Calhoun Family Papers, 1817-1995

Emory University

Health Sciences Archives

Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library

1462 Clifton Road, NE

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link:

Descriptive Summary

Title: Calhoun Family Papers, 1817-1995
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 024
Extent: 28.31 linear ft. (63 boxes)
Abstract:This collection contains both personal and professional papers from Abner W. Calhoun (1846-1910), F. Phinizy Calhoun (1879-1965), and F. Phinizy Calhoun, Jr. (1910-1995).
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: patient records found in box 42, box 43, box 44, box 45, and box 46 are restricted until further notice.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.




[after identification of item(s)], Calhoun Family Papers, Health Sciences Archives, Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, Emory University.


Processed by Emily Corbin, October 2018.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Three generations of the Calhoun family served as prestigious ophthalmologists in the state of Georgia and at Emory University. They brought revolutionary practices to Georgia and helped establish and maintain the ophthalmology department at Emory University. In 1872, Abner W. Calhoun (1846-1910), the region's first eye and ear specialist came to Atlanta Medical College, which was established by his father, Andrew B. Calhoun. Abner Calhoun had completed his training in Europe. The college became Emory University School of Medicine in 1915. As the only scientifically trained ophthalmologist south of Maryland, Dr. Abner Calhoun was the specialist of choice for many a Southerner who had a serious eye problem before the turn of the 20th century. He served as faculty president from 1900 until 1910. He and industrialist Andrew Carnegie provided funds to construct a medical college building that later became part of Grady Memorial Hospital, still a training ground for Emory residents.

F. Phinizy Calhoun (1879-1965) the son of Abner W. Calhoun attended the University of Georgia 1900, he completed postgraduate work at Harvard University and finished his medical education in Atlanta in 1904. He interned at the Henry Grady Memorial Hospital and completed his trainings at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and in Vienna, Austria. Following his father's death, F. Phinizy Calhoun, Sr., became chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Emory University in 1910 and served until 1937. An active member of the School of Medicine’s Board of Trustees for 37 years, Phinizy Calhoun Sr. established and endowed the school’s medical library as a memorial to his father.

F. Phinizy Calhoun Jr. (1910-1995) was said to have brought modern ophthalmology to Georgia. He performed the first cornea transplant in the state in 1947. He also helped develop the Georgia Lions Eye Bank, which provides tissue for all cornea transplants in the state. Dr. Calhoun graduated from the University of Georgia in 1932, received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1936, and completed his postgraduate training at the Eye Institute of Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II in both England and France. In 1941 Dr. Calhoun joined the medical faculty at Emory University. Under his guidance ophthalmology at Emory formed a separate department in the medical school and he served as its chairman from 1950-1978. He also directed the L.F. Montgomery Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory at Emory. In 1955, Dr. Calhoun established the Georgia chapter of the Society to Prevent Blindness and was responsible for the first preschool vision and glaucoma screenings in the state. He retired from Emory in 1979, but continued serving on numerous boards and was named as emeritus professor.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains both personal and professional papers for Abner W. Calhoun, F. Phinizy Calhoun, and F. P. Calhoun, Jr. The materials span from 1817-1995. All three men served as leading ophthalmologists in the state of Georgia and at Emory University. Abner W. Calhoun's papers contain notes from his studies in Berlin, publications, speeches, photographs, medical pamphlets, and person materials such as his marriage announcement from 1877, tributes, and his obituary.

The F. Phinizy Calhoun papers contain school notebooks from medical school, correspondence, professional writings and published materials, and personal materials such as photos, newspaper clippings, tributes, and obituary.

F. Phinizy Calhoun, Jr. collection contains personal materials such as scrapbooks, correspondence, army records, honors, and school notebooks. His professional materials include papers, pamphlets, photos, letters, newspaper clippings, and published materials concerning Grady Hospital, medicine at Emory, the Emory University clinic, professional societies, published materials, medical records, medicine in the state of Georgia, WWII and veterans, the department of Ophthalmology at Emory University, and professional correspondence.

Arrangement Note

Organized into 4 series: (1) F. P. Calhoun, Jr., (2) F. Phinizy Calhoun, (3) Abner W. Calhoun, (4) Calhoun Family

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Geographic Names

Form/Genre Terms


Description of Series