Olin West, Sr. (1874-1952) biographical file

Identifier: EBL-0940

  • Staff Only


File contains letters written to Olin West during the years of 1922,1924, 1947, photographs (including two anatomy lab pictures from when he was as student at Vanderbilt in the late 1800s) , newspaper clippings, and published article and obituary from JAMA.


  • 18900 - 1992

Notes about Access to this Collection

All collections are subject to applicable VUMC privacy and confidentiality policies.

Reproduction Rights

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Historical or Biographical Note

Dr. Olin West was a public health expert on smallpox and a primary figure in early development of the Tennessee State Department of Health. Born at Gadsden, Alabama on July 12, 1874, his preliminary education was received at Howard College in Alabama. He received his M.D. from Vanderbilt University Medical Department in 1898. In 1910, after twelve years of practice in Nashville and fifteen years as a member of the faculty of Vanderbilt University, first as instructor and later as assistant professor and associate professor in chemistry, Dr. West became director for the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission and International Health Board in Tennessee where he led the effort against hookworm infection. He served as Secretary and Chief Executive for the Tennessee Board of Health from 1918-1922. Then Dr. West served as Secretary of the A.M.A. from 1922-1946, and later was elected to the office of President-elect of the A.M.A. in 1946. Poor health prevented his nomination and election to the office of President. He died in Nashville, June 20, 1952.


0.01 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Olin West, Sr. (1874-1952) biographical file
Processed by EBL Special Collections Staff
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is inEnglish.

Repository Details

Part of the VUMC Historical Images and Biographies Repository

Eskind Biomedical Library
2209 Garland Ave.
Nashville TN 37232


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.