Guide to Federal Records

Records of the National Institutes of Health [NIH]


(Record Group 443)
1912-90

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 443.1 Administrative History
  • 443.2 Records of the National Institute of Health 1915-51 (bulk 1935-49)
  • 443.3 Records of the National Institute of Health 1945-81
    • 443.3.1 Records of the Office of the Director
    • 443.3.2 Records of the Division of Research Grants
    • 443.3.3 Records of the Division of Research Resources
    • 443.3.4 Records of the Clinical Center
  • 443.4 Records of the National Cancer Institute 1937-90
  • 443.5 Records of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 1948-60, 1979-85
  • 443.6 Records of the National Institute of Dental Research 1949-60
  • 443.7 Records of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 1912-62
    • 443.7.1 General records
    • 443.7.2 Records of the Rocky Mountain Laboratory
  • 443.8 Records of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 1950-88
  • 443.9 Records of the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases 1950-60
  • 443.10 Records of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD) 1962-77
  • 443.11 Machine-Readable Records (General)
  • 443.12 Motion Pictures (General) 1960-80
  • 443.13 Still Pictures (General)

443.1 Administrative History

Established: In the Public Health Service (PHS), Federal Security Agency (FSA), pursuant to the National Heart Act (62 Stat. 464), June 16, 1948, which, in creating the National Heart Institute as a second research component of the National Institute of Health (the first being the National Cancer Institute), necessitated the redesignation of the agency as the National Institutes of Health. First so called in an appropriations act for FY 1950 (63 Stat. 290), June 29, 1949.

Predecessor Agencies:

In the Department of the Treasury:
  • Laboratory of Hygiene, Marine Hospital Service (MHS, 1887-91)
  • Hygienic Laboratory, MHS (1891-1901)
  • Hygienic Laboratory, Division of Scientific Research (DSR), MHS (1901-2)
  • Hygienic Laboratory, DSR, Public Health and Marine Hospital Service (1902-12)
  • Hygienic Laboratory, DSR, Public Health Service (PHS, 1912-30)
  • National Institute of Health, DSR, PHS (1930-37)
  • National Institute of Health, PHS (1937-39)
In the Federal Security Agency:
  • National Institute of Health, PHS (1939-48)

Transfers: With PHS to Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953, effective April 11, 1953; with PHS to Department of Health and Human Services by the Department of Education Organization Act (93 Stat. 695), October 17, 1979.

Functions: Provides administrative support, guidance, and direction to a varying number of independent medical research institutes.

Related Records:
Record copies of publications of the National Institutes of Health and its components in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
Records of the Public Health Service, 1912-1968, RG 90.
General Records of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, RG 235.

443.2 Records of the National Institute of Health
1915-51 (bulk 1935-49)

History: Marine Hospital Service established, 1798. (For administrative history of the MHS and its successors, the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service and the PHS, SEE RG 90.) MHS bacteriological laboratory, known as the Laboratory of Hygiene, established at the Marine Hospital, Staten Island, NY, August 1887. Transferred to Washington, DC, as the Hygienic Laboratory, June 1891. Made a component research unit of the Division of Scientific Research, established September 1901, and given statutory recognition by the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service Act (32 Stat. 712), July 1, 1902. Redesignated National Institute of Health by an act of May 26, 1930 (46 Stat. 379), also known as the Ransdell Act. Merged with and absorbed functions of DSR, effective February 1, 1937. Transferred with PHS to FSA by Reorganization Plan No. I of 1939, effective July 1, 1939. Given bureau status by PHS Reorganization Order No. 1, December 20, 1943, implementing the Public Health Service Act (57 Stat. 587), November 11, 1943. Redesignated National Institutes of Health, 1948. See 443.1.

Textual Records: General records, 1915-51 (bulk 1935-49). Records relating to individual institutes ("Organization File"), 1938-51. Correspondence relating to stations, 1939-49. Records relating to geographical areas, 1924-50. Correspondence relating to government agencies, 1924-50. Records relating to the investigations of various diseases, 1920-37. Records relating to NIH divisions, 1920-39. Records of Assistant Surgeon General and NIH Director Lewis R. Thompson, 1920-37. Records of Assistant Surgeon General and PHS Medical Director Arthur M. Stimson, 1924- 39. Records of the National Health Survey (1935-36), consisting of files documenting project methodology, 1935-38.

443.3 Records of the National Institutes of Health
1945-81

443.3.1 Records of the Office of the Director

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings of joint sessions of National Advisory Councils, 1950-51. Minutes of meetings of the National Advisory Health Council, 1945-60; the Study Section Chairman and Council representatives, 1948-49; the Policy Committee on Research Fellowships, 1947-49; and a single meeting of the Advisory Committee on Gerontology, December 1949. Annual reports of program activities of various NIH institutes, 1960. Minutes of meetings of the Committee on Clinical Research Centers, 1959-61. Office files of Director Donald S. Frederickson, 1975-81. Subject files of the Office of Research and Planning, 1949-56. Records concerning polio and the polio vaccine ("Polio Files"), 1953-55.

443.3.2 Records of the Division of Research Grants

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings of the National Advisory Health Research Facilities Council, 1956-60. Minutes of meetings and correspondence of the Gerontology Study Section, 1946-50. General correspondence of the Office of the Director, 1946-69.

443.3.3 Records of the Division of Research Resources

Textual Records: Records of meetings of the National Advisory Research Resources Council, 1962-81. Minutes of meetings of the General Clinical Research Centers Committee, 1962-66.

443.3.4 Records of the Clinical Center

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings of the Medical Board, 1952-75; the Clinical Director, 1967-75; Clinical Center department heads, 1971-75; Clinical Center staff, 1967-70; Clinical Research Committee, 1968-74; Infections Committee, 1967-75; and various advisory, ad hoc, planning, and coordinating committees and subcommittees, 1963-75. Organizational records, 1952-75. Correspondence relating to medical recordkeeping systems, 1952-72.

443.4 Records of the National Cancer Institute
1937-90

History: Established by the National Cancer Institute Act (50 Stat. 559), August 5, 1937, as an independent component of PHS. Made operating division of the National Institute of Health by the Public Health Service Act (58 Stat. 707), July 1, 1944.

Textual Records: Correspondence of the Director, 1956-66. Records of the Clinical Trials Committee, 1976-80. Records of the National Advisory Cancer Council, including transcripts, 1937-55, and minutes, 1945-61, of meetings; and annual reports, 1973-77, and memorandums, 1947-73, of advisory committees. Research grant principal investigator files, 1938-90.

443.5 Records of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
1948-60, 1979-85

History: Established as the National Heart Institute by the National Heart Act (62 Stat. 464), June 16, 1948. Redesignated the National Heart and Lung Institute by HEW order, November 10, 1969. Redesignated the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute by the Health Research and Health Services Amendments of 1976 (90 Stat. 402), April 22, 1976.

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings of the National Advisory Heart Council, 1948-60.

Posters: High Blood Pressure Education Program, 1979- 85 (HP, 5 images).

443.6 Records of the National Institute of Dental Research
1949-60

History: Established by the National Dental Research Act (62 Stat. 598), June 24, 1948.

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings of the National Advisory Dental Research Council, 1949-60.

443.7 Records of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases
1912-62

History: National Microbiological Institute established by General Circular No. 55, Organization Order No. 20, PHS, October 8, 1948, pursuant to the Public Health Service Act (58 Stat. 683), July 1, 1944. Redesignated National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, effective December 29, 1955, by PHS Briefing Memorandum, Surgeon General to Secretary HEW, November 4, 1955, under authority of the Omnibus Medical Research Act (64 Stat. 443), August 15, 1950.

443.7.1 General records

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings of the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council, 1956-60. Subject files of the Office of the Director, 1952-62.

443.7.2 Records of the Rocky Mountain Laboratory

History: Originated in field research undertaken in Montana by Public Health and Marine Hospital Service personnel and scientists from the Hygienic Laboratory into the causes of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, 1902-17. State laboratory established at Hamilton, MT, for use of PHS researchers, 1921. Purchased by the Federal Government, 1931, and known formally as PHS Hamilton Station, but informally as the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Laboratory. Formally redesignated Rocky Mountain Laboratory and assigned to the Division of Infectious Diseases, NIH, 1937. Made a component of the National Microbiological Institute, 1948, and of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 1955. Redesignated Rocky Mountain Laboratories, 1978.

Textual Records: Historical files, 1913-49, and laboratory notebooks, 1925-52, of Director Ralph R. Parker. Laboratory notebooks, 1912-60.

443.8 Records of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders
and Stroke
1950-88

History: Established as the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (NINDB) by the Omnibus Medical Research Act (64 Stat. 443), August 15, 1950. Research into blindness transferred to new National Eye Institute and NINDB redesignated National Institute of Neurological Diseases by an act of August 16, 1968 (82 Stat. 772). Redesignated National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke by an act of October 24, 1968 (82 Stat. 1362). Redesignated National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke (NINCDS) by amendment of HEW Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority, March 14, 1975. Research into deafness transferred to new National Institute of Deafness and Other Communicative Diseases, and NINCDS redesignated National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, by an act of November 9, 1988 (102 Stat. 3048).

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings of the National Advisory Neurological Diseases and Blindness Council, 1950-60. Subject files of the Director, NINDB, 1950-54. NINDB meeting files, 1956-66. NINDB personal name files, 1957-61. Records of and relating to NINCDS and predecessor participation on or interaction with commissions, committees, and task forces, 1963-88.

Machine-Readable Records: Developmental Neurology Branch longitudinal study of pregnancy, birth, and early childhood to determine the etiologies of neurological diseases ("Collaborative Perinatal Project"), 1958-74, with supporting documentation, 1958-84 (32 data sets). See also 443.11.

Finding Aids: Preliminary inventory of machine-readable records in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

443.9 Records of the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism,
and Digestive Diseases
1950-60

History: Established as the Experimental Biology and Medicine Institute (EBMI), December 11, 1947, under authority of the Public Health Service Act (58 Stat. 683), July 1, 1944, consolidating NIH research laboratories in nutrition, chemistry, and pathology. EBMI superseded by National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, established November 22, 1950, under provisions of the Omnibus Medical Research Act (64 Stat. 443), August 15, 1950. Redesignated National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases by an act of May 19, 1972 (86 Stat. 162).

Textual Records: Minutes of meetings of the National Advisory Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases Council, 1950-60.

443.10 Records of the National Institute of Child Health and
Human Development (NICHHD)
1962-77

History: Established January 30, 1963, by authority of an act of October 17, 1962 (76 Stat. 1072), superseding both the Center for Research in Child Health, which had been administratively established by the Surgeon General in the Division of General Medical Sciences, February 17, 1961; and the Center for Research in Aging, which had been established November 27, 1957, in the National Heart Institute, and transferred to the Division of General Medical Sciences, November 4, 1958.

Textual Records: Central subject files, 1962-64. Director's subject files, 1964-66. Letters sent, 1963-64. Records of the Adult Development and Aging Branch, consisting of transcripts of conferences, seminars, and workshops, 1964-70; NICHHD-sponsored studies and reports, 1965-69; other reports, 1964-69; and records of the Interagency Review of Medical Research on Aging, 1965-70.

Machine-Readable Records : Pregnancy and Infancy Branch longitudinal study of the effects of dietary supplementation on child development in Guatemala, 1969-77, with supporting documentation (57 data sets). See also 443.11.

Subject Access Terms: Cyclamates; malnutrition; morbidity.

443.11 Machine-Readable Records (General)
1965-90

Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of The Elderly (EPESE): Data Dataset and Machine Readable Codebook/Documentation, 1982 (1 data set); Part II, Follow-ups I, II, III, Death and Baseline Data, 1982-90 (5 data sets); Part III, Follow-ups 1 through 6, Baseline and Mortality (8 data sets). National Fertility Study, 1965, 1970, 1975 (4 data sets), and Low-Fertility Cohort, 1978 (1 data set). Survey of Oral Health in U.S. School Children, 1986: Public Use File (1 data set), and National Dental Caries Prevalance Survey, 1979-80 (1 data set). Aged Patients and Nursing Home Services data tape and documentation, 1969-72 (3 data sets).

See under 443.8 and 443.10.

443.12 Motion Pictures (General)
1960-80

Audiovisual documentation relating to mental and physical health, 1960-80 (14 items).

443.13 Still Pictures (General)

See Posters under 443.5.


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.


Top of Page

Top