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A Guide to Researching Public Health at UNC: Selected Current & Historical Resources

The resources categorized below are all tools that may be useful to the researcher interested in exploring further the past, present, and future of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health as well as the history of public health in North Carolina and elsewhere. The materials are in various print and electronic formats and may be accessed either online or in the collections housed at various libraries at UNC, including the Health Sciences Library and Wilson Library (Southern Historical Collection; North Carolina Collection; University Archives). For research assistance or further information, please contact the Resources Management Department, UNC Health Sciences Library at 919-962-0500.

Current Awareness

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First Research at School of Public Health

The School of Public Health’s first major research project, on venereal disease, is described at pages 37-9 in Dreaming of a Time: The School of Public Health, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1939-1989. The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation gave a $7 million endowment to the North Carolina State Board of Health to fund a VD eradication program, and the board later allocated $17,500 to the school for a professor of syphilogy and a staff to do research. After Dr. William A. Fleming was appointed to this position, the Rockefeller Foundation funded a major epidemiological study of VD, which was headed by another new hire, Dr. John Wright. These early efforts soon led to the establishment of the Department of Public Health Nursing in the School to help translate research into positive public health outcomes.

Related publications include:

“Enormous Sum is Given State for Battle Against Syphilis,” News and Observer, December 19, 1937

“A Study in the Epidemiology of Syphilis, Orange, Person, Chatham Counties, North Carolina,” July 1, 1940, to December 31, 1940, n.d., 3, SPH.

“Summary of the Activities of the Field Epidemiological Study of Syphilis in the Orange-Chatham-Person Health District and the City of Durham and Durham County During the Year 1942,: n.d., SPH.

A History of the Department of Public Health Nursing, University of North Carolina School of Public Health, 1941-1950 / E.D. Greenhill [1965]

A History of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation / Bryan Haislip [1967]

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UNC University Libraries

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Periodicals Published by the School of Public Health

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Books & Reports

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North Carolina Public Health Publications

A number of public health journals and monographs have been digitized by the UNC Health Sciences Library, including:

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UNC Theses & Dissertations

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Archival Collections

The following collections are housed at Wilson Library. Click collection name or online finding aid for further details.

  • Records of the School of Public Health, 1930-1991
    • Online Finding Aid“Training in the field of public health at the University of North Carolina began in the School of Public Administration in 1933. A major factor in the creation of the curriculum was recognition of the need for trained sanitary engineers to counter growing health problems in the Southeast. Throughout its early history, the University’s public health program was closely tied to the North Carolina State Board of Health and to the United States Public Health Service.With the discontinuation of the School of Public Administration in 1936, a Division of Public Health was established in the School of Medicine with Dr. Milton Joseph Rosenau as Director.”
  • The Records of the Department of Biostatistics, 1949-1974
    • Online Finding Aid “The Department of Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was founded in 1949 to provide statistical training, consultation, and research directed to the needs of medicine and public health. In 1953 the Department established programs of instruction leading to the M.S.P.H. and Ph.D. degrees in biostatistics.”
  • Records of the Curriculum in Public Health Nursing, 1940-1986
    • Online Finding Aid “By action of the Board of Trustees on June 7, 1940, the Division of Public Health, since 1936 a part of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, became the separate School of Public Health under the direction of Milton J. Rosenau. Among the new School’s early research projects was a venereal disease study that focused on outreach programs in the Orange-Person-Chatham County and Durham City-County Health Departments. The study made clear the need for more university-educated public health nurses to serve North Carolina communities.”
  • Records of the Program on Aging, 1979-1988
    • Online Finding Aid“The Program on Aging, established in 1982, was part of the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It grew directly out of the School’s 1979 federally funded Geriatric Curriculum Development Project. When the Project ended, the North Carolina General Assembly appropriated funds for an ongoing Program on Aging. During its brief history, the Program obtained a number of training and research grants and provided consultation to public and private agencies. It also developed the Geriatric Education Center in conjunction with the University’s Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Work and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers. In 1989, the Program’s educational and research activities were absorbed by various departments of the School of Public Health, and the Program ceased to function as a separated entity.”
  • M.J. Rosenau Papers, 1871-1940
    • Online Finding Aid“Milton J. Rosenau was commissioned as an assistant surgeon in the United States Marine Hospital Service (now the United States Public Health Service) in 1890. In 1899, he was appointed director of the Hygienic Laboratory of that service. He was instrumental in 1922 in the establishment of the Harvard University School of Public Health and, in 1940, became first dean of the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina. The collection includes correspondence, writings, lecture notes, pictures, and other items documenting Rosenau’s career as a public health official, chiefly 1900-1924. His activities at the Marine Hospital Service, the Hygienic Laboratory, and Harvard University are covered, as is his work in such areas as milk hygiene, typhoid fever, other diseases, and relief to European Jews. Very little material relates to Rosenau’s private life or to his years at the University of North Carolina.”
  • Edward Grafton McGavran Papers, 1946-1962
    • Online Finding Aid“Speeches, subject files, research notes, photographs, and other materials of Edward Grafton McGavran (1902-1972), international figure in public health education and dean of the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”
  • J.W. Roy Norton Papers, 1930s-1970s
    • Online Finding Aid“Correspondence, writings, notes, clippings, and other materials relating to Norton’s career in public health. Included are materials about many public health issues, especially birth control, alcohol and substance abuse, and control of communicable diseases like pellagra and polio. Also included are materials relating to Norton’s activities in various public health organizations in the United States and abroad and to his teaching duties at UNC, particularly to his courses on public health administration.”
  • Bernard G. Greenberg Papers, 1945-1982
    • Online Finding Aid “Bernard G. Greenberg (1919-1985), professor of biostatistics, founder and chair of the Department of Biostatistics, dean of the School of Public Health, and organizer of the Division of Community Health Service at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”
  • Margaret Baggett Dolan Papers, 1936-1974
    • Online Finding Aid“Margaret Bagget Dolan (1914-1974) was a public health nurse; president of the North Carolina State Nurses Association, president of the American Nurses Association, 1962- 1964; president of the National Health Council, 1969-1970; president of the American Public Health Association, 1973; and professor and head of the Department of Public Health Nursing in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1959-1974.”
  • North Carolina Good Health Association Records, 1945-1953
    • Online Finding Aid“Files of a public relations organization that promoted the activities of the North Carolina Medical Care Commission, a state agency. The Association engaged chiefly in popularizing the building of hospitals, nursing education, and health insurance in rural North Carolina. Files include promotional material, pictures, and clippings.”

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Photographs

The following collections are housed in the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library.

  • School of Public Health Collection
    • Online Finding Aid“The collection documents the activities of the School of Public Health located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The photographs span the time period from the 1930s through the mid-1990s. Subject matter includes faculty, staff, and students; views of buildings, classrooms, and laboratories; alumni activities, conferences, and other special events both formal and informal.”
  • Webb Collection“A collection of [39] images relating to Bailey Webb’s work in rural areas in North Carolina. She was a student at the School of Public Health from 1937 to 1941, and worked at the Oxford Clinic in Berea, in Weldon, and in Granville County. The images are primarily of this work, but the collection also includes pictures of her and earlier family photographs.”

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Oral History

Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library

 

Dennis Gillings Oral History Interview

 

Daniel Okun Oral History Interview

 

UNC School of Public Health
Interviews relating to the UNC School of Public Health, conducted in 1988-1989 by Robert Korstad. (Series L.5). Interviews marked with an asterisk (*) are closed or restricted.

  • L-0067 – Small, William T.: Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • L-0068 – Okun, Daniel: Chair, Department of Sanitary Engineering, School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • L-0069 – Goulson, Hilton T.: Professor, School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • L-0070 – Gourley, Geraldine: Professor, School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • L-0071 – Herzog, William T. (*): Chair, Health Administration Department, School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • L-0072 – Ibrahim, Michel A.: Dean, School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • L-0073 – Sheps, Cecil: Professor, School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • L-0074 – Chanlett, Emil: Professor, School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • L-0075 – Larsh, John: Professor, School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • L-0076 – Petty, A. Worth: Graduate of School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill; director of Public Works Department, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • L-0077 – Williamson, Frances: Graduate of School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill; public health professional
  • L-0089 – Gust, Frances Osborne: Administrative secretary to E. G. McGavran in the UNC School of Public Health
  • L-0090 – Jain, Sagar: Professor in the UNC School of Public Health; chair of the Department of Health Administration

Other Public Health-Related Interviews (Series L)

  • L-0028 -Morgan, Lucy Shields: Teacher and public health educator
  • L-0107 – Wright, John: Public health professor, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • L-0109 – Bacon, Tom: Director, North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
  • Jane Abernathy Plyler Papers, 1979-1980
    • Online Finding Aid“Eighteen cassette tapes of oral history interviews with public health nurses who practiced during the 1920s and 1930s in North Carolina. Individuals interviewed are: Rubye Bowles Bryson (1913- ) of Haywood County; Amy Louise Fisher (1901- ) of Watauga County; Edith McNeil Holmes (c. 1905- ) of Halifax County; Mary King Kneedler (1913- ) of Alamance and Pitt counties; Anne Eliza Lamb (1897- ) of Dare and Granville counties; and Elizabeth McMillan Thompson (1908- ) of Cumberland County. Also included is a copy of Plyer’s thesis, “Public Health Nursing in North Carolina: Oral Histories of Earlier Years,” which includes edited excerpts from the interviews.”

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Last modified: 03/08/17
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