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Francis H. Gambell papers

Identifier: c-00176

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of Gambell's written reminiscences. These include published newspaper accounts of his time in Alaska, as well as short stories and poetry based on his experiences in Alaska and as a doctor in California. Gambell also wrote about his childhood in Iowa, his years at Parsons College, and his decision to choose a career in medicine.

In addition, the collection includes news clippings about Gambell, and the transcript of an interview with him about his experiences. It contains a diary (1899) which Gambell kept in Alaska, a scrapbook from his time in Siberia, and drafts of introductions to a book or article that Gambell apparently wrote about Alaska.


  • Creation: 1898 - 1959

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Francis H. Gambell was born in Iowa in 1870. He grew up on his parents' farm and eventually attended Parsons College in Iowa. He received a medical degree there in 1898 and set up practice in Minnesota. A few months later, bored with his practice, he accepted a government position in Alaska, where the government was trying to introduce reindeer as sources of food and transportation for the Eskimos. Gambell was sent to the Eaton Reindeer Station, north of Yukon River, as the physician for government employees stationed there. He spent three years in Alaska and was appointed supervisor of the government reindeer stations. He returned to Minnesota and his private practice in 1901. When civil war broke out in Russia in 1919, following the Russian Revolution, Gambell traveled with the Red Cross to Siberia, where he worked on the only train transporting wounded to hospitals. He later returned to the United States and his private practice. He moved from Minnesota to California, where he continued his medical work through his eighty-fifth year.


0.85 Cubic Feet (10 Folders, Scrapbook, 98 lantern slides)

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Francis H. Gambell Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
July 1964
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US