Mildred Trotter (1899-1991) is regarded as one of the most eminent 20th century contributors to the field of physical anthropology, especially to knowledge about human bone and hair. A native of Pennsylvania, she received her bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She joined the Washington University School of Medicine Department of Anatomy in 1920 as a researcher and her subsequent work here was applied towards a Ph.D., which she received in 1924. Her full time teaching career began that same year, collaborating with Robert J. Terry in the gross anatomy curriculum. In this capacity, Trotter guided medical students for over fifty years in the exacting art of dissection. Her research efforts have led to findings which have proven useful not only to clinical medicine, but also to fields such as forensic science, physical anthropology, and archaeology. She contributed much of what is known today about human skeletal structure and density, and particularly the characteristics of long limb bones. Trotter was named to a full professorship in 1946, thus making her the first woman to achieve this rank at Washington University School of Medicine. She was a visiting fellow, lecturer, and professor at several universities in this country and abroad and a consultant to the U.S. Armed Forces. She became a professor emerita in 1967.
Provenance. Mildred Trotter formally gave her papers to the Archives in 1979, with latter additions received as late as 1990.
Access and use. A major segment of the holdings is open and accessible for research. Certain categories of documentation, however, carry restrictions on access. For detailed information, contact the Archives and Rare Book Section (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Scope and content. The Mildred Trotter papers group consists of twelve series. The Trotter papers are rich in information not only about her fields of expertise, but about the School of Medicine in general and about opportunities for women in medical science during the first half of the twentieth century. Users are advised to consult Series 1 first, since it contains narrative memoirs which may serve to place her accomplishments in contexts of her own choosing.
Becker Medical Library Washington University in St. Louis 660 South Euclid Avenue Campus Box 8132 St. Louis, Missouri 63110 Archives & Rare Books 362-4236