Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Public Health Service [PHS], 1912-1968


(Record Group 90)
1794-1990

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 90.1 Administrative History
  • 90.2 General Records of the Public Health Service and its Predecessors 1802-1945
  • 90.3 Records of PHS Operating Units 1872-1950
    • 90.3.1 Records of the Domestic (Interstate) Quarantine Division
    • 90.3.2 Records of the General Inspection Service
    • 90.3.3 Records of the Marine Hospitals Division
    • 90.3.4 Records of the Division of Insular and Foreign Quarantine
    • 90.3.5 Records of the Division of Venereal Diseases
    • 90.3.6 Records of the Division of Scientific Research
  • 90.4 Records of PHS Hospitals and Field Medical Installations 1794-1944
    • 90.4.1 Records of the hospital at Ashland, WI
    • 90.4.2 Records of the hospital at Atlantic City, NJ
    • 90.4.3 Records of the hospital at Baltimore, MD
    • 90.4.4 Records of the hospital at Barnstable, MA
    • 90.4.5 Records of the hospital at Bath, ME
    • 90.4.6 Records of the hospital at Boothbay Harbor, ME
    • 90.4.7 Records of the hospital at Camden, NJ
    • 90.4.8 Records of the hospital at Charleston, SC
    • 90.4.9 Records of the hospital at Charlestown (Boston), MA
    • 90.4.10 Records of the hospital at Chelsea, MA
    • 90.4.11 Records of the hospital at Cincinnati, OH
    • 90.4.12 Records of the hospital at Cleveland, OH
    • 90.4.13 Records of the hospital at Danville, NY
    • 90.4.14 Records of the hospital at Duluth, MN
    • 90.4.15 Records of the hospital at Edgartown, MA
    • 90.4.16 Records of the hospital at Ellsworth, ME
    • 90.4.17 Records of the hospital at Fort Stanton, NM
    • 90.4.18 Records of the hospital at Georgetown, DC
    • 90.4.19 Records of the hospital at Lewes, DE
    • 90.4.20 Records of the hospital at Little Egg Harbor, NJ
    • 90.4.21 Records of the hospital at Middletown, CT
    • 90.4.22 Records of the hospital at Milwaukee, WI
    • 90.4.23 Records of the hospital at Mobile, AL
    • 90.4.24 Records of the hospital at New Haven, CT
    • 90.4.25 Records of the hospital at New Orleans, LA
    • 90.4.26 Records of the hospital at Pelham, GA
    • 90.4.27 Records of the hospital at Pensacola, FL
    • 90.4.28 Records of the hospital at Philadelphia, PA
    • 90.4.29 Records of the hospital at Portsmouth, NH
    • 90.4.30 Records of the hospital at Providence, RI
    • 90.4.31 Records of the hospital at Rock Island, IL-Davenport, IA
    • 90.4.32 Records of the hospital at Rockland, ME
    • 90.4.33 Records of the hospital at Rome, GA
    • 90.4.34 Records of the hospital at Saginaw, MI
    • 90.4.35 Records of St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC
    • 90.4.36 Records of the hospital at St. Louis, MO
    • 90.4.37 Records of the hospital at Staten Island, NY
    • 90.4.38 Records of the hospital at Tuckerton, NJ
    • 90.4.39 Records of the hospital at Washington, DC
    • 90.4.40 Records of the hospital at Wilmington, NC
    • 90.4.41 Miscellaneous hospital records
  • 90.5 Records of PHS Quarantine Stations 1807-1948
    • 90.5.1 General records
    • 90.5.2 Records of Angel Island Quarantine Station, CA
    • 90.5.3 Records of the Point Loma, Quarantine Station, CA
  • 90.6 Records of the Office of the Surgeon General 1928-65
    • 90.6.1 General records
    • 90.6.2 Records of the Division of Nursing
    • 90.6.3 Records of the Division of Commissioned Officers
    • 90.6.4 Records of the National Office of Vital Statistics
    • 90.6.5 Records of the Office of International Health Relations
    • 90.6.6 Records of the White House Conference on Health
  • 90.7 Records of the Bureau of Medical Services 1945-66
    • 90.7.1 Records of the Hospital Division
    • 90.7.2 Records of the Division of Nursing Resources
  • 90.8 Records of the Bureau of State Services 1948-63
    • 90.8.1 General records
    • 90.8.2 Records of the Division of General Health Services
    • 90.8.3 Records of the Division of Public Health Nursing
    • 90.8.4 Records of the Water Pollution Control Division
    • 90.8.5 Records of the Division of Sanitary Engineering Services
    • 90.8.6 Records of the Division of Special Health Services
  • 90.9 Records of the Community Health Divisions, Bureau of State Services 1940-69
    • 90.9.1 Records of the Division of Chronic Diseases
    • 90.9.2 Records of the Division of Community Health Practice
    • 90.9.3 Records of the Division of Dental Health and Resources
    • 90.9.4 Records of the Division of Nursing
  • 90.10 Records of the Division of Air Pollution, Environmental Health Divisions, Bureau of State Services 1965-66
  • 90.11 Records of the National Board of Health 1879-84
  • 90.12 Textual Records (General) 1914-74
  • 90.13 Cartographic Records (General) 1918, 1942-51
  • 90.14 Motion Pictures (General) 1924-50
  • 90.15 Sound Recordings (General) 1942
  • 90.16 Still Pictures (General) 1862-1934


90.1 Administrative History

Established: In the Department of the Treasury by the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service Act (37 Stat. 309), August 14, 1912.

Predecessor Agencies:

In the Department of the Treasury:
  • Marine Hospital Service (1798-1902)
  • U.S. Public Health and Marine Hospital Service (1902-12)

Transfers: To Federal Security Agency by Reorganization Plan No. I of 1939, effective July 1, 1939; to Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953, effective April 11, 1953; to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by the Department of Education Organization Act (93 Stat. 695), October 17, 1979.

Functions: Administers federal programs to protect and improve the nation's physical and mental health. Provides guidance and support to the following constituent operating health agencies: Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration; Centers for Disease Control; Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; Food and Drug Administration; Health Resources and Services Administration; Indian Health Service; National Institutes of Health; and Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.

Finding Aids: Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Public Health Service," NC 34 (Oct. 1963, rev. Jan. 1966); supplement in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Related Records:
Record copies of publications of the Public Health Service in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
General Records of the Department of the Treasury, RG 56.
Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, RG 75.
Records of the Food and Drug Administration, RG 88.
General Records of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, RG 235.
Records of the Environmental Protection Agency, RG 412.
Records of St. Elizabeths Hospital, RG 418.
Records of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RG 442.
Records of the National Institutes of Health, RG 443.

90.2 General Records of the Public Health Service and its
Predecessors
1802-1945

History: Established in the Department of the Treasury as the Marine Hospital Service under provisions of an act of July 16, 1798 (1 Stat. 605), authorizing marine hospitals for the care of American merchant seamen. Centralized direction dates from appointment of first Surgeon General ("Supervising Surgeon of the Marine Hospital Service") pursuant to an act reorganizing the Marine Hospital Service (16 Stat. 170), June 29, 1870. Redesignated Public Health and Marine Hospital Service by an act of July 1, 1902 (32 Stat. 712), to reflect enhanced public health responsibilities in areas of research, disease prevention, and education. Redesignated PHS, 1912. See 90.1.

90.2.1 Correspondence

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1834-1921, with partial register, 1870-73, 1884-85, 1889. Letters received, 1834-97, with register, 1869-97. Letters received from quarantine stations, 1869-97. General subject file of the PHS, 1897-1944 (845 ft.), with card index, 1897-1923 (260 ft.).

90.2.2 Personnel records

Textual Records: Correspondence regarding nominations, applications, and charges against officers, 1868-1910. Lists of quarantine station employees, 1892-94. Card record of changes of personnel aides, 1919-20, 1926-32. Personnel records of PHS employees, 1877-1915, and officers in the PHS Commissioned Corps, 1873-1945. Monthly personnel reports, 1925-41.

90.2.3 Financial and budgetary records

Textual Records: Statements of the marine hospital fund, 1802-48, 1861-64. Quarterly financial returns of hospitals, 1833-50. Record of hospital dues collected from seamen, 1872-90. Appropriation ledgers, 1871-1911, 1931. Disbursement books, 1847- 1921 (with gaps). Registers of accounts, 1890-1911. Cashbooks, 1904-9, 1922-23. Allotment books, 1913-39. Relief statistics, 1860-1935 (with gaps). Miscellaneous records, 1833-1915. PHS salary ledgers, 1877-1920.

90.3 Records of PHS Operating Units
1872-1950

History: Marine Hospital Service first organized into functional divisions pursuant to reorganization order, Office of the Surgeon General, September 28, 1899. Initial organization consisted of Marine Hospitals Division (See 90.3.3), Domestic Quarantine Division (See 90.3.1), Division of Insular and Foreign Quarantine and Immigration (See 90.3.4), Division of Personnel and Accounts, Division of Statistics and Public Health Reports, and Miscellaneous Division. Informal redesignations occurred almost immediately: Marine Hospitals Division became Division of Marine Hospitals and Relief (1900); Division of Statistics and Public Health Reports became Division of Sanitary Reports and Statistics (1900); Domestic Quarantine Division became Division of Domestic (Interstate) Quarantine (1910), with formal redesignation as States Relations Division, July 1, 1941; and Division of Insular and Foreign Quarantine and Immigration became Division of Foreign and Insular Quarantine and Immigration (1905), with a brief period when the title Division of Maritime Quarantine was commonly substituted (1918-19).

Division of Scientific Research (See 90.3.6) established, September 1901, with informal redesignation as Division of Scientific Research and Sanitation by 1905. Division of Venereal Diseases (See 90.3.5) established pursuant to provisions of the Army Appropriation Act (40 Stat. 886), July 9, 1918. Narcotics Division established by the Narcotic Farms Act (45 Stat. 1086), January 19, 1929, and redesignated Division of Mental Hygiene by an act of June 14, 1930 (46 Stat. 586). (For an administrative history of this division, which became the National Institute of Mental Health, See RG 511.)

PHS Reorganization Order No. 1, December 30, 1943, implementing the Public Health Service Act (57 Stat. 587), November 11, 1943, established two headquarters components, the Bureau of Medical Services and Bureau of State Services, assigning Division of Marine Hospitals and Relief (as Hospital Division), Division of Mental Hygiene, and Division of Foreign and Insular Quarantine and Immigration (as Foreign Quarantine Division) to Bureau of Medical Services; and assigning States Relations Division, Division of Venereal Diseases (as Venereal Disease Division), and newly established Industrial Hygiene Division to Bureau of State Services. Retained by the immediate Office of the Surgeon General were Division of Personnel and Accounts (split into Civil Service Personnel Section and Budget and Fiscal Office, both under the Deputy Surgeon General, and Division of Commissioned Officers) and Division of Sanitary Reports and Statistics, which was absorbed into Division of Public Health Methods which had been transferred from the National Institute of Health. (For administrative histories subsequent to reorganization of 1944, See 90.6, 90.7, and 90.8.)

90.3.1 Records of the Domestic (Interstate) Quarantine Division

History: Established as one of the initial divisions of the Marine Hospital Service, pursuant to Surgeon General's reorganization order, September 28, 1899. Commonly known as the Division of Domestic Quarantine and, after 1910, as the Division of Domestic (Interstate) Quarantine. Redesignated States Relations Division, July 1, 1941. Assigned to newly established Bureau of State Services pursuant to PHS Reorganization Order No. 1, December 30, 1943, implementing Public Health Service Act (57 Stat. 587), November 11, 1943. See 90.8.

Textual Records: Records of a conference on the future of the public health program in the United States and education of sanitarians, March 1922. Records relating to the trachoma eradication program, consisting of central office correspondence, 1912-36; weekly reports, 1929-36; correspondence of trachoma treatment hospitals at Greenville, KY, Jackson, KY, Pelham, GA, and Russelville, AR, 1917-28; clinical cards, 1916-20; and travel orders and accounts, 1921-36.

90.3.2 Records of the General Inspection Service

History: Established as the Inspection Section, February 16, 1920, and redesignated the General Inspection Service, August 14, 1920. Responsible for routine inspection of PHS administered hospitals and medical facilities (including veterans' hospitals) and for investigation of complaints (primarily from veterans) of mismanagement or mistreatment by PHS personnel. Activities significantly reduced following transfer of veterans' hospitals to Veterans Bureau, May 1, 1922. Operated through end of Fiscal Year 1924 (June 30, 1924).

Textual Records: Correspondence and index, 1920-24. Inspection and investigation reports, 1919-24. Records of a U.S. Senate investigation of the PHS, 1923. Letters of commendation, 1920-22. Newspaper clippings, 1921-24.

90.3.3 Records of the Marine Hospitals Division

History: Established as one of the initial divisions of the Marine Hospital Service, pursuant to Surgeon General's reorganization order, September 28, 1899. Commonly known as the Division of Marine Hospitals and Relief by 1900. Assigned to newly established Bureau of Medical Services pursuant to PHS Reorganization Order No. 1, December 30, 1943, implementing Public Health Service Act (57 Stat. 587), November 11, 1943. See 90.7.1.

Textual Records: Letters sent to custodians of hospitals, 1897- 1912. General correspondence of the division, 1909-36, with registers, 1884-1911, 1925-36. Records of the Purveyor, including letters sent, 1877-81; and record of medical supplies purchased and issued, 1872-90. Reports of patients admitted and discharged at Marine and Public Health Hospitals, 1877-1920. Records regarding coordination of federal public health activities, 1926- 29.

90.3.4 Records of the Division of Insular and Foreign Quarantine

History: Established as one of the initial divisions of the Marine Hospital Service, pursuant to Surgeon General's reorganization order, September 28, 1899. Commonly known as the Foreign and Insular Quarantine and Immigration Division by 1900, and as Maritime Quarantine Division, 1918-19. Assigned to newly established Bureau of Medical Services pursuant to PHS Reorganization Order No. 1, December 30, 1943, implementing Public Health Service Act (57 Stat. 587), November 11, 1943. See 90.7.

Textual Records: Correspondence with stations at Cienfuegos, Cuba, 1890-1903; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1904-6; and Danzig, Poland, 1921-36. Record of acclimatization certificates issued at Cienfuegos, Cuba, 1906.

90.3.5 Records of the Division of Venereal Diseases

History: Established pursuant to provisions of the Army Appropriation Act (40 Stat. 886), July 9, 1918. Assigned to newly established Bureau of State Services pursuant to PHS Reorganization Order No. 1, December 30, 1943, implementing Public Health Service Act (57 Stat. 587), November 11, 1943. See 90.8.

Textual Records: Decimal file, 1918-36. Legislative files, 1918- 30. Records relating to educational campaigns in colleges, institutions, and labor unions, 1918-24. Correspondence of division officials, 1918-32. Newspaper clippings relating to venereal disease control, 1919-25. General records of the Interdepartmental Social Hygiene Board, including records of the executive director, 1918-21, and scientific studies, 1919-22. Records of the Public Health Institute on Venereal Disease Control, 1921-22, Records of the Committee on Research in Syphilis, 1928-36. Correspondence concerning untreated syphilis in Macon County, Alabama (Tuskegee Syphilis Study), 1932-33.

Sound Recordings: Ballads by popular singers and commentary by well-known news reporters, recorded by Columbia University for the PHS Venereal Disease Project, 1947-50 (8 items). See also 90.14.

90.3.6 Records of the Division of Scientific Research

History: Division of Scientific Research established, September 1901, with informal redesignation as Division of Scientific Research and Sanitation by 1905. Administered Hygienic Laboratory, Washington, DC. Hygienic Laboratory redesignated National Institute of Health by Ransdell Act (46 Stat. 379), May 26, 1930; absorbed Division of Scientific Research, February 1, 1937. (For subsequent administrative history, see RG 443.)

Textual Records: Correspondence relating to the work of the division prepared for the Bureau of Efficiency, October 1917. Letters received relating to the International Congress on Tuberculosis, September 12-October 11, 1918. General records of the Office of International Public Hygiene, 1913-41. Health survey forms for Hagerstown, MD, 1921-43.

90.4 Records of PHS Hospitals and Field Medical Installations
1794-1952

90.4.1 Records of the hospital at Ashland, WI

Textual Records: Outpatient records (interfiled with those for the hospital at Duluth, MN), 1898-1915.

90.4.2 Records of the hospital at Atlantic City, NJ

Textual Records: Records of medical inspection of seamen (interfiled with those for the hospital at Tuckerton, NJ), 1906- 7.

90.4.3 Records of the hospital at Baltimore, MD

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1802-4.

90.4.4 Records of the hospital at Barnstable, MA

Textual Records: Masters certificates of sick or disabled seamen, 1880-89. Prescription books (interfiled with those for the hospital at Ellsworth, ME), 1876-89.

90.4.5 Records of the hospital at Bath, ME

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1802-3. Masters certificates of sick or disabled seamen, 1902-3.

90.4.6 Records of the hospital at Boothbay Harbor, ME

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1899- 1939. Records of medical inspection of seamen, 1880-1939.

90.4.7 Records of the hospital at Camden, NJ

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1818.

90.4.8 Records of the hospital at Charleston, SC

Textual Records: Clinical reports, 1898-1918.

90.4.9 Records of the hospital at Charlestown (Boston), MA

Textual Records: Prescription books, 1809-19.

90.4.10 Records of the hospital at Chelsea, MA

Textual Records: Copies of letters sent and received by the hospital director, 1794-1856.

90.4.11 Records of the hospital at Cincinnati, OH

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1888- 1939. Registers of patients, 1871-88, with index, 1871-76. Outpatient records, 1880-89.

90.4.12 Records of the hospital at Cleveland, OH

Textual Records (in Chicago): Press copies of letters sent, 1889- 1923, with registers, 1900-1. Letters received, 1893-1928. Real estate records, 1924-26. Record of activities ("Operations Journal"), 1899-1913. Patient registers, 1870-1904. Clinical records, 1889-1922.

90.4.13 Records of the hospital at Danville, NY

Textual Records: Treatment journal, 1919-20.

90.4.14 Records of the hospital at Duluth, MN

Textual Records: Outpatient records, 1883-84. Outpatient records (interfiled with those for the hospital at Ashland, WI), 1898- 1915.

90.4.15 Records of the hospital at Edgartown, MA

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1871-85.

90.4.16 Records of the hospital at Ellsworth, ME

Textual Records: Outpatient records, 1880-1911. Prescription books (interfiled with those for the hospital at Barnstable, MA), 1876-89.

90.4.17 Records of the hospital at Fort Stanton, NM

Textual Records (in Denver): Letters sent, 1899-1921. Letters received, 1899-1921. Telegrams sent relating to deaths and burials, 1905-21. Telegrams received, 1912-21. General correspondence, reports, and other records, 1890-1952. Issuances, 1901- 38. Records of staff meetings, 1925-35. Record book of patient histories, 1899-1920. Autopsy reports, 1910-36. Receipts for patients' valuables, 1926-44.

90.4.18 Records of the hospital at Georgetown, DC

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1874-78. Registers of patients, 1865-95. Records of medical inspection of seamen, 1880-1912.

90.4.19 Records of the hospital at Lewes, DE

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1884-89. Registers of patients, 1884-1904. Treatment journal, 1899. Outpatient records, 1878-1911. Records of medical inspection of seamen, 1895-1916. Clinical reports, 1898-1918. Case books, 1882- 89.

90.4.20 Records of the hospital at Little Egg Harbor, NJ

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1872-91.

90.4.21 Records of the hospital at Middletown, CT

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1820- 1905.

90.4.22 Records of the hospital at Milwaukee, WI

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1870-77.

90.4.23 Records of the hospital at Mobile, AL

Textual Records (in Atlanta): Records of the Outpatient Clinic, consisting of letters sent, 1875-77; letters received, 1882-88; telegrams received, 1888; patient registers, 1871-87; treatment records, 1875-83; property management records, 1876-1918; and records relating to building and construction, 1888-1919.

Architectural and Engineering Plans: Architect's sketch of hospital, 1927 (1 item). See also 90.12.

90.4.24 Records of the hospital at New Haven, CT

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1872-89.

90.4.25 Records of the hospital at New Orleans, LA

Textual Records: Registers of patients, 1910-16. Letters sent regarding Wassermann tests conducted at New Orleans, 1920.

90.4.26 Records of the hospital at Pelham, GA

Textual Records: Outpatient records, 1916-32.

90.4.27 Records of the hospital at Pensacola, FL

Textual Records: Treatment journals, 1908-19.

90.4.28 Records of the hospital at Philadelphia, PA

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1811-56.

90.4.29 Records of the hospital at Portsmouth, NH

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1878- 1915. Outpatient records, 1882-1915. Records of medical inspection of seamen, 1885-95. Masters certificates of sick or disabled seamen, 1813-64, 1883-1915.

90.4.30 Records of the hospital at Providence, RI

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1820-65. Registers of patients, 1877-1911.

90.4.31 Records of the hospital at Rock Island, IL-Davenport, IA

Textual Records: Outpatient records, 1929-33. Medical records of injury, 1921-26. Clinical reports, 1898-1918. Masters certificates of sick or disabled seamen, 1925-40. Correspondence with the Employees' Compensation Commission, 1921-22.

90.4.32 Records of the hospital at Rockland, ME

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1889- 1912. Registers of patients, 1889-1925. Outpatient records, 1902- 16. Lists of diseases treated, 1880-1927.

90.4.33 Records of the hospital at Rome, GA

Textual Records: Registers of patients, 1886-96.

90.4.34 Records of the hospital at Saginaw, MI

Textual Records: Masters certificates of sick or disabled seamen, 1935.

90.4.35 Records of St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, DC

Textual Records: Registers of patients, 1875-94. Payrolls of hospital employees, 1890-1920.

Related Records: For additional records, See RG 418, Records of St. Elizabeths Hospital.

90.4.36 Records of the hospital at St. Louis, MO

Textual Records: Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1857-65.

90.4.37 Records of the hospital at Staten Island, NY

History: Seamen's Fund and Retreat established pursuant to an act of the New York legislature, April 22, 1831, to provide hospital care to sick and disabled seamen in New York City. Closed in the summer of 1882. Property conveyed to Marine Society of New York, which leased it to the U.S. Marine Hospital Service in 1883. Purchased by the United States in 1903. U.S. Marine Hospital opened on Bedloe's Island, New York Harbor, 1879. Transferred in 1883 to site of Seamen's Fund and Retreat, Staten Island, NY. Closed as federal facility, 1981. Now operated as Bayley Seaton Hospital by Sisters of Charity of New York.

Textual Records (in New York, except as noted): Records of the Seamen's Fund and Retreat, including minutes of the Board of Trustees, 1843-50, 1863-67; reports of the Superintendent and Visiting Committee, 1842-44; financial records, 1831-66; ship registers, 1854-73; patient registers, 1835-82; case histories, 1831-70; death register, 1831-73; and autopsy register, 1852-54. Records of the PHS hospital, including patient registers, 1879- 1911; letters sent, 1904-11. Medical Officer's journal, 1906-14; registers of permits issued to enter hospital, 1881-1908, with gaps; station orders, 1924-30; and (in Washington Area) medical case registers, 1831-32, and outpatient records, 1891-1939.

90.4.38 Records of the hospital at Tuckerton, NJ

Textual Records: Records of medical inspection of seamen (interfiled with those for the hospital at Atlantic City, NJ), 1906-7.

90.4.39 Records of the hospital at Washington, DC

Textual Records: Treatment journals, 1881-1916. Registers of patients, 1899- 1918. Records of medical inspection of seamen, 1930.

90.4.40 Records of the hospital at Wilmington, NC

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1882-1918. Register of letters received, n.d. Registers of permits to enter hospital, 1866-1912. Registers of patients, 1878-1911. Outpatient records, 1881-1910. Annual reports of surgical operations, 1881-98. Nurses' reports, 1880-1916. Lists of seamen received from tuberculosis hospital, Fort Stanton, NM, 1906-16. Reports of relief furnished foreign seamen, 1881-1910. Monthly meteorological surveys, 1909-17. Necropsy report, 1906.

90.4.41 Miscellaneous hospital records

Textual Records: Records of medical inspection of seamen, 1890- 1933. Masters certificates of sick or disabled seamen, 1881-1915. Reports of medical inspection of seamen, 1880-1916. Declarations of quarantine, 1892-1900. Record of physical examinations given at Boothbay Harbor, ME, Quarantine Station, 1915-39; and at other stations, 1915-24. Vessel fumigation records, 1922-29. Records of vessels inspected for quarantine, 1915-25, 1931; and inspected and fumigated, 1925-28.

90.5 Records of PHS Quarantine Stations
1807-1948

90.5.1 General records

Textual Records: Treatment journal of the medical officer aboard the quarantine launch Spray, 1880. Bills of health for vessels entering PHS quarantine stations at Baltimore, MD, 1831-32; Perth Amboy, NJ, 1819-20; Philadelphia, PA, 1869-70, 1928; Barnstable, MA, 1889-1916; New Bedford, MA, 1807-24, 1897-1917; and Cienfuegos, Cuba, 1907.

90.5.2 Records of Angel Island Quarantine Station, CA

Textual Records (in San Francisco, except as noted): Letters sent, 1899-1908 (in Los Angeles). Letters received, 1889-94 (in Los Angeles). Letters sent by the Medical Officer in Charge, 1903-26. Letters received by the Medical Officer in Charge, 1891- 1918. General administrative files, 1918-48. Personnel files, 1918-48.

90.5.3 Records of the Point Loma, Quarantine Station, CA

Textual Records (in Los Angeles): Letters sent, 1900-6. Letters received, 1904-10.

90.6 Records of the Office of the Surgeon General
1928-69

History: Position of Surgeon General, with responsibility for directing activities of Marine Hospital Service, created pursuant to an act reorganizing the Marine Hospital Service (16 Stat. 170), June 29, 1870. PHS Reorganization Order No. 1, December 30, 1943, implementing Public Health Service Act (57 Stat. 587), November 11, 1943, assigned a number of divisions to direct supervision of the Surgeon General. Initial components of the Office of the Surgeon General, 1944, were the Division of Commissioned Officers (See 90.6.3), Dental Division, Sanitary Engineering Division (formerly the Sanitary Section, States Relations Division), Division of Nurse Education (See 90.6.2), and Division of Public Health Methods (transferred from the National Institute of Health, absorbing the Division of Sanitary Reports and Statistics). Acquired responsibility for compiling vital statistics from Bureau of Census, 1946 (See 90.6.4). Division of Personnel established 1949. Absorbed Division of Commissioned Officers, June 1955. Division of International Health established, 1949 (See 90.6.5). Division of Civilian Health Requirements established April 2, 1951. Redesignated Division of Health Requirements, 1953.

90.6.1 General records

Textual Records: PHS numbered circulars, 1928-47. Regulations for the Government of the United States Public Health Service, 1931, with amendments, 1931-44.

90.6.2 Records of the Division of Nursing

History: Established in the Office of the Surgeon General by consolidation of Division of Nurse Education with Office of Nursing, Bureau of Medical Services, 1946, acquiring also professional (but not administrative) responsibilities of the Office of Public Health Nursing, Bureau of State Services. Abolished, 1949, with functions split between Division of Nursing Resources, Bureau of Medical Services (See 90.7.2) and Division of Public Health Nursing, Bureau of State Services (See 90.8.3).

Textual Records: Records of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, including administrative records, 1941-46; affiliation reports, 1941-45; records relating to basic education and postgraduate programs, 1941-43; basic program budgets, 1941-43; and scrapbooks, 1943-47.

90.6.3 Records of the Division of Commissioned Officers

History: Established 1944. Absorbed by Division of Personnel, June 1955.

Textual Records: Official lists of commissioned officers, 1940- 55. Seniority lists of commissioned officers, Regular Corps, 1940-55. Division directives, 1946-51. Printed regulations, 1937- 55.

90.6.4 Records of the National Office of Vital Statistics

History: Established from Vital Statistics Division, Bureau of the Census, transferred to PHS by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1946, effective July 17, 1946. Transferred to Bureau of State Services, 1949. Made part of Division of General Health Services, Bureau of State Services, 1954. Redesignated National Vital Statistics Division and assigned to National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Office of the Surgeon General, 1961. Superseded by Vital Statistics Division, NCHS, 1964.

Textual Records: Record set of official publications regarding vital statistics (1854-1942), compiled by the National Office of Vital Statistics, 1930-42. Correspondence, 1940-50.

90.6.5 Records of the Office of International Health Relations

History: Established 1945. Redesignated Division of International Health, 1949. Transferred to Bureau of State Services, April 1, 1953. Returned to Office of the Surgeon General, November 1, 1959. Redesignated Office of International Health, 1963. Transferred to Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, 1973.

Textual Records: Records relating to the Philippine Rehabilitation Program, 1946-49. Correspondence, 1949-69. Records of relations with foreign groups, 1945-63.

90.6.6 Records of the White House Conference on Health

History: Met November 3-4, 1965.

Textual Records: Press releases, 1965. Transcripts of panel sessions, November 1965. Lists of persons invited and registering, 1965.

Sound Recordings: Proceedings, November 1965 (88 items). See also 90.14.

90.7 Records of the Bureau of Medical Services
1945-66

History: Established as a headquarters element of PHS by PHS Reorganization Order No. 1, December 30, 1943, implementing Public Health Service Act (57 Stat. 587), November 11, 1943. Administered PHS hospitals, clinics, and outpatient facilities; and administered quarantine laws. Consisted initially of Hospital Division (See 90.7.1), Mental Hygiene Division, Foreign Quarantine Division, and Office of Nursing (See 90.6.2). Federal Employee Health Division established in Bureau of Medical Services, January 1, 1947, pursuant to an act of August 8, 1946 (60 Stat. 903), to provide advice and personnel to assist federal agencies in developing and implementing employee health care programs. Division of Health Facilities Construction established in Bureau of Medical Services, 1947. In PHS reorganization of 1949, Hospital Division redesignated Division of Hospitals, absorbing Federal Employee Health Division; Divisions of Dental Resources, Medical and Hospital Resources, and Nursing Resources (See 90.7.2) established in Bureau of Medical Services; Mental Hygiene Division separated from Bureau of Medical Services as National Institute of Mental Health; and Division of Hospital Facilities transferred from Bureau of State Services. Division of Hospital and Medical Resources abolished, June 1953. Division of Indian Health established in Bureau of Medical Services to administer responsibility, acquired from Bureau of Indian Affairs, July 1, 1955, for providing medical services to Indians and Alaska Natives. Division of Health Facilities Construction and Division of Hospital Facilities consolidated as Division of Hospital and Medical Facilities, 1955. Divisions of Nursing Resources and Dental Resources superseded by Divisions of Nursing and Dental Public Health and Resources, Bureau of State Services, September 1960. Federal Employee Health Program, Division of Hospitals, elevated to division status, 1966. Abolished by HEW reorganization order, June 29, 1967, pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1966, effective June 25, 1966, with functions to newly established Bureau of Health Services. See RG 512.

90.7.1 Records of the Hospital Division

History: Established in Bureau of States Services, 1944, superseding Division of Marine Hospitals and Relief (See 90.3.3). Absorbed Federal Employee Health Division and redesignated Division of Hospitals, 1949. Redesignated Division of Direct Health Services and assigned to newly established Bureau of Health Services, 1967. Functions absorbed into Federal Health Programs Service, Health Services and Mental Health Administration, 1968. See RG 512.

Textual Records: Annual reports of PHS hospitals, 1957-63. Monthly dental reports, 1957-59. Statistics on medical care in PHS facilities, 1949-57. Records relating to the National Leprosarium, Carville, LA, 1945-66.

90.7.2 Records of the Division of Nursing Resources

History: Established from Division of Nursing, Office of the Surgeon General, 1949. Superseded by Division of Nursing, Bureau of State Services, September 1960. See 90.9.4.

Textual Records: Studies of nursing education and service, 1950- 60. Records relating to a survey of nurse job satisfaction, 1954- 57.

90.8 Records of the Bureau of State Services
1948-63

History: Established as a headquarters element of PHS by PHS Reorganization Order No. 1, December 30, 1943, implementing Public Health Service Act (57 Stat. 587), November 11, 1943. Consisted initially of the States Relations Division (less Sanitary Section retained by Office of the Surgeon General), Venereal Disease Division, and Industrial Hygiene Division (redesignated Division of Occupational Health, 1951). Administered PHS federal-state and interstate programs in areas of community health, including hospital construction, training of medical personnel, and control of communicable diseases; and environmental health, including air pollution control, community sanitation, solid waste disposal, and pesticides.

Tuberculosis Control Section, States Relations Division, redesignated Division of Tuberculosis Control, pursuant to the Public Health Service Act of 1944 (58 Stat. 682), July 1, 1944. Office of Malaria Control in War Areas separated from States Relations Division and designated Communicable Disease Center, July 1, 1946. Hospital Facilities Section, States Relations Division, redesignated Division of Hospital Facilities in implementation of Hospital Survey and Construction Act (60 Stat. 1040), August 13, 1946. In PHS reorganization of 1949, States Relations Division abolished; new Divisions of Chronic Disease, Dental Public Health, Engineering Resources, Public Health Education, Public Health Nursing, Sanitation, State Grants, and Water Pollution Control established in Bureau of State Services; Division of Tuberculosis Control redesignated Division of Tuberculosis; and Division of Hospital Facilities transferred to Bureau of Medical Services. Division of Chronic Disease and Division of Tuberculosis consolidated to form Division of Chronic Disease and Tuberculosis, 1951. Acquired Division of International Health from Office of the Surgeon General, April 1, 1953. Returned, November 1, 1959.

Division of Dental Public Health established, 1949. Consolidated with Division of Dental Resources, Bureau of Medical Services, to form Division of Dental Public Health and Resources, Bureau of State Services, September 1960. Division of Health Mobilization established in Bureau of State Services, 1959. Transferred to Office of the Surgeon General, July 1960.

Division of General Health Services established, 1954, absorbing Divisions of Public Health Nursing, Public Health Education, and State Grants. Superseded by Division of Community Health Practice, February 1, 1961. Division of Sanitary Engineering Services established, 1954, absorbing Divisions of Engineering Resources, Sanitation, and Water Pollution Control. Separate Division of Water Supply and Pollution Control established April 1959; Division of Air Pollution Control, September 1960. Division of Sanitary Engineering Services superseded by Division of Environmental Engineering and Food Protection, 1961. Division of Special Health Services established, 1954, absorbing Divisions of Chronic Disease and Tuberculosis, Occupational Health, and Venereal Disease. Abolished by functional realignment, 1960-61.

Bureau of State Services reorganized into separate Community Health Divisions (See 90.9) and Environmental Health Divisions (See 90.10), effective September 1, 1960. Abolished by HEW reorganization order, June 29, 1967, pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1966, effective June 25, 1966, with community health services and hospital construction to newly established Bureau of Health Services (See RG 512), training and professional development to Bureau of Health Manpower (See RG 512), and communicable disease control and environmental health to Bureau of Disease Prevention and Environmental Control (See RG 412).

90.8.1 General records

Textual Records: Divisional and legislative information records, 1958-62. Subject files of Harold F. Eisele, 1954-63. Management studies, 1948-63.

90.8.2 Records of the Division of General Health Services

History: Established 1954, consolidating Divisions of Public Health Nursing, Public Health Education, and State Grants. Replaced by Division of Community Health Practice, February 1, 1961. See 90.9.2.

Textual Records: State and local financial assistance plans, 1948-61. Records of the polio vaccine distribution program, 1955-57.

90.8.3 Records of the Division of Public Health Nursing

History: Office of Public Health Nursing established from Public Health Nursing Section, States Relations Division, Bureau of State Services, July 21, 1944. Lost professional responsibilities to Division of Nursing (See 90.6.2), 1946. Professional responsibilities restored, 1949. Redesignated Public Health Nursing Branch and assigned to newly established Division of General Health Services, Bureau of State Services, 1954. Reconstituted as Division of Public Health Nursing, 1958. Abolished, with functions to newly established Division of Nursing, Bureau of State Services, September 1960, see 90.9.4.

Textual Records: Administrative files, 1951-59.

90.8.4 Records of the Water Pollution Control Division

History: Established 1949. Terminated with functions to Division of Sanitary Engineering Services, 1954. See 90.8.5.

Textual Records (in Boston): Records of the Northeast Drainage Basins Office, consisting of general correspondence relating to the New England New York Inter-Agency Committee (NENYIAC), 1950- 55; NENYIAC final report ("Gold Books"), 1954-55; project correspondence and data files, 1950-55; river basin ("Comprehensive Program") data files, 1950-55; basic data files of the Pollution Control Study and Report Group, 1950-54; and records of the Water Supply Study and Report Group, 1951-54.

90.8.5 Records of the Division of Sanitary Engineering Services

History: Established 1954, consolidating Divisions of Engineering Resources, Sanitation, and Water Pollution Control. Separate Division of Water Supply and Pollution Control established, April 1959 (See RG 412). Separate Division of Air Pollution established, September 1960 (See 90.10). Superseded by Division of Environmental Engineering and Food Protection, 1961.

Textual Records: Correspondence, 1953-54, 1957-58. Correspondence of the Air Pollution Engineering Program, 1959-60.

90.8.6 Records of the Division of Special Health Services

History: Established 1954, consolidating Divisions of Chronic Disease and Tuberculosis, Occupational Health, and Venereal Disease. Abolished with functions dispersed, 1960-61.

Textual Records: Correspondence and project records of the Air Pollution Medical Program, 1955-60.

90.9 Records of the Community Health Divisions, Bureau of State
Services
1940-69

90.9.1 Records of the Division of Chronic Diseases

History: Established from Division of Special Health Services (See 90.8.6), February 1, 1961. Absorbed by Bureau of Health Services, 1967. Functions vested in Regional Medical Programs Service, Health Services and Mental Health Administration, 1968. See RG 512.

Textual Records: Correspondence, 1967-69. Records of the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health, consisting of general records, 1962-64; and a reference file, 1962-64, of source documents cited in committee report Smoking and Health (1964).

90.9.2 Records of the Division of Community Health Practice

History: Established as successor to Division of General Health Services (See 90.8.2), February 1, 1961. Redesignated Division of Community Health Services, November 1961. Assigned to Bureau of Health Services, 1966. Redesignated Community Health Service, Health Service and Mental Health Administration, 1968. See RG 512.

Textual Records: Reports of meetings of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Community Health Services and Facilities Legislation, 1961-62. Report of a meeting of the Surgeon General's Advisory Group on Community Health Services, February 7-8, 1963. Records of the National Advisory Community Health Committee, consisting of reports of meetings, 1963-65; records of the Subcommittee on Research in Community Health, 1963; and the final report of the Subcommittee on Evaluation of Programs Supported by Community Health Service Projects, 1966.

90.9.3 Records of the Division of Dental Health and Resources

History: Established by consolidation of Division of Dental Public Health and Division of Dental Resources, Bureau of Medical Services, September 1960. Redesignated Division of Dental Health, 1965. Assigned to newly established Bureau of Health Manpower, 1967. See RG 512.

Textual Records: Records, 1965-66, of the National Dental Health Assembly Conference (Feb. 6-9, 1966).

90.9.4 Records of the Division of Nursing

History: Division of Nursing Resources, Bureau of Medical Services (See 90.7.2) and Division of Public Health Nursing, Bureau of State Services (See 90.8.3), consolidated to form Division of Nursing, Bureau of State Services, September 1960. Assigned to newly established Bureau of Health Manpower, 1967. See RG 512.

Textual Records: Records of Congressional hearings on the Nurse Training Act of 1964, 1964. Records of the Professional Nurse Traineeship Program, 1960- 62. Trip reports of PHS nursing consultants, 1955-63. Historical files of the Division of Nursing and its predecessors, 1940-67.

90.10 Records of the Division of Air Pollution, Environmental
Health Divisions, Bureau of State Services
1965-66

History: Division of Air Pollution established from Division of Sanitary Engineering Services, September 1960. Abolished with functions to National Center for Air Pollution Control, Bureau of Disease Prevention and Environmental Control, 1967. See RG 412.

Textual Records: Correspondence, 1965-66.

90.11 Records of the National Board of Health
1879-84

History: Established as an independent agency by an act of March 3, 1879 (20 Stat. 484), to consist of seven private citizens; one medical officer each from the army, navy, and Marine Hospital Service; and one officer from the Department of Justice. Advised the federal and state governments on public health preservation and improvement. Enforced the Quarantine Act (21 Stat. 5), June 2, 1879. Quarantine Act lapsed, June 1, 1883, and quarantine functions reverted to Marine Hospital Service. Board continued as an investigatory and advisory body through annual appropriations, 1883-85. Terminated for lack of funds, June 30, 1886. Formally abolished by Quarantine Act (27 Stat. 449), February 15, 1893, which repealed the Quarantine Act of 1879.

Textual Records: Minutes of the Board and its Executive Committee, 1879-82. Secretary's journal, 1879-82. Letters sent and received, 1879-83, with registers of letters received, 1879- 82. Committee reports, 1879-80. Form letters and questionnaires sent to municipal health authorities, 1879-81. Printed weekly bulletins, 1879-82. Report of the Yellow Fever Commission, 1880, on the epidemic of 1878. Proceedings of the International Sanitary Conference, Washington, DC, 1881; and of the National Conference of State Boards of Health, St. Louis, MO, 1884. Disbursement ledger, 1879-83.

Microfilm Publications: M753.

Finding Aids: Charles Zaid, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National Board of Health, PI 141 (1962).

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the National Board of Health in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

90.12 Textual Records (General)
1914-74

Records of the Tacoma Indian Hospital (in Seattle), including medical correspondence, night and day reports, records relating to 1942 renovations, cadet nurse training files, miscellaneous reports, environmental health project case files. and statistical reports, 1929-74. Records of the Indian Health Service including Program Correspondence/Record Books from Poplar, Montana, 1914-54 (in Seattle); Tacoma Indian Hospital reports, 1929-59 (in Seattle); and BIA Statement Reports from Portland, Oregon, 1952-60 (in Seattle). Environmental health program and project files of the Phoenix Indian Medical Center, 1950-68 (in Los Angeles). Records relating to the New England New York Inter-Agency Committee (NENYIAC) of the Northeast Drainage Basins Office, 1950-55 (in Boston).

90.13 Cartographic Records (General)
1918, 1942-51

Maps: Negative photostats of maps of aviation fields and army camps near Fort Worth, TX, prepared for a study of sanitary conditions, 1918 (2 items). Drainage basins in California, Great Basin, Pacific Northwest, Western Gulf, and Ohio, relating to water uses and water pollution, 1942-51 (17 items).

See Architectural and Engineering Plans under 90.4.23.

90.14 Motion Pictures (General)
1924-50

Science of Life programs about life science education and personal hygiene, 1924 (12 reels). Films relating to a variety of PHS activities and health concerns, 1938-50, including cancer research (4 reels); nursing (1 reel); rat control (3 reels); industrial safety (2 reels); dental hygiene (1 reel); and communicable diseases (3 reels); and the causes and spread of venereal disease (23 reels), including a 1938 documentary Three Counties Against Syphilis, a study of the treatment of syphilis among blacks in Camden, Glynn, and McIntosh Counties, GA.

90.15 Sound Recordings (General)
1942

PHS radio program entitled "Help Yourself and Your Community to Better Health," broadcast over Station WOL (Mutual) during National Negro Health Week, and featuring Assistant Surgeon General E.R. Coffey discussing the role of blacks in public health, April 5, 1942 (1 item).

See under 90.3.5 and 90.6.6.

90.16 Still Pictures (General)
1862-1934

Photographs: General collection of the PHS, documenting PHS hospitals, quarantine stations, and other facilities; PHS personnel; research and treatment of diseases, including malaria, yellow fever, and other infectious and communicable diseases; nutrition, sanitation, and hygiene; and immigrants, 1898-1934 (G, 9,500 images).

Photographic Prints: Civil War subjects, by Alexander Gardner and Mathew Brady, 1862-65 (CM, 118 images). Health conditions at ports in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala, in album, presented to the Surgeon General by the United Fruit Company, 1906 (WW, 100 images).

Posters: Hookworm disease and need for improved sanitation, 1920. (SP, 9 images).


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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