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Sarah Braunwarth papers

Identifier: IWA0863

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Scope and Contents

The Sarah Braunwarth papers date from 1874 to 1913 and measure 5 linear inches. The biographical information folder includes two articles about Braunwarth and an editorial written by Braunwarth in 1891 for the Toledo Medical Compendium. The first notebook consists of her school notes, arranged according to date and lecturer. It reads in reverse-chronological order, and contains personal annotations throughout the margins added between 1880 and 1900. This is the most personal of the four notebooks. Notebook two contains Braunwarth's clinical notes while attending patients. In notebook three Braunwarth continues her school notes, with sporadic personal diary entries and comments about colleagues and professors. Notebook four consists of her patient records, chronologically listing patients by name and hometown, as well as diagnosis, treatment, and observation notes. Frequent diagnoses included influenza, syphilis, tuberculosis, hysteria, and measles. Changes in handwriting suggest records were inscribed by assistant(s). The cover dates the notebook from 1904 to 1905 although records continue until 1913. The last four folders contain facsimiles of the four original notebooks.


  • Creation: 1874-1913


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Sarah Braunwarth, MD, was born in 1853 in Iowa, the daughter of German immigrants Jacob Braunwarth and Louisa Wagner (who was the niece of the composer Richard Wagner). The eldest of six children, Braunwarth's two brothers inherited her father's shoe store, while Sarah and her sisters favored medicine, with three matriculating through medical school, and the fourth pursuing pharmacy.

A medical career was encouraged by Braunwarth's parents; while women entering the medical field was controversial in the United States, it was commonly accepted in the Braunwarth's native Germany. Sarah Braunwarth entered the University of Iowa medical school in 1873, two years after it opened as a co-educational facility. She graduated in the spring of 1876, and began a private practice in Muscatine, where she worked for fifty years. Braunwarth retired in 1926 and died the following year at the age of seventy-four.


5.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Medical school notebooks and clinical records of a physician who practiced in Muscatine, Iowa, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no.1269) were transferred from the University of Iowa Medical Museum in 2012.

Related Materials

Mary Gantz papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Christina Jensen, 2013
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)