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Edward D. Freis Papers 1926-2004
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Collection Scope and Content Note


Journal articles and reprints, books, subject files, research data, photographs, slides, and videotapes (1926-2004; 18.3 linear feet) chronicle the work of Edward D. Freis as a pioneer in the research of hypertension and hemodynamics. As a senior medical investigator at the Hypertension Research Clinic, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Freis conducted many clinical trials that led to the development of more effective treatments for hypertension. However, the collection lacks much of the original clinical data collected during his research; if this data survives they would most likely remain at the V.A. Medical Center.

His clinical research and overall expertise on hypertension are best represented in Series 3: Writings and Lectures and Series 5: Studies. Freis wrote nearly 400 articles on all aspects of hypertension; the majority of the materials in Series 3 are reprints of articles written by Freis and his colleagues. Several typescripts of his articles are also contained within this series, as are several books on hypertension authored by Freis. Series 5 contains some materials regarding studies with which Freis was involved; these items include "investigator's brochures" (compiled data), study proposals, a final draft from the landmark V.A. Cooperative Study on Antihypertensive Agents, and some illustrative materials such as graphs and photographs.

In addition to his own reprints, Freis gathered reprints and photocopies of articles and essays by others, which he annotated and supplemented with his own notes, research data, and other materials (Series 4: Subject Files). Freis organized these files into three main subject areas: Hypertension, Hemodynamics, and Miscellaneous; he also created a detailed index to the scheme. Each main subject was given a unique letter designation: H for hypertension, T for hemodynamics, and U for Miscellaneous. Subsets within each main category were numbered in ascending order, while the individual component folders were numbered in descending order (usually beginning with 34). These numbers are found within square brackets. The index contains missing file numbers, presumably by intent and to be filled in later. During processing, unclassified files were arranged alphabetically in the subseries Subjects Not Filed by Freis; when missing, titles were supplied and marked by square brackets.

Also included in the Writings and Lectures series are audio recordings, videotapes, and transcripts of medical lectures and interviews given by Freis throughout his career to various audiences. Many of the videotapes were dubbed in the late 1980s from the original films, whose locations are unknown. One videotape, "Early Hypertension TV Broadcasts," contains lectures for the American College of Physicians (1954) and the CIBA TV Clinical Symposium (1959) whereby the audience watched the speaker through closed circuit television, making them a novel presentation method for that period in time.

The collection contains little personal information about Freis apart from the scrapbooks that comprise Series 2. The scrapbooks themselves contain article reprints, some photographs, some correspondence, and programs from conferences, symposia, award ceremonies, etc. at which Freis participated or attended and are arranged chronologically. While most of the scrapbooks profile Freis's career, the next to last album in the series pertains to his retirement from the Veterans Administration; the contents consist of letters of congratulations from friends and colleagues (including Walter Mondale), as well as photographs from the farewell dinner.

In addition to the scrapbook materials, Series 1: Personal and Biographical includes CVs and bibliographies from various points in Freis's career, including a recent one from 2001. A few items document the numerous awards received by Freis, although some of the actual awards are contained within this series. Also of interest are several of Freis's golf diaries that range in date from the 1970s until just a few years before his death. A handful of portrait photographs of Freis are included among the photographic materials in Series 6, however the bulk of the series contains illustrations for lectures and articles. The slides appear to have been used by Freis during lectures and for some of his publications. He mixed and matched slides to create different lectures and others were pulled to be used in publications; they are arranged loosely by topic when possible.

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