- Collection ID:
Cockburn, Thomas Aidan, 1912-1981
- Physical Description:
The collection represents the administrative aspects of the Paleopathology Association and Eve Cockburn's efforts in its preservation from 1965-2001. The folders contain records of membership, finances, personal correspondences of Mrs. Cockburn, and paleopathology-related publications (Series I-IX). The papers of Thomas Aidan Cockburn consist of personal and outside research related to his two major publications: Evolution and Eradication of Infectious Diseases (1963) and Mummies, Disease, and Ancient Cultures (1980).
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection is divided into two sections: The Records of the Paleopathology Association and the Papers of Thomas Aidan Cockburn. The Paleopathology Association records include correspondence, information related to meetings, newsletters, and various subject files. The collection represents the administrative aspects of the Paleopathology Association and Eve Cockburn's efforts in its preservation from 1973-2001. The folders contain records of membership, finances, personal correspondences of Mrs. Cockburn, and paleopathology-related publications (Series I-IX). The papers of Thomas Aidan Cockburn consist of personal and outside research related to his two major publications: Evolution and Eradication of Infectious Diseases (1963) and Mummies, Disease, and Ancient Cultures (1980). The sections on infectious diseases include materials on topics such as cholera, smallpox, tuberculosis, and bacterial infections that Mr. Cockburn used in preparation for his book on disease. The folders regarding mummies are comprised of correspondence, academic papers, photographs, and other related research used for the publication of his second book (Series X).
This collection is divided into 2 sections: The T. Aidan and Eve Cockburn Papers and the Archives of Paleopathology Association. There are 10 series: (1) Correspondence; (2) Meetings; (3) Newsletters; (4) Annotated Bibliographies; (5) Membership; (6) Repatriation; (7) Subject Files; (8) Eve Gillian Cockburn; (9) Financial; (10) Thomas Aidan Cockburn Papers
Eve Gillian Cockburn was born on March 3, 1924 in Astley, England. Mrs. Cockburn attended Oxford University where she received a BA degree with honors in Modern Languages in May of 1945. While in London, Ceylon, East Pakistan, and the United States, she composed medical articles for various news columns. Mrs. Cockburn was instrumental in the foundation and preservation of the Paleopathology Association from 1973 until her retirement in 2000. Her involvement included editing the Paleopathology Association's newsletter, organizing the annual and European meetings, managing correspondence and membership, and other vital tasks. She was co-editor of Mummies, Disease, and Ancient Cultures and was active in various scientific organizations, such as the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the World Council on Mummy Studies. Eve Gillian Cockburn died December 9, 2003.
Thomas Aidan Cockburn was born on May 30, 1912 in Northumberland, England. He attended Durham University where he earned medical degrees including a MB BS in 1935 (a double bachelor's degree in medicine) and a MD 1937. He also acquired a Diploma of Public Health from the Royal Institute of Hygiene and Public Health in 1940. Mr. Cockburn served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in West Africa from 1941 to 1946. He married Eve Gillian Cockburn in May 1945. Mr. Cockburn became the Assistant Superintendent at the Zoological Society of London, where we worked from 1946 to 1947. Moved to Canada in 1947, the United States in 1948, and then to Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka) and East Pakistan (modern day Bangladesh), where he worked for the World Health Organization as the Advisor to the Government of Ceylon (1956-57) and for ICA as the Advisor in Health to the Government of East Pakistan (1958-60). Mr. Cockburn was also a visiting fellow at Johns Hopkins University from 1960-61 and held public health positions in Cincinnati and Detroit from 1961-81. He played an instrumental role in the establishment of the Paleopathology Association in 1973. Mr. Cockburn's major research projects included epidemiology and paleopathology, specifically in mummy tissue. His books include Evolution and Eradication of Infectious Diseases (1963), Infectious Diseases: Their Evolution and Eradication (1967), and Mummies, Disease, and Ancient Cultures (1980). Thomas Aidan Cockburn died on September 18, 1981.
The Paleopathology Association was founded in 1973 by T. Aidan Cockburn, Eve Cockburn, Robin A. Barraco, William, H. Peck, and Theodore A. Reyman. At a seminar sponsored by Wayne State University School of Medicine, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Detroit Institute of Arts in February (at the Detroit Institute of Arts), these researchers decided to form an organization dedicated to the study of disease in ancient times. A few months after the seminar, the first Paleopathology Newsletter was published; it continues to be published quarterly. Anyone with an interest in paleopathology can become a member of the association. Anthropologists, archeologists, physicians, medical professionals, historians, and students from around the world come together to hold annual meetings in the United States and biennial meetings in various European countries. Researchers present and discuss current studies in the field of paleopathology with attending members. As Mary Lucas Powell, editor of the Paleopathology Newsletter, explains "From that first autopsy in 1973, conducted according to the most-up-to-date medical procedures, the emphasis has always been on research directed at advancing scientific understanding of the sources, mechanisms, and treatments of illness in humans and other animals." In 1999, the Paleopathology Association formally became a not-for-profit international scientific organization.
Processed by Rachel Bernstein, Linda Hsu, and Kiki Spinner
Encoded by Jocelyn Baltz, July 2012
Separated videotapes in this collection are held by the Human Studies Film Archives in the T. Aidan Cockburn videos (HSFA.2004.12).
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Conditions Governing Access
The T. Aidan and Eve Gillian Cockburn papers and Paleopathology Association records are open for research.
Access to the T. Aidan and Eve Gillian Cockburn papers and Paleopathology Association records requires an appointment.
T. Aidan and Eve Gillian Cockburn papers and Paleopathology Association records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
National Anthropological Archives
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