January 27, 2022

University of Michigan: “Bentley Historical Library Acquires Kevorkian Papers, Now Open to the Public”

From the University of Michigan:

The University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library has acquired the papers of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a controversial Detroit-area native best known for his advocacy of physician-assisted suicide and terminal patients’ “right to die.”

The collection, donated by Kevorkian’s niece Ava Janus, comprises materials spanning 1911 to 2014.


In addition to correspondence, published works, manuscript drafts, photographs, court records, news coverage and interviews, the materials also contain files related to “medicide”—a term Kevorkian used to refer to the assisted suicides of more than 100 terminally ill people that he provided services to between 1990 and 1998.

The medicide files, which have been digitized and are now officially open to the public, consist of medical histories, photographs, and video and audio recordings of consultations with patients relating to many of the cases.

Olga Virakhovskaya, Bentley’s lead archivist who processed the materials, recently presented to the Society of American Archivists about the ethical considerations and decision-making relative to providing access to this specific collection.

Learn More About the Collection

Direct to Collection Finding Aid


Papers from Kevorkian’s life available at Univ. of Michigan (via UPI)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.