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History of Public Health at Harvard

Manuscripts and archival collections for researching the history of public health, including resources related to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Faculty Collections

The following collections represent female faculty at the Harvard Chan School. Unless otherwise stated, all collections below are unprocessed and available in print, only. To arrange for access, submit a request to the reference team at the Center for the History of Medicine.

This list will be periodically updated as additional collections are obtained by the Center for the History of Medicine. If you have questions, please contact the Harvard Chan Archivist.


Baumgartner, Leona (1902-1991); Papers, 1830-1979 (inclusive) 1930-1970 (bulk); H MS c305, 89 cubic feet, Processed

Papers chronicle the course of her career as a state public health administrator and consultant, physician, lecturer, professor, and contributing member of professional health care boards and foundations from 1930 to 1970. The collection consists of research materials, notes, lecture and speech drafts, correspondence, research data, reports, journals, news articles and clippings, conference materials, administrative records, minutes, appointment books, laboratory notes, photographs, and scrapbooks. The collection also contains records generated from Baumgartner’s personal activities, including her travel diaries, letters and notebooks, personal photographs, awards, medals, plaques, diplomas, and other memorabilia.


Berggren, Gretchen Glode and Warren L.; papers, 1967-2010.; H MS c532, .4 c.f., unprocessed (contact Public Services)

Dr. Gretchen Glode Berggren, M.D., 1958, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE; M.Sc.Hyg., 1966, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, began her professional career in Belgian Congo where she served for five years along with her husband, Dr. Warren Berggren, after certification in tropical medicine at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Belgium in 1959. In Congo's post-independence years she co-founded the Congo Protestant Relief Agency that supported medical personnel for the Congo. At IME Kimpese, she helped design and implement curriculum to train physician-extenders (Congolese nurses and medical assistants) for that country that had no doctors of its own. After a partial residency in obstetrics at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, she received a Master's Degree at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she taught from 1967-93 in International Health, and initiated the "Home and Village Prepared Weaning Food Program" at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Dr. Nevin Scrimshaw. She and her family lived and worked in Haiti at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital or with Haiti's "Bureau d'Hygiene Familiale" or others for over 20 years. Employed by Save the Children (SC) for more than ten years as maternal and child health expert advisor, she worked in field programs in 26 countries with emphasis on population based community health programs, and planned and edited their "Mothers, Too" newsletter. Dr. Berggren’s more recent field experience is in post-earthquake Haiti where she serves on the Board of several organizations. Under the tutelage of the Berggren's, more than 250 students from Harvard and from Haiti accomplished field services research. Berggren's introduced the first polyvalent rural health workers in Haiti, initiating immunization of all women against tetanus, and documenting the near disappearance of tetanus of the newborn in their defined population. Following their time in Haiti, the Berggren's joined Save the Children to develop child survival activities in 26 countries. Most recent activities include teaching self-examination of the breast in Kenya, and the "Positive Deviance/Hearth" method to combat malnutrition in Nicaragua and Haiti. Warren Berggren (1930-2015), M.D., 1955, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE; M.P.H., 1963, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; D.P.H., 1967, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, received an MD degree from the University of Nebraska, where he met his wife. The couple married on January 11, 1959 in Belgium then served as medical missionaries in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 1962, the Berggrens came to the Harvard School of Public Health, now the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, to study disease prevention. After completing their degrees, they moved to rural Haiti in 1967, founding the Community Health Program of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in partnership with the School. Their program of taking vaccines for neonatal tetanus to local communities led to the virtual elimination of that disease. They also engaged local residents as community health workers to monitor patients with tuberculosis and other conditions. As a member of the Harvard Chan faculty, Berggren served as an associate professor of tropical public health and population sciences from 1972 to 1981. Gretchen was affiliated with the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies from 1974 to 1989. The couple guided public health students through fieldwork and special projects, and during their time at the Schweitzer Hospital, more than 200 Harvard Chan students served under their tutelage on field projects lasting from several months to several years. Berggren was director of primary health care at Save the Children for 10 years. He also consulted for or worked under the Haitian and Tunisian ministries of health, USAID, UNICEF, World Relief, and the Colorado Haiti Project, on projects affecting 26 countries. 

See also: Collection of volumes from the Projet Integre de Sante et de Population, 1978-1982.


*Eliot, Martha M. (Martha May), 1891-1978;  papers 1909-1979; MC 329, .21 linear feet, processed - Available at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

Pediatrician and expert on children's health (Radcliffe, 1913; Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1918), Eliot was a founder of the World Health Organization and UNICEF, and the fourth head of the Children's Bureau. She taught at the Harvard School of Public Health, headed the Massachusetts Committee on Children and Youth, and conducted pioneering research on rickets. Collection contains professional correspondence and other papers, two memorial papers about Eliot, and a diary Eliot kept while travelling abroad, 1909.
See also:  Papers of Martha May Eliot, 1898-1975Additional papers of Martha May Eliot, 1870-1978 -- all collections listed here are available at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University; portrait (undated), available online.

Frisch, Rose E. (Rose Epstein) papers, 1921-2014 (inclusive), 1970-2000 (bulk); H MS c455, 2.25 c.f., Processed

Rose (Epstein) Frisch (1918-2015), B.A., 1939, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts; M.A., 1940, Columbia University, New York City, New York; Ph.D., 1943, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wisconsin, was a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in the Department of Population and Development Studies in Boston, Massachusetts from the early 1970s until 1992. Her work focused on fat content and female fertility as well as fat content and cancer, especially in athletes and those with low body fat. The collection consists of records created and collected by Rose Frisch during her tenure as a professor at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies from 1974 through the early 2000s.


*Hamilton, Alice, 1869-1970; papers, 1909-1987 (inclusive), 1909-1965 (bulk);  A-22, 1.9 linear feet, processed--available at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

Correspondence, articles, speeches, notes, clippings, and awards document Hamilton's professional life and interests. The largest series contains her medical papers, including articles and notes on chemical compounds, their hazards in the workplace, and industry protest over her findings. Also included are autobiographical and other published articles and speeches, etc. on non-medical subjects: political and social conditions in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, the Equal rights amendment, conscientious objection, U.S.-Soviet relations, and the trials of Sacco and Vanzetti and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. Also one videotape entitled "Alice Hamilton: Science, Service, and Compassion" (shelved separately).


See also: Papers of Alice Hamilton, 1942-1968Alice Hamilton Papers, 1915Papers of the Hamilton family, 1904-1956Papers of the Hamilton family, 1879-1947Papers of the Hamilton family, 1818-1974Additional papers of the Hamilton family, 1850-1994 -- all collections listed are available at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University


*Hardy, Harriet Louise (1906-1993); papers, 1910-1984 (inclusive), 1924-1980 (bulk). MC 387. 5.5 linear feet, processed--available at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

Physician and specialist in occupational medicine (Wellesley, A.B., 1928; Cornell University Medical School, M.D., 1932), Hardy was college physician and head of the Department of Health Education at Radcliffe (1939-1945). She identified beryllium poisoning, a new disease among workers, and collaborated with Alice Hamilton on revised editions of Industrial Toxicology. Associated with the Massachusetts General Hospital in a number of capacities from 1940 on, she was chief of the Occupational Medical Clinic (1949-1961), and founded and was in charge of the Occupational Medical Service at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (1950-1971). Hardy taught at the Harvard Medical School, in the Department of Industrial Hygiene at the Harvard School of Public Health, at Tufts and at MIT.

See also: Harriet Louise Hardy papers, 1935-1999 (inclusive)--available at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University


Kane, Nancy M.; papers, 1970-2018 (inclusive); H MS c576, 21 c.f., unprocessed (contact Public Services)

Nancy M. Kane, B.S., 1972, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts; M.B.A., 1975, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts; D.B.A., 1981, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts; is Professor of Management in the Department of Health Policy and Management. She has won numerous teaching awards and supports case writing and advocates for teaching via the case method. Dr. Kane directs the Master in Health Care Management Program, an executive leadership program created for mid-career physicians leading healthcare organizations. She teaches in Executive and Masters Degree programs in the areas of health care financial accounting and analysis, payment systems, and competitive strategy. Dr. Kane also teaches faculty workshops in teaching and writing cases for public health education through executive education programs and in-house workshops. She won the national 2011 ASPH/Pfizer Award for Teaching Excellence and the 2006 Roger L. Nichols Excellence in Teaching Award, the top award at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Professor Kane consults with a wide range of federal and state agencies involved in health system design, oversight, and payment, including serving two terms (2005-2011) as a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an agency advising the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare Program, and as a member of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Health Care Cost Containment in 2009. She won the 1997 Taplin Award for Translation of Ideas into Public Benefit for her work on creating financial transparency of nonprofit hospitals and their community benefit activities. Dr. Kane’s research focuses on the financial and strategic performance of health care organizations.Records include teaching records, course records, case records, research in hospital finances and financial transparency, records relating to charity care and tax exemptions, US and state health reform records, health care regulation records, Safety Net records, and departmental administrative files.


Laird, Nan M. (1943- ); papers, 1980-2015 (inclusive) (H MS c473) 16 c.f., unprocessed (contact Public Services)

Nan M. Laird (1943- ) is a professor in Biostatistics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), formerly the Harvard School of Public Health. She served as Chair of the Department from 1990 to 1999. She was the Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Biostatistics from 1991 to 1999. Dr. Laird is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, as well as the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. She is a member of the International Statistical Institute. Dr. Nan Laird’s major research interest is the development of statistical methodology in four primary areas: statistical genetics, longitudinal studies, missing or incomplete data, and analysis of multiple informant data. She has worked extensively in the Analysis of Family Based Studies in Genetics, and currently collaborates on genetic studies in BiPolar Disorder, Asthma and Lung Disease. In 2015, Dr. Laird announced her semi-retirement from the Harvard Chan School. 


McCormick, Marie C. (1946- ); papers, 1956-2019 (inclusive) 1968-2009 (bulk); H MS c477, 38.7 c.f. and 3.7424 GB, partially processed (contact Public Services)

The Marie C. McCormick papers, 1956-2016 (inclusive), 1968-2009 (bulk), are the product of McCormick’s research, teaching, administrative, and publishing activities during the course of her career. Research records and Infant Health and Development Program electronic records together constitute the bulk of the collection. Research records (Series I) consist primarily of administrative records and regulatory records generated during three studies related to the high-risk infants. Harvard School of Public Health Teaching and Administrative Records (Series II) include: grant applications, budgets, reports, and meeting minutes for graduate training grants in maternal and child health; syllabi, student handouts, course readings, and lectures for courses related to maternal and child health policy and research; and departmental accreditation records. Writings and Publications (Series III) consist of manuscript drafts and scientific paper reprints related numerous topics in infant and child health, and also include occasional raw, coded, and analyzed research data, protocols, and codebooks. The papers also include collected publications, bibliographies, and reading notes related to a variety of McCormick’s research and teaching interests (Series IV).


Prothrow-Stith, Deborah, 1954-; papers, 1983-2009 (inclusive), H MS c595, 39 c.f., unprocessed (contact Public Services)

Deborah Prothrow-Stith (born 1954), B.A., 1975, Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia; M.D., 1979, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, was Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Public Health Practice in the Department of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Division of Public Health Practice (DPHP) at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). She served two years as Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health before joining HSPH as Assistant Dean for Government and Community Programs in 1990. She then served as founding director of the DPHP and Associate Dean for Diversity. Prothrow-Stith advocates for the treatment of violence as a public health issue, a view she helped popularize in her 1991 book Deadly Consequences. She specializes in community-based violence prevention and has authored several youth curricula. Records include committee records, teaching records, subject files, reference material, writings, research records, travel files, grant records, departmental administrative records, and biographical materials.

See also: Division of Public Health Practice (institutional collection):


Swartz, Katherine; collection on universal health care, 1967-2012, H MS c469, 3.6 c.f., unprocessed (contact Public Services)

Katherine Swartz, B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972; M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1974; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1976; is a Professor of Health Policy and Economics in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Collection consists of reports related to universal healthcare implementation in Massachusetts in the 1980s.

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