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COLLECTION Identifier: P-DT11, Series 00908

Harvard-MIT School of Public Health. Department of Industrial Hygiene executive administrative files

Overview

The Harvard-MIT School of Public Health Department of Industrial Hygiene executive administrative files, 1915-1982 (inclusive), 1915-1934 (bulk), are the product of departmental activities, especially relating to the founding of the department around 1922.

Dates

  • 1915-1982 (inclusive)
  • Majority of material found within 1915-1934

Language of Materials

Records are in English

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Access requires advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in the collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting any third-party copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish. For more information on the Center's use, publication, and reproduction policies, view our Reproductions and Use Policy.

Extent

2.05 cubic feet (1 records center carton, 2 oversized boxes)

The Harvard-MIT School of Public Health, Department of Industrial Hygiene executive administrative files, 1915-1982 (inclusive), 1915-1934 (bulk) are the product of departmental activities. Records include material about the founding of the Department of Industrial Hygiene such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, meeting minutes, and manuscripts. The bulk of the materials were curated sometime likely in the late 1920s by Frederick C. Shattuck and George C. Shattuck to preserve the history of industrial hygiene and mercantile health. This includes files from multiple offices and departments involved in industrial hygiene, including under the Harvard-MIT School for Health Officers, when no formal departments existed. See the administrative history for full details on the history of departments associated with industrial hygiene. Materials from department names other than the Harvard-MIT School of Public Health, Department of Industrial Hygiene were kept together under this name to preserve the provenance and context of the materials. There are also departmental publications and research reports by faculty.

Records are entirely in English.

Administrative History

The Department of Industrial Hygiene was formed at the Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Public Health (now the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), Boston, Massachusetts in 1922. Courses of study included industrial toxicology, specific industrial diseases, methods of industrial medical service, ventilation, and illumination.

Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School for Health Officers, the school did not have formal departments until the early 1920s. Prior to that, courses were grouped together by general topic. In 1918, the school’s name changed to the Harvard-MIT School of Public Health and the Courses in Industrial Hygiene grouping was created. The Department of Industrial Hygiene was founded in 1922, the same year the school’s name changed to the Harvard School of Public Health. In 1925 the department was renamed the Department of Industrial Medicine. In 1931 the department merged with the Department of Ventilation and Illumination and the Department of Sanitary Engineering to create the new Department of Public Health Engineering. The Department of Industrial Hygiene was reestablished as a department in 1944. The department was renamed the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in 1970. In 1983, the Department of Environmental Health Sciences merged with the Department of Physiology and the Department of Sanitary Engineering to become the Department of Environmental Sciences and Physiology. The department was renamed the Department of Environmental Health in 1991.

Cecil K. Drinker (1887-1956) directed the Courses on Industrial Hygiene prior to the formation of the formal department in 1922. Department chairs were Wade Wright (1889-1936, chair 1922-1923), David Edsall (1869-1945, chair 1923-1928), Alice Hamilton (1869-1970, chair 1929-1930), W. Irving Clark (1879-1958, chair 1931-1932), Philip Drinker (1894-1972, chair 1944-1960), Leslie Silverman (1914-1966, chair 1961-1966), James Whittenberger (1914-2007, chair 1966-1969), and Dade Moeller (1927-2011, chair 1969-1982, partially under the name Department of Environmental Health Sciences). The department was regularly contracted by industry to measure and improve health conditions at factories. Private companies that worked with the department included the New Jersey Zinc Company and the United States Radium Corporation.

Collection Arrangement

These records were assigned a call number upon their reception at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine and were arranged in order by call number. The historical call number order has been maintained. One call number can refer to a single item or to multiple folders. For call numbers representing multiple folders, the original order that existed at time of processing has been maintained.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the Harvard Medical Library by the Department of Industrial Hygiene.

  1. Accession number 2023-010. Department of Industrial Hygiene. Date unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Rebecca Thayer, September 2023.

These materials were originally part of a collection known as the Early School of Public Health records (E72). E72 records were cataloged according to an in-house catalog number system. These catalog numbers and any additional information on the card have been retained where they exist and are located in the file-level scope notes. Defunct box inventories have not been retained in the file-level scope note, but the original cards are retained at the repository. Processing was done by Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook in 2019, 2021 and 2022. Clutterbuck-Cook refoldered and reboxed material and transcribed folder titles from original folders which were then discarded. Original folder titles were retained unless they were determined to be unduly repetitive; for example, “Department of Industrial Hygiene” has been removed from folder titles. In cases where the title of an item on the card catalog card differed from the original folder title, the card catalog title was appended to the beginning of the original folder title. Clutterbuck-Cook and Heather Mumford identified offices and records management series for E72. Clutterbuck-Cook arranged the materials accordingly. Clutterbuck-Cook and Mumford conducted research on the department and its history to draft a finding aid. Additional surveying was done in 2023 by Thayer. Thayer separated out and arranged the Department of Industrial Hygiene records. Thayer also interfiled materials originally collected as part of an E72 vertical file (designated by the word "file" after the call number). Thayer finished the finding aid.

Title
Harvard-MIT School of Public Health. Department of Industrial Hygiene. Executive administrative files, 1915-1982 (inclusive), 1915-1934 (bulk): Finding Aid.
Author
Rebecca Thayer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
eng
EAD ID
med01005

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

The Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine is one of the world's leading resources for the study of the history of health and medicine. Our mission is to enable the history of medicine and public health to inform healthcare, the health sciences, and the societies in which they are embedded.

Contact:
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Boston MA 02115
(617) 432-2170