A Guide to the Papers of Dr. Rufus Livius Raiford Raiford, Rufus Livius (Dr.), Papers. 98/Dec/8

A Guide to the Papers of Dr. Rufus Livius Raiford

A Collection in
Special Collections and Archives, Tompkins-McCaw Library
Collection Number 98/Dec/8


Virginia Commonwealth University, Tompkins-McCaw Library

Special Collections and Archives
Tompkins-McCaw Library
Box 980582
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0582
Phone: (804) 828-9898
Fax: (804) 828-6089
Email: libtmlsca@vcu.edu
URL: http://www.library.vcu.edu/about/special-collections/tompkins-mccaw/

© 2001 By Copyright Virginia Commonwealth University. All Rights Reserved.

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Darien Scott Kay

Special Collections and Archives, Tompkins-McCaw Library
Collection number
Papers of Dr. Rufus Livius Raiford 1891-1963, 1988
Physical Characteristics
2.16 linear feet
Rufus Livius Raiford

Administrative Information


The collection is without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Box/folder, Papers of Rufus Livius Raiford, 98/Dec/8, Special Collections and Archives, Tompkins-McCaw Library, Virginia Commonwealth University

Acquisition Information

Collection acquired by Katherine Smith, granddaughter of Rufus Livius Raiford and donated to Tompkins-McCaw Library.

Biographical/Historical Information

Rufus Livius Raiford was born in the Corinth community of Southampton Coutny, Virginia on November 17, 1880, and passed away on June 26, 1948. His early schooling was received at Corinth Academy, a privates school operated by the Society of Friends. Later he attended Westtown Boarding School in Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1901. He then entered the University College of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. He received his degree of Doctor of Medicine from that institution in 1906, and shortly thereafter passed the state examinations which licensed him to parctice his profession.

On November 27, 1906, he married Lora K. Burgess. From this marriage were born two sons, Drs. Fletcher Raiford and Morgan Raiford. From 1906 to 1908, Raiford practiced medicine in his home community. Quickly Dr. Raiford was forced to work around many handicaps that faced rural doctors of the time. Things such as muddy roads, lack of modern conveniences, and lack of reliable transportation to name a few. In 1908 he built a home in the village of Sedley, about seven miles south of his old home. It was here that he began a modest clinic housed in his dwelling. This clinic was one of the first attempts by any physician to establish a clinic in a rural area.

In 1925 he opened a hosptial in Franklin, Virginia that was known as the Raiford Memorial Hospital. The ever-growing needs for hospital service in Franklin and the surrounding community made necessary almost continuous expansion. This was made possible by substantial grants and other federal funds. It was at the Sedley Clinic and the Raiford Memorial Hospital that the began preaching and practicing the doctrine of preventive medicine and raising the health standards of people of both races in these areas. It was these efforts to provide equal medical care to all no matter their financial status or race that made him a pioneer and brought him national recognition.

Scope and Content Information

The Rufus Livius Raiford Collection contains nearly 700 items. The collection is divided into sixs series: Personal Correspondence, Professional Papers, School Years, Genealogy and Local History, Photographs and Publications. The papers date from 1891-1963 with one biographical sketch of a family member, in the genealogy and local history series, dating from 1988. Included with the collection are handwritten notes written by Raiford's granddaughter, the donor of the collection. These notes provide a good insight into certain aspects of the collection.

The largest series in this collection is the personal corespondence. It is arranged chronologically. The series consists primarily of letters written by Raiford and his wife to their son Fletcher while he was away at the Westtown School, the University of Richmond and the Medical College of Virginia between 1932 and 1937. These letters serve as weekly accounts of things oing on at the Raiford Memorial Hospital, life in Franklin, and life during the Depression. They also illustrate many of the difficulties that were faced by Raiford in his attempt to establish a stong hospital and provide quality medical care in a rural area.

The professional papers include corresondence, patient accounts, physician visiting litsts, information on the Raiford Memorial Hospital, and information on various conferences. This series contains letters from other professionals in the medical field, information on hospital business, and information on conferences. This series reflects many of the areas of concern and interest Raiford had for the hospital and his profession. It also shows the types of business he conducted over the years.

The school years series consists of matriculation cards of Rufus Raiford whileat the University College of Medicine, YMCA booklets, commencement invitations and a small set of correspondence. Lastly the collection has three smaller series: genealogy and local history, photographs, and publications. The photographs are personal family images and shots of Raiford Memorial Hospital. Publications include articles written by Raiford and articles about Raiford and the hospital.


Materials are arranged in six series and chronologial therein

Contents List

Series I: Personal Correspondence
  • Box-folder 1:1
  • Box-folder 1:2
  • Box-folder 1:3
  • Box-folder 1:4
  • Box-folder 1:5
  • Box-folder 1:6
    September-November 1932
  • Box-folder 1:7
    November-December 1932
  • Box-folder 1:8
    January 1933
  • Box-folder 1:9
    Frebruary-March 1933
  • Box-folder 1:10
    April-May 1933
  • Box-folder 2:1
    September-October 1933
  • Box-folder 2:2
    November-December 1933
  • Box-folder 2:3
    January-February 1934
  • Box-folder 2:4
    March-April 1934
  • Box-folder 2:5
    May-September 1934
  • Box-folder 2:6
    October-December 1934
  • Box-folder 2:7
    January-February 1935
  • Box-folder 2:8
    March-April 1935
  • Box-folder 3:1
    May-June 1935
  • Box-folder 3:2
    July-September 1935
  • Box-folder 3:3
    January-February 1936
  • Box-folder 3:4
    March-April 1936
  • Box-folder 3:5
    May 1936
  • Box-folder 3:6
    June-August 1937
  • Box-folder 3:7
  • Box-folder 3:8
  • Box-folder 3:9
Series II: Professional Papers
  • Box-folder 4:1
    Correspondence 1907-1909, 1923
  • Box-folder 4:2
    Correspondence 1944-47
  • Box-folder 4:3
    Correspondence 1948
  • Box-folder 4:4
    Raiford Memorial Hospital
  • Box-folder 4:5
    Patient Accounts
  • Box-folder 4:6
    Patient Accounts
  • Box-folder 4:7
    Physicians Visiting Lists
  • Box-folder 4:8
    Physicians Visiting Lists
  • Box-folder 5:1
    Notes and Journal
  • Box-folder 5:2
    Medical Society of Virginia
  • Box-folder 5:3
    Seaboard Medical Society
  • Box-folder 5:4
    Southern Rural Health Conference
  • Box-folder 5:5
    Bank Notes
  • Box-folder 5:6
    Medical Stamps
Series III: School Years 1901-1906
  • Box-folder 5:7
    Correspondence 1902-1905
  • Box-folder 5:8
    Westtown Literary Union
  • Box-folder 5:9
    Young Men's Christian Association booklets
  • Box-folder 5:10
    Matriculation Cards
  • Box-folder 5:11
    Sketch Book
  • Box-folder 5:12
    Commencement Invitation
  • Box-folder 5:13
    State Board of Medical Examiners
Series IV: Genealogy and Local History
  • Box-folder 5:14
  • Box-folder 5:15
    Corinth Acadmey
  • Box-folder 5:16
    Black Creek Friends Meeting
  • Box-folder 5:14
    Biographical Sketch-Daniel Morgan Burgess
Series V: Photographs
  • Box-folder 5:18
    Richmond 1900-1906
  • Oversize
    Westtown School, Class of 1901 1901
  • Box-folder 5:19
    R. L. Raiford graduation 1906
  • Box-folder 5:20
    Lora K. Burgess 1906
  • Box-folder 5:21
    Family Photos 1908-1926
  • Box-folder 5:22
    Raiford Memorial Hospital
  • Box-folder 5:23
    Personal Photos (Undated)
Serives VI: Publications
  • Box-folder 6:1
    Virginia Medical Monthly1908-1946
  • Box-folder 6:2
    Hospital ManagementApril 1946
  • Box-folder 6:3
    CoronetMarch 1948
  • Box-folder 6:4
    HospitalsJuly 1948
  • Box-folder 6:5
    Sun Article, March 1988 and Leggett 1976
  • Box-folder 6:6
    Newspaper Clippings
  • Box-folder 6:7
    Newspaper Clippings