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Dr. Nelson W. Courtney Collection

Identifier: RH-A-4330

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of materials spanning from 1913 to the early 2000s relating to Kalamazoo Radiology and collected by Dr. Nelson W. Courtney (1936-2021), a long-time member of the practice.


  • Creation: 1913 - early 2000s


Kalamazoo Radiology History

Founded by Dr. Augustus Warren Crane (1868-1937) in 1897, Kalamazoo Radiology originally operated as a general medical practice until 1897 when the operations shifted to internal medicine and radiological diagnosis. Over the years more doctors joined the practice and it worked closely with both Bronson and Borgess Hospitals. Kalamazoo Radiology is now known as Bronson Advanced Radiology Services as it became a part of the Bronson Healthcare Group.

Dr. Nelson W. Courtney Biography

Born in Kalamazoo, Dr. Nelson W. Courtney (1936-2021) majored in biology at Kalamazoo College graduating in 1958. He graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1963. After serving in the United States Air Force, he returned to Kalamazoo joining Kalamazoo Radiology in 1969. He is credited with bringing ultra sound technology to the practice. He served as President of Kalamazoo Radiology and Chief of Staff at Bronson Methodist Hospital. He married Jean Hilton(1936-2020) in 1961 also a graduate of Kalamazoo College with a degree in music. They had three daughters, Catherine, Susan and Karen.


.25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Dr. Courtney’s three daughters sent material to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. Regina Gorham, the Museum’s Collections Manager, sent over items that would be better suited at the Archives. The material in the inventory is what was retained; the remaining material was returned to the Museum.

Physical Description

The collection amounts to .25 cubic feet and is composed of material relating to Kalamazoo Radiology a practice that opened in 1894 in Kalamazoo by Dr. Augustus W. Crane. The documents are letter and legal size along with photographic slides. Some papers from the early 20th century have yellowed and the ink has faded. There is minimal damage to the paper materials, save some small tears around the edges. The papers were written on in black ink from a typewriter and black pen ink. Some paper was printed on letterhead from their respective institutions including Kalamazoo Radiology, Borgess Hospital and Bronson Hospital. The older photographic slides are made of glass with paper borders, while the newer slides are plastic with a paper border. The slides are in excellent condition and present clear, detailed images.

The majority of the slides are about 1 inch by 1 inch; there is one, which is a glass negative, is 3.5 x 1.75 inches. The glass negative is an interior image of the Radiology office more than likely in Dr. Crane’s medical office. The majority of the other slides are of 458 W. South Street a location for Kalamazoo Radiology from approximately 1942 to 1976 and the current location at 524 South Park Street completed in 1976.

Nelson W. Courtney Collection finding aid
Aidan Kyle; Stephanie Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490