Fonds RBSC-ARC-1736 - Walker Gill Wylie fonds

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Walker Gill Wylie fonds

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  • Variations in title: Previously known as Walter Gill Wylie fonds.

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4 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Walker Gill Wylie, who also went by Walter Gill Wylie, was an abdominal surgeon and gynecologist from the United States of America. He was born in Chester Couth Carolina in 1848 and enlisted in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War as a lieutenant at the age of 16. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1868 with what would be equivalent to a civil engineering degree today. In 1871 he received an MD from Bellvue Medical College in New York City. He married Henrietta Frances Damon in Northampton Massachusetts on June 13, 1877, with whom he had five children.

He had a distinguished medical career which included forming and becoming a member of the State Charities Aid Association. As a member of the association, he was given the opportunity to observe medical and nursing practices in England, including those implemented by Florence Nightingale with whom he had correspondence. After visiting England, he helped establish the Training School for Nurses connected to Bellvue Hospital, the first of its kind in the United States. In 1876, he wrote Hospitals, their organizations and construction which set the standards for hospital management in the United States for several years.

He also continued to work in the field of engineering, as is evident by his founding of the Duke Power Company with his business partner James Buchanan Duke. He was also involved in the construction of a hydroelectric power plant in South Carolina in 1896. He later also became president of the Catabawa Power Company, which was organized under the laws of South Carolina.

He died on March 13, 1923 in New York City.

(Taken from an obituary notice in the American Medical Association Journal 80 (12) 856, 1923. and from The University South Caroliniana Society Newsletter, Spring 2008 Supplement,

Custodial history

The collection was acquired as a gift from Mr. and Mrs. J. Edgar Britton, formerly of the Canadian Department of Agriculture Experimental Station at Summerland, B.C. Mrs. Edith Britton (née Corrigan) was at one time secretary to Dr. Wylie, while one of her sisters was matron and head nurse of his private hospital in New York City. The papers were brought to Summerland from the Corrigan family home in Ontario.

The papers were received at the Woodward Library in 1964. They were subsequently transferred from Woodward Memorial Library to Rare Books and Special Collections in 2015.

Scope and content

Fonds reflects a portion of Walker Gill Wylie’s career in gynecology and hospital management. Contents include manuscripts of reports, lectures, and papers produced by Wylie. There are also several periodicals from various professional associations that he was associated with. There is also a letter regarding the provenance of the fonds after Wylie’s death.

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Fonds is not in original order. The arrangement of the collection was inherited from the transfer from the Woodward Library. The only change in arrangement was the placement of the letter of provenance to the end of the fonds.

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Previous finding aid developed by Woodward Memorial Library available at

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File names inherited from Woodward Memorial Library. File numbering inherited from Woodward Memorial Library, with the exception of File 1-10.

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RAD compliant finding aid prepared by M. Hunter, June 2015.

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