American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Records Now Open to Research

By , January 26, 2014

William H. Taliaferro in his laboratory.

The Center for the History of Medicine is pleased to announce that the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene collection is open to research. The collection (131.25 cubic feet) is comprised of society administrative records, publications and grey literature pertinent to the field, photographs, and field research covering the period 1903 through 2013.

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) was founded in 1903 by a group of Philadelphia physicians and originally named the American Society of Tropical Medicine. The growth of tropical medicine, and the need for the society, stemmed in part from the expansion of American political and business interests in tropical and sub-tropical countries at the turn of the century and was supported by developments in microscopy and virology. Today, ASTMH continues its mission to promote global health through the prevention and control of infectious and other diseases that disproportionately afflict the global poor.

The collection contains a wide variety of material, including publications, photographs, subcommittee and special interest group records, and slides, audio, and audio-visual recordings. Recordings include interviews with prominent Society members as well as board meetings and paper sessions at annual meetings; not all conferences are represented here. Photographs and slides are represented not only in the Society’s own records but from the collected papers in Series II of Society members, including the Society’s first archivist Linda Brink.

Also reflected in the collection are the Society’s involvement and work with other organizations including the American Medical Association; the American Type Culture Collection; the American Society of Parasitology; the Gorgas Memorial Institute of Tropical and Preventive Medicine; and the American Society of Tropical Veterinary Medicine and Hygiene.

The Society collected publications of interest to its members, including reports of the Gorgas Institute, offprints and reprints of articles of interest, and technical reports. Subcommittees such as the American Committee on Arthropod-borne Viruses also collected reports from outside organizations as well as their own records reflecting communication between members, and creation and revision of committee reports.

Topics in the collection include conference planning, editing of Society publications, elections to the Society’s Board and Council, committee work on special topics including arthropod-borne viruses, the selection of awardees for Society medals, and field work undertaken by members, notably William H. Taliaferro, Wilbur G. Downs, and Paul F. Russell.

The Center is grateful to ASTMH for the gift of the collection and for funding the preparation of the collection for research.


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