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Solomon Robert Kagan papers

Identifier: P-40

Scope and Content Note

The Papers of Solomon Robert Kagan reflect the medical historical writings of Kagan as well as his participation in medical and Jewish organizational life. Though the collection does not hold all of his writings, it contains salient information concerning his activities regarding the American Physician Fellowship Committee; and the Near East situation and internationalization of Jerusalem, including his petitioning for an Israeli occupied Jerusalem.

The collection is valuable to researchers studying Jewish participation in the American medical community prior to 1950, and American Jewish aid to the new State of Israel, as well as those studying Kagan's over "thirty years of noteworthy service in the fields of medical history, biography, and bibliography."

The collection contains correspondence, printed material, petitions, programs, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Notable correspondents ce includes Bernard M. Baruch and Christian A. Herter. The documents are nearly all in English, except for minimal correspondence in Hebrew and German, and a booklet in French.


  • undated, 1920, 1928, 1938, 1940-1955


Language of Materials

The collection is predominantly in English, with some Hebrew, German, and French.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at

For reference questions, please email:

Biographical Note

Solomon Robert Kagan, M.D. (1889-1955)

Solomon Robert Kagan was born in Orany, Russia in 1889 into a family with deep rabbinic heritage. Kagan, however, was drawn to medicine. In the absence of an available formal education, he educated himself during his youth, and in 1912 enrolled in a medical facility in Freiburg, Germany to earn his medical degree.

With the start of World War I in 1914, Kagan returned to Russia and completed his medical studies in 1917 earning his M.D. at the Medical School of Dorpat University in Uriev. He practiced medicine in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution serving as a government district physician in the Crimea, and later as a chairman of the medical examiners committee in Rostov-on-the-Don. He continued in this capacity until he immigrated to the United States in 1922, settling in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Kagan wrote profusely, his works including 8 books and over 1,500 articles on both medical and non-medical subjects. His career can be divided into two phases - the first half writing on Zionism, ancient Hebrew literature, and book reviews; and the second half writing on clinical medicine and medical history and biographies. Kagan became known as an eminent medical historian, biographer, and bibliographer. His books include Jewish Contributions to Medicine in America (1934), American Jewish Physicians of Note (1942), and Jewish Medicine (1952). His clinical writings deal mostly with his experiences with a typhus fever epidemic witnessed in Rostov-on-the-Don. Kagan wrote in five languages: English, Russian, German, Yiddish, and Hebrew.

After the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, Kagan became an active proponent of many causes including the fight against the internationalization of Jerusalem. He also petitioned hard for a research medical library in Israel funded in cooperation by American Jews. Up until his death in 1955, Kagan was an active member in the medical community; holding the position of treasurer in the American Physician Fellowship Committee (APFC) and associate editor of The Medical Way magazine.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box)


Contains correspondence, printed material, and photographs relating to Jews in the medical profession, used as a basis for Kagan's several works on Jews in medicine, including the correspondence of members of the American Physicians Fellowship Committee of the Israel Medical Association.

Collection also includes correspondence relating to the Near East and the internationalization of Jerusalem, 1945-1954; and personal correspondence. Among the correspondents are Bernard M. Baruch and Christian A. Herter.


The collection consists of a single series arranged by topic.

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY


Solomon Robert Kagan donated his papers to the American Jewish Historical Society in 1950 and 1954.

Guide to the Papers of Solomon Robert Kagan (1889-1955), undated, 1920, 1928, 1938, 1940-1955   *P-40
Processed by Jason Schechter (December 27, 2001)
© 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • December 2017: dao links added by Leanora Lange.
  • March, June 2020: EHyman-post-ASpace migration cleanup

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States