The Bendixen Papers largely document his career as a biomedical scientist. There is no family correspondence (though he sometimes mentions personal matters in his letters to colleagues) and there are relatively few official Columbia University records.
Series I: Correspondence.
The correspondence consists of both incoming letters and copies of Bendixen's responses. It is largely professional in nature and bulks between 1957 and 1994. Bendixen had a wide acquaintance with the leading academic anesthesiologists in North America and Western Europe and was friends with many. The content of the letters, while generally scientific and professional, often contains personal and biographical information about Bendixen that can be found nowhere else in his papers.
Correspondents include John J. Bonica, John P. Bunker, Werner and Joan Flacke, Joachim S. Gravenstein, William K. Hamilton, John Hedley-Whyte, Thomas F. Hornbein, Sophus Johansen, Richard J. Kitz, John F. Nunn, Henning Pontoppidan, Ole Secher, Fritz Stern, Kunio Suwa, Marek Sych, and Peter Winter.
The correspondence with his Harvard department chair, Henry K. Beecher, is particularly warm and shows the high regard each held for the other. There are several letters from Bendixen related to Beecher's work on the ethics of human experimentation that led to Beecher's 1966 landmark article, "The Ethics of Clinical Research," in the New England Journal of Medicine. These include a six-page letter of March 25, 1965 with Bendixen's comments on the subject and his November 15, 1965 memo to Beecher entitled "Guidelines in Human Study."
Bendixen corresponded throughout his career with many Scandinavian colleagues and these letters are often in Danish, Swedish, or Norwegian.
Series II. Columbia University.
Records of Bendixen's work as an administrator at Columbia, largely from his time as Senior Associate Vice President for Health Sciences (1989-1994). In contrast, there is very little in these papers documenting his tenure as chair of the department of anesthesiology. Bendixen's records as Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine can be found in the Central Files of the Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences which were only partially processed at the time this finding aid was written (2004).
The bulk of the series documents his work with the Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS), part of an effort to foster a wider computer infrastructure at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Included are lectures and presentations he gave on IAIMS, as well as reports and reviews.
As official University records, these files are closed for 25 years from the date of creation, as mandated in the Archives and Special Collections' Access Policy. Personal notes and other non-official correspondence with University officers can be found in Series I.
Series III. Lectures, Speeches, and Reprints.
Drafts and final versions of numerous lectures and scientific presentations given by Bendixen, 1956-1993. While most of these are focused on Bendixen's scientific interests - especially critical and intensive care; respiratory failure and resuscitation; hypoxia; and catecholamines - some are of more general medical interest, especially during his tenure as Vice President at Columbia in the 1980s.
Many of these lectures became the basis for published scientific articles that can be found in the reprints. However, there are also many talks, never formally published, that Bendixen gave to medical students and residents at Harvard and Columbia from the mid-1950s to the 1980s.
Series IV. Universities, Societies, and Publishers.
Correspondence with a wide variety of academic institutions, scholarly organizations, and publishers. The university correspondence often concerns efforts to recruit Bendixen. Much of this is routine and not very extensive, with the exception of the University of Iowa correspondence which shows that Bendixen seriously considered accepting the chairmanship of anesthesiology there.
In the publishers' correspondence, the Edward Arnold, Ltd. records include a contract for Bendixen's contribution to Epidemiology and Anesthesia, edited by John F. Nunn and published in 1986.
Series V. Books and Reports.
Includes three published reports from the Forum on Blood Safety and Blood Availability, a task force of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences which was chaired by Bendixen; this is the only documentation in the papers of his role in this work.
Series VI. Photographs.
These are almost entirely professional in nature and largely date to his time as Vice President for Health Sciences. There are, however, portrait photographs from throughout his adult life.
Series VII. Artifacts.
Medals and other three-dimensional awards received by Bendixen.
Series VIII. Oversize.
Large-format items including medical licenses, diplomas, and awards.