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History of Medicine

Resources for researching, teaching, and learning about the history of medicine.

Current & Upcoming Exhibits

Celebrating Dr. Amelia R. Keller: Pioneering Physician, Educator, Suffragist, and Public Health Advocate

Exhibit curated in conjunction with the official dedication of an Indiana Historical Bureau marker honoring Dr. Keller on April 19th, 202. The exhibit is currently on display on the 3rd floor of the Ruth Lilly Medical Library.


About Dr. Amelia Keller:

Amelia R. Keller was born January 12, 1871 in Cleveland, Ohio to German immigrants Frederick Carl Keller and Elizabeth (Ruemmele) Keller. Her family later moved to Indianapolis, where she graduated from Shortridge High School in 1888. Keller became a student at the Woman’s Medical College of Chicago and later received her MD in 1893 from the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons in Indianapolis. Dr. Keller married Dr. Eugene Behler of Indianapolis in 1899. Their son, Eugene, was born September 30, 1903.

In addition to having her own pediatrics general practice, Dr. Keller served on the faculty of the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons (1906-1908) and then became one of the first women to teach at the Indiana University School of Medicine (1908-1919). Dr. Keller specialized in pediatrics and gynecology, and lectured on social hygiene and child welfare. She also served as family physician to Indiana Governor James P. Goodrich.

Dr. Keller was a dedicated advocate of women’s suffrage and public welfare and was actively involved and held leadership positions in various civic and political organizations including the Equal Suffrage Society, Woman's School League, Woman's Franchise League of Indiana (serving six consecutive terms as its president), Political Equality Society, Indiana Federated Clubs (serving as its first vice president), Citizens League of Indiana, Charity Organization Society of Indianapolis, Smoke Abatement Association of Indianapolis, Girls School Board of Trustees, Indianapolis Historical Society, Rotary Club of Indianapolis, and the All Souls Unitarian Church. Dr. Keller remained active in Indiana medicine, politics, and society until her death on January 28, 1943. She is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

Previous National Library of Medicine Exhibits Hosted by the Ruth Lilly Medical Library