Mailing Address:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Library
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424

(843) 953-8016

Title: Isadore Givner papers

Collection #: Mss 1041

Dates: 1918-1998 (bulk 1940-1950s)

Size: .375 linear ft.

Biographical Note:

Dr. Isadore Givner was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. He lived at 7 College Street (now Education headquarters for the College of Charleston) while attending the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina. After receiving a medical degree (1926) and finishing an internship at Roper Hospital (1926-1927), Givner left Charleston for New York University where he completed post graduate study and a residency in ophthalmology.

Among other professional accomplishments, Givner worked as an Assistant Ophthalmic Surgeon at numerous New York hospitals, was Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at New York University and Director of Ophthalmology at New York City Hospital. He retired in 1971 after forty years in the field of medicine. Givner married Martha Barbe (1913-1992) in 1938. The couple raised three daughters and one son in New York where they were members of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun. They are buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Queens, NY.

Scope and Content Note:

Awards, certificates, degrees, letters and miscellaneous papers relating to the professional career of Dr. Isadore Givner, ophthalmologist.

Includes scrapbook (1903-1953) of photographs, ephemera, letters and newspaper clippings chronicling Givner's life, academic achievements, medical career and accomplishments. Folder of letters contains recommendation from MUSC faculty and Roper Hospital staff including typed transcript of Givner's MUSC classes and grades; letters of admittance to various medical societies including Medical Society of South Carolina, and New York Academy of Science; letters of appointment to medical positions at organizations including New York University Medical Center and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital.

Includes letters re. membership in Pan American Association of Ophthalmology, Medical Society of New York and the Oxford Ophthalmologic Congress. Certificates of achievement, membership and recognition from Givner's academic and professional career include: College of Charleston diploma, South Carolina License to Practice Medicine and Surgery; certificates from American Board of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, American Physicians Fellowship, American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Fifty Year Club of American Medicine.

Photographs include Givner with Brith Sholom Men and Boys Choir (ca. 1916), Henrietta Givner (ca. 1940), Givner at a medical conference (ca. 1951) and in his New York office (ca. 1940), Dr. and Mrs. Givner at a dinner, 1968. Other material includes folder of biographical information compiled by Givner's children; original poem, "Dr. Isadore Givner," by Jerry Nussbaum, and photocopies of Givner's page in the 1942 edition of Notable New Yorkers, and Givner's 1922 College of Charleston annual, The Comet. Folder of publications (1938-1945) written or co-written by Givner contains articles on various opthamalogical diseases. Also included is Givner's leather medical bag (ca. 1930s) used for holding pill bottles.


I.   Papers    
  A. Letters (1927-1973): 25 items; letters (1927) of recommendation for Dr. Givner from MUSC faculty and Roper Hospital staff including transcript of his medical school classes and grades; re. admittance to Medical Society of South Carolina (1927) and New York Academy of Science (1937); request to present paper at American College of Surgeons meeting (1957); letter offering position as part time Assoc. Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at School of Medicine and Post Graduate Medical School, NYU (1961); re. appointment as Courtesy Staff at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital (1963); re. appointment to Oxford Ophthalmologic Congress (1965), re. appointment as Attending in Ophthalmology (1967) and Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology (1969) at New York University Medical Center; re. appointment as Honorary Assoc. Surgeon at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary; re. Honorary Member status with Pan-American Assoc. of Ophthalmology; re. appointment as life member of Medical Society of New York (1973)  
  B. Photographs (1916-1968): 5 items; Givner with Brith Sholom Men and Boyís Choir (print of 1916 image); portrait of Charleston teacher, Henrietta Givner, ca. 1940s; Dr. Givner at Chicago medical conference, ca. 1951; portrait of Dr. Givner in his office, ca. 1940s-50s; Dr. and Mrs. Givner, 1968.  
  C. Certificates (1928-1976): 16 items; include certificates of membership, achievement or recognition from: County Clerkís Office of New York, American Board of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, New York Diabetes Association, The Reading (PA) Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Society, Pan American Assoc. of Ophthalmology, American Physicians Fellowship, Inc. for the Israel Medical Association, Medical University of South Carolina, Fifty Year Club of American Medicine, American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology and United Medical Service Inc. (several are photocopies of plaques that were returned to donor)  
  D. South Carolina License to Practice Medicine and Surgery (1926): "Duplicate License" typed at top of certificate; original signatures of State Board of Medical Examiners; certificate has been affixed to cardboard.  
  E. Biographical information: three page biography (typescript) of Isadore Givner written by daughter, Barbara Givner Goodman, ca 1998; photocopies of letters written by Givnerís daughters which contain biographical information, ca. 1998; clipping (obituary) re. death of Henrietta Givner, 1946  
II.   Publications re. Isadore Givner    
  A. Poem, "Dr. Isadore Givner": written by Jerry Nussbaum; no date; typed in the outline of a Star of David.  
  B. "Notable New Yorkers" (1942): photocopies of title page and page naming Givner as a notable New Yorker, with photograph.  
  C. Yearbook, "The Comet" (1922): College of Charleston annual from Isadore Givnerís junior year; he is pictured on page 36; on pages 58-60 is a description and photograph of the Gyro Literary Fraternity of which Givner was a member; on page 60 he is cited as the winner of the 1922 Bingham Oratorical Contest for his address, "Americaís Need"; Givner is pictured as a member of student council on page 62 and a member of Alpha Phi Epsilon, page 74; as a member of the cross country team, page 86, relay team page 87, as a letterman in track, page 104  
III.   Publications by Isadore Givner (1938-1945): most are pamphlets reprinted from the Archives of Ophthalmology by the American Medical Association:

-"Magnesium Content of Capsulated Lenses by: A Review of Its Probable Import; Preliminary Report" by Givner and Catherine F. Gannon, MA, June 1938

-"Episcleral Ganglion Cells" by Givner, July 1939

-"Benign Melanoma of the Ciliary Body" by Givner, Aug. 1940

-"Diplobacillus of Petit in Corneal Ulceration: Report of Three Cases" by Givner, Alfred J. Elliot, and Webb P. Chamberlain, Feb. 1941

-"Stevens-Johnson Disease with Complete Visual Recovery" by Givner and Harry Ageloff, Sept. 1941

-"The Parentís Responsibility in the Detection and Treatment of Crossed Eyes" by Givner, Dec. 1942

-"Cyclic Oculomotor Paralysis (Spasmus Mobilis Oculomotorius)" by Givner and Otto Lowenstein, Nov. 1942

-"Bilateral Uveitis, Poliosis and Reginal Detachment with Recovery" by Givner, Sept. 1943

-"Pupillary Reflex to Darkness" by Givner and Otto Lowenstein, Nov. 1943

-"Juvenile Amaurotic Familial Idiocy: Its Ocular Pathology" by Givner and Leon Roizin, July 1944

-"Clinical Studies in Angiospasm" by Givner, Dec. 1944

-"Melanoma of the Skin with Intraocular and Orbital Metastases: Report of a Case" by Givner and James R. Lisa, Nov-Dec. 1945

IV.   Isadore Givnerís medicine bag (ca. 1930s): 11"long x 4" wide; leather pill case with metal zipper; inside are eight glass bottles (room or ten), each secured in metal holder; several glass bottles have paper labels (handwritten or typed) with names of pills they once contained.  
Box 2
V.   Scrapbook (1903-1953): re. the life of Isadore Givner; majority compiled by sister, Lillian Givner; contains photographs of Givner as an infant, in grammar school, as a high school student, etc (all formal portraits); ephemera includes Martha Barbe and Isadore Givnerís wedding invitation, programs from commencement exercises at High School of Charleston (1919) and College of Charleston (1925), from College of Charleston Annual Oratorical Contest (1922), from Bínai Bírith Vaudeville show (Dan Lodge No. 593); high school and college report cards; Givnerís business card for his NY medical practice; matriculation card from SC State Board of Medical Examiners (1926), programs from ophthalmologic conferences; professional letters of appointment, recommendation and congratulations re. Givnerís medical career; letter from Givner re. his views on the American Council for Judaism; newspaper articles re. accomplishments (both academic honors and medical achievements), various professional appointments, his engagement, the birth of his first child, etc.; scrapbook is fragile; researchers should use photocopy  
Box 3
VI.   Oversize Material:
  • Givnerís College of Charleston diploma (1925)
  • South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners License to Practice Medicine and Surgery (1926)
  • Medical University of South Carolina Doctor of Medicine Diploma (1926)
  • License to Practice Medicine and Surgery in New York from University of New York Education Dept. (1928)
  • Certificate of membership in Medical Society of New York (1931)
  • Certificate of membership in New York Society of Ophthalmology (1935)
  • Certificate: Fellow of American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology (1936)
  • Award for Clinical Research from Medical Society of State of New York (1954)
  • Service Citation from New York University
  • Certificate appointing Givner as Examination Physician of Local Board No. 49, NY (1968)
  • Service award from American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology (ND)
  • 40 years membership certificate from Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun (ND)
JHC Oversize Box