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Ralph Blocksma Collection



Biographical Note

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Ralph Blocksma Collection, 1933-2003 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

By Ed Gerritsen, June 2010

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Collection Overview

Title: Ralph Blocksma Collection, 1933-2003

ID: COLL/507

Primary Creator: Blocksma, Ralph

Extent: 1.75 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description

Date Acquired: 00/00/2009


Plastic and reconstructive surgeon (specialized in repairs for cleft lips and palates, decubitus ulcers, and burns), and served as a medical missionary. The collection includes biographical materials; diaries; writings; diplomas; awards; publications; speeches; lectures; correspondence; newspaper clippings; "Letters from Pakistan"; photographs (photographic images of surgical procedures are restricted); and materials from his leadership in the Christian Medical Society, Medical Assistance Program (MAP), Board of Affordable Medicines in Africa (AMFA); Oral Cleft Clinic; plus other medical and plastic surgery associations and societies.

Biographical Note

(1914 - 2001)

Ralph Blocksma was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1914. He was a student at Calvin College and graduated with his BA in 1936. He later went on to become a doctor and served on many medical societies and boards and became a medical missionary. Ralph spent a great deal of time and money to develop plastic surgery in third-world countries. He was married to Ruth Naomi Enss in 1940.  Ralph served as a captain in the US Army from 1942-1945. He was a plastic surgeon in the Army and worked in evacuation hospitals in England, France, and Germany. In 1949 he had a career in international medicine. Ralph Blocksma lived in Grand Rapids but died in Jacksonville, Florida. He was eighty-seven years old when he died in 2001.

Administrative Information

Repository: Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Alternate Extent Statement: 4 Boxes

Acquisition Source: Ruth Blocksma, 2009

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biographical information],
[Series 2: Publications],
[Series 3: Miscellaneous],
[Series 4: Photographs],

Series 2: Publications
Box 2
Folder 1-2: "Letters from Pakistan: A Post-Partition Medical Saga," Volume 1 and 2 --- [undated]
Folder 3: Letters from Pakistan: A Post-Partition Medical Saga --- [undated]
Folder 4-5: Scientific papers --- 1949-1987
Folder 6: "Cosmetic Surgery and the Whole Man" --- 1966
Folder 7: "All in a Life's Work: Odyssey of a Plastic Surgeon" --- [undated]
Folder 8: Articles re: silicone research --- 1963
Folder 9: Articles re: medical service --- 1951-1986
Folder 10: Material re: Bougainvillea Clinic for Plastic Surgery --- 1977-1988
Folder 11: Material re: early mission work with the financial assistance of the Henry Beets Mission Society --- [undated]
Folder 12
Item 1: "Historical and Philosophical Concepts of Plastic Surgery" --- 1984
Item 2: "Reflections on Medical Practice Abroad" --- 1984
Item 3: "Ferris N. Smith: The Man and His Art" --- [undated]
Item 4: "Conceptual Changes in Teaching Plastic Surgery" --- [undated]
Folder 13: "Highway Bloodshed, Big Business and Bombast" --- [undated]
Folder 14: Speeches given at International Conference on Medical Missions --- 1960 and 1968
Folder 15: Speeches --- 1975-1990

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Biographical information],
[Series 2: Publications],
[Series 3: Miscellaneous],
[Series 4: Photographs],

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