  3. Correspondence
  4. Grants
  5. In Memoriam
  6. Meetings and Lectures
  7. Professional Affiliations
  8. Research and Notes
  9. Speeches and Publications

Source of acquisition

The collection was donated to University Archives between 1973-1986 by Dr. and Mrs. Owen Wangensteen.

Related Materials in University Archives

Department of Surgery records

Owen H. Wangensteen Papers, 1912-1987
Jenny Filipi
July 2010
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