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Maryland Veterinary Medical Association records

 Collection 0102-MDHC

The Maryland Veterinary Medical Association was formed in 1885 for the purpose of promoting the advancement of veterinary science. The Association has been active in establishing standards in the field, advocating for relevant state and federal legislation, and publishing journals, books, and newsletters. The collection consists of the operating records of the association, its publications, and information about its members.


  • 1886-1995
  • Majority of material found within 1886-1991

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


5.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Maryland Veterinary Medical Association records consist of the minutes of the Association, both in book and loose-leaf form; some official correspondence; financial reports; programs of the semi-annual meetings, including some registration forms and related correspondence; copies of the constitution, by-laws and charter; and membership information, in loose-leaf and bound form. Also included are an article on the "Veterinary History of Maryland," which, though unpublished, appears to have been distributed widely within the organization; and the working files of the book, The Good Doctors, which include correspondence, hand-written notes, chapter drafts, newspaper and journal articles, and photocopies of the articles.

The materials date from 1886 to 1995, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1920s and the 1960s and 1970s. It should be noted that these materials do not constitute the entire historical record of the MVMA. Because it did not have a permanent office until about 1958, the early MSMVA records were scattered and sometimes lost.

Biographical / Historical

For the express purpose of promoting the "advancement of veterinary science," the Maryland State Veterinary Medical Association held its first meeting in September, 1885, making it one of the oldest state veterinary associations. The original group was extremely active, often holding meetings on a weekly basis, until 1896 when interest waned. For the next 24 years meeting times were irregular and there was little activity in the Association.

In 1920 there came a call to revive the old state veterinary medical association or to form a new one along the same lines. A new constitution and set of by-laws were enacted and the Association regained momentum. Since that time meetings have been held semi-annually, except in the years 1937 and 1938 when, because of the proximity of state and national meetings which our members desired to attend," no MSVA meetings were held. In the early 1970's, the Maryland State Veterinary Medical Association (MSMVA) dropped the designation "State" from its name, to become the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA).

The MVMA has been involved in many activities relating to the veterinary profession, such as advocating relevant state and federal legislation and establishing standards within the field. Also involved in educational activities, the Association donated scholarship money and established one of the first programs to train veterinary nurses. During the first century of its existence over 1500 scientific papers were presented at MVMA meetings.

The MVMA has also sponsored an active publishing program. The first publication of the MVMA was the Maryland Veterinarian, published monthly between June 1959 and November 1970. At that time it was superceded by the monthly MVMA Newsletter, which was later retitled MVMA News. Also published by the MVMA was history of the veterinary profession in Maryland, entitled The Good Doctors (Fallston, MD: Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, 1986). Authored by Ray Thompson, the MVMA executive director, The Good Doctors was written to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the MVMA, and it included the history and activities of the MVMA.


The collection is arranged as four) series.

Series 1
Series 2
Membership and Biographical Sketches
Series 3
Series 4
Publications and Articles

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Maryland Veterinary Medical Association donated their records to the University of Maryland Libraries in 1986. The association donated additional materials in 1993 and 1998.

Processing Information

Initially a preliminary inventory of the materials was completed, at which time some re-foldering and removal of paper clips was done. Later the materials were further reviewed and decisions regarding series were made. Processing included removing paper clips, rubber bands and acidic folder dividers. Items such as minutes and notes from The Good Doctors were removed from notebooks and placed in acid-free folders. All duplicate materials were removed and returned to the MVMA. The working files of The Good Doctors arrived in a box, with little apparent definite order. A review indicated that the items did indeed have a rough order, initially by subject, then with records related to a given chapter. A decision was made not to inflict a new order on the materials. Finally, folders were boxed and labeled, and the guide was written. As additional material was received from the MVMA, it was incorporated directly into the collection. In 2004, the bound and looseleaf copies of the journals published by the MVMA: The Maryland Veterinarian, MVMA Newsletters and MVMA News were transferred to the Literature and Rare Books collecting area.

Guide to the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association records
Processed by Anne M. Banker.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742