Skip to main content

Dr. Joseph J. Anderson papers

Identifier: 83.Jun.11

Scope and Content Information

The papers of Joseph J. Anderson, cover from his matriculation at MCV in 1891 to his death in 1949. The majority of the papers are personal, and have been arranged into four series.

Series I (1892-1980) contains a wide variety of correspondence and legal documents. What stands out are various letters of recommendation written by prominent MCV physicians recommending Dr. Anderson to positions at the state hospital in Petersburg, as well as the position of doctor to the penitentiary farm. The letters recommending the doctor to the penitentiary farm are all addressed to Governor Charles T. O'Ferrall. These letters are accompanied by 3 petitions signed by MCV professors, and Virginia politicians.

Also included in this series are license applications to practice, spanning the years, 1893-1908, from Louisa and Goochland counties. There is a letter confirming his availability for emergency medical services during World War I from 1918, as well as questions to Dr. Anderson that were asked during a court case. No date accompanies the questions. This series also has one biographical sketch, as well as a letter pertaining to the collection both from 1980.

Series II (1906-1944) simply represents some of Dr. Anderson's financial records. The series consists of two small ledger books, which date from 1/1/06-1/1/08. The books correspond to his Goochland practice. There is also one large ledger book, which includes accounts from the years 1/1/40-5/44. The names and addresses of some of the patients are listed as well as visit prices.

Series III (1891-1948)comprises Dr. Anderson's educational records. Included in this series are three subseries, the first being the actual school materials and the other two being certificates and photographs, respectively. The contents of subseries A are his matriculation cards, graduation papers, one note book, two exams, two session books, which contain class descriptions, and Alumni matters. The Alumni matters contain lists of deceased doctors from various graduating classes at MCV. Subseries B contains certificates awarded to Dr. Anderson over the years. Included is Dr. Anderson's actual diploma, there are also four more certificates dating back to 1905. There are two fellowship certificates, one from the Medical Society of Virginia (1905), and the other from the American Medical Association (1916). The other two are the Commonwealth of Virginia certificate to practice in Goochland from 1912, and the Medical Society of Virginia certificate commemorating 50 years of service awarded in 1948. Subseries C is the group of photos. The subseries contains one large unidentified photo, as well as one 1893 MCV class photo. There are also two small photos, one of which has Dr. Anderson on horseback in a 1921 picture. There is one portrait photo from 1933 and one group shot of the surviving members of the class of 1893 taken in 1943 which was printed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Series IV (1896-1949) is printed materials and miscellany. The majority of materials are magazines and publications related to MCV and other medical organizations. The dates range from 1938 to 1949. There are also some non-MCV materials that Dr. Anderson collected for his own personal enjoyment. The collection also includes one medical lexicon, printed in 1890. Finally, the collection contains a rather large scrapbook. It has no order, no index, and it is hard to pinpoint any date range.

The scrapbook consists of many drug ads and drug uses printed by drug companies. Therefore, it is easy to find an entry with the heading, "neurasthenia," with the description and cure provided by William S. Merrill Chemical Co., to give one example. There are also articles from medical journals pasted in. An example of this is, "Diet in Chronic Heart Disease," by Prof. Theodor Schott M.D. from Clinical Excerpts November-December 1904. The illnesses in the scrapbook all appear to be common. This is appropriate as Dr. Anderson was a family practitioner.


  • 1892-1980

Access Restrictions

The collection is without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Biographical Sketch

Joseph James Anderson was born on January 6, 1870, at Hopeful in Louisa County, Virginia. He was the son of Archer Hart and Catherine Massie Shelton Anderson. As a young man, Anderson attended private school at his grandfathers home, where he was taught by his two maiden aunts. The young J.J. Anderson also worked as a telegraph operator for the Norfolk and Western Railway Co. In 1891 Anderson entered the Medical College of Virginia and graduated with the class of 1893.

Dr. Anderson began practicing medicine in 1893 at Waltons Store in Louisa County. The doctor later moved to Goochland where he served on the local board of health, and was active in the liberty loan drives during World War I. He practiced as a family practitioner in Goochland until 1922.

In 1922 Dr. Anderson moved to Richmond where he spent the rest of his life. His Richmond home and office was located at 2220 Grove Avenue in the fan district. Anderson was a member of the American Medical Association, the Richmond Academy of Medicine, and the Medical Society of Virginia in which he was a 50 year member. He was also a member of the Dove Lodge Number 51, A.F.8 A.M., and the Tabernacle Baptist Church. Dr. Anderson was available for emergency medical services, state side, during both world wars

Dr. Anderson was married to Temple Drudge Anderson. The couple had no children. On May 19th, 1949 at the age of 79, Dr. Anderson died at his home in Richmond. He was buried at the Hollywood Cemetery.


1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Organization Series List

  • Series 1: General records and Writings (1892-1980)
  • Series 2: Financial Records (1906-1908, 1940-1944)
  • Series 3: Education Records
  • Subseries A: School Materials
  • Subseries B: Certificates
  • Subseries C: Photographs
  • Series 4: Printed Materials and Miscellany
  • Arrangement

    There was no order to the collection when it was received at Tompkins-McCaw Library. It is divided into four series. Within each series materials are arranged chronologically or by subject.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mrs. Brenda Harris, June 28, 1983.

    A Guide to the Dr. Joseph J. Anderson papers
    A Collection in Special Collections and Archives, Health Sciences Library, Virginia Commonwealth University, Accession number 83/Jun/11
    Michael John Panbehchi
    © 2000 By Copyright Virginia Commonwealth University. All Rights Reserved.
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Script of description
    Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    Repository Details

    Part of the VCU Health Sciences Library Repository

    Special Collections and Archives 509 N 12th St
    Box 980582
    Richmond Virginia 23298 USA US
    (804) 828-9898