Medical Society of South Carolina Digital Collections

About the Medical Society of South Carolina

The Medical Society of South Carolina was established on Christmas Eve 1789 to "improve the Science of Medicine, promoting liberality in the Profession, and Harmony amongst the Practitioners in this City." Members were to meet monthly and "in rotation furnish a Dissertation on some Medical, or Philosophical subject; or propose some Medical Case or Question for the discussion of the Society." The Medical Society took the lead in the arena of public health long before the establishment of a city Board of Health. In 1817 it was granted by the state legislature the duty to approve licenses for the practice of medicine. In 1824 its members founded the Medical College of South Carolina and served as its early faculty. A bequest to the Society from the estate of Thomas Roper gave rise to the Roper Hospital which the Medical Society continues own and operate. The Medical Society is a membership organization headquartered in Charleston.

Using the Digital Collections

The minutes of the MSSC have been fully transcribed so that they are full-text searchable. To view the transcript of a page, select the "page & transcript" option from the "View" menu that appears to the left of the image. These typed transcripts will be particularly helpful for years where the original minutes are handwritten (1789-1924).


In keeping with transcription standards, the minutes were transcribed exactly as written. This means that spelling and punctuation errors made in the original minutes have not been corrected in the transcripts. This may affect search results.


Please note that medical and other terminology may differ from the terminology we currently use. For example, "scarlatina" and "variola" are more commonly used in the older minutes than "scarlet fever" or "small pox".

For assistance searching or using the collection, please contact the Waring Historical Library.

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What's Inside

The Medical Society of South Carolina Digital Collections includes the minutes of the Society for the years 1789-1986, as well as portraits of past presidents. Minutes for the years 1789-1924 are handwritten; 1925-1986 are typed. Minutes through 1945 are in bound volumes; 1946-1986 are loose-leaf. The bound volumes are presented here as complete volumes, while the loose-leaf minutes are presented by individual year.


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