(1909–1974) physician, anesthesiologist; born in Westfield, N.J. Best known for pioneering work in anesthesia relating to childbirth, she developed the Apgar Score to evaluate newborns (1952). She also created the first department of anesthesiology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (1938–49) where she was the first woman to head both a department and to hold a full professorship in anesthesiology (1949). Her deepening interest in maternal and child health eventually led to an executive position with the National Foundation-March of Dimes (1959) where she spent the rest of her life fostering public support for birth defect research. With her fundraising ability, the annual income of the National Foundation increased from $19 million to $46 million by the time of her death. She also made birth defects an academic subspecialty at Cornell University Medical College where she taught (1965–73). Author of scores of papers, she was a much admired teacher most appreciated for her humanitarian qualities.
Reference librarian Ken Middleton (Middle Tennessee State University) has assembled an amazing resource: a database indexing more than 400 "digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States." From the home page of DISCOVERING AMERICAN WOMEN'S HISTORY ONLINE, http://library.mtsu.edu/digital-projects/womenshistory.php, it's easy to browse or search subject headings that lead to such wide-ranging resources as the American Foundation for the Blind's collection of Helen Keller's letters; the National Library of Medicine's materials on physician Virginia Apgar; an index of nearly 20,000 quilts; and materials in the Library of Congress about dancer Katherine Dunham.