Texas Heart Institute Film Collection

Institutional Collection No. 43

Repository: Houston Academy of Medicine- Texas Medical Center Library, John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, 1133 John Freeman Blvd. Houston, Texas 77030

Creation of Document: September 1, 2016

Dates: 1953 – 1982

Quantity: 31 cubic feet (277 reels of 16mm film and 68 videotapes)

About Texas Heart Institute and Dr. Denton A. Cooley: Dr. Denton A. Cooley, the founder of the Texas Heart Institute, attended the University of Texas and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1944. After serving in the Army Medical Corps and studying with Lord Russell Brock in London, he returned to his hometown of Houston, Texas to teach surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in the 1950s. The Texas Heart Institute was founded on August 3, 1962 in order to research and treat cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Among many innovations developed by Cooley and his colleagues at the Institute are the first implantation of an artificial heart, the first successful heart transplant in the United States, advances in treatment of congenital defects, and a number of prostheses and implants. The Institute is part of Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the word. CHI St. Luke’s Health – Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is the Institute’s clinical partner. [Sources: Texas Heart Institute website; The Houston Review, vol. 2, no. 1, p.16-19]

Scope and Contents: The Texas Heart Institute Film Collection contains 277 reels of 16mm film and 86 videotapes. It consists of final distributed films as well as work prints, camera original footage, and other production elements. Video tapes of film transfers can also be found in the collection The majority of films were produced within the Texas Medical Center.

This collection contains films related to heart surgery at the Texas Medical Center, primarily during the 1960s and 1970s. Films are typically instructional with brief surgical and case histories at the beginning. The films follow the surgery step-by-step with voice over narration and diagrams inserted to illustrate the process and techniques used. There is a brief follow-up at the end, sometimes including statistical information on patient outcomes for similar surgeries.

Sixty-eight films have been digitized and are available for research access (see inventory below).

Arrangement: The films have been assigned a unique reel number in the order of identification. A full inventory has been created based on these reel numbers. There is no intellectual order imposed on the collection. Digitized films have been assigned an identification number that corresponds to the original reel numbers (example, AVF-IC043-003). A film’s identification number is also the film’s digital file name (example, AVF-IC043-033.mp4).

Custodial History: Texas Heart Institute donated their film library to the Texas Medical Center Library in 1987. Texas Heart Institute transferred all rights of the films they produced to the Texas Medical Center Library. A few films are documentaries about Dr. Cooley produced by BBC and other third parties. Third parties retain the copyright.

Related Collections: MS 043 Denton A. Cooley, MD papers

Available Inventories

View Inventory and Descriptions of Digitized Films