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Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs


John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Texas Medical Center Library, Houston Academy of Medicine


1133 M.D. Anderson Blvd, Houston, Texas, 77030-2809


(713) 799-7141

Fax Number

(713) 790-7052


Contact Person

Elizabeth Borst White


Access and Services

Collections and reference assistance available Monday to Friday,


Founded in 1949, the Houston Academy of Medicine - Texas Medical Center Library is one of the leading biomedical libraries in the United States. John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center serves as the conservator of historical documents, books, and photographs on Texas medicine and provides multiple routes of access to nationally recognized history of medicine collections. The book and photograph collections are housed on the Second Floor of the Library. These include the McGovern History of Medicine Collection, the Mading Collection on Public Health, the Burbank/Fraser Collection on Arthritis, Rheumatism and Gout, about 10,000 images documenting Houston healthcare, and the photo archive of the journal, Medical World News. The manuscripts, institutional records, and art collection are housed in the basement. These collections include newsletters and printed material from Texas Medical Center institutions, manuscript collections from Houston physicians and members of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, and the Space Life Sciences Archive from the Johnson Space Center. The art collection contains paintings and drawings by several artists for four medical journals that were published in Houston, Texas.



Dr. Denton Cooley Medical Film Collection, c. 1960s

Collection ID


Approximately 30 to 40 films

Biographical Note

Denton A. Cooley, M.D., president and surgeon-in-chief, founded the Texas Heart Institute in 1962. He is chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, consultant in Cardiovascular Surgery at Texas Children's Hospital and a clinical professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. A world-renowned surgeon, he has pioneered many techniques used in cardiovascular surgery. He performed the first successful human heart transplant in the United States in 1968. In 1969, he became the first heart surgeon to implant an artificial heart in man. Cooley and his associates have performed more than 98,000 open-heart operations--more than any other group in the world.

Collection Description

The collection comprises original films (copies at Texas Heart Institute) made into training films of various operations including LVAD procedures, heart operations on Jehovah Witness' without blood transfusion, transplantation, and so on. Some films are silent; some contain commentary.

Finding Aid




Related Material

Bound set of Dr. Denton Cooley's medical papers.

Historical Photograph Collection -- approximately 45,000 images. Joseph I. Maurer, Houston photographer, contributed nearly 1,900 portraits of Houston physicians. The Texas Medical Center contributed several thousand images that document the early decades of TMC development. The photo archive from the journal Medical World News covers United States medicine from 1960 to 1976. The Methodist Hospital, the Memorial Hospital System, and members of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission also contributed large groups of photographs