No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States since 1880

By Allan M. Brandt | Go to book overview

Note on Sources

In tracing the history of venereal disease since the late nineteenth century, I consulted a wide variety of published and unpublished source materials. Venereal disease was frequently analyzed, debated, and researched in the pages of the American medical press, and I have relied heavily on this published material. The Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General's Office, United States Army [1st ser.], 16 vols. ( Washington, 1880-95) and Index Medicus which began publishing in 1879 provide an excellent guide into this documentary corpus. This voluminous medical literature is an unusually rich resource for social historians. Additionally, I have utilized a range of popular journals, newspapers, and published pamphlets directed to the question of venereal disease control.

This work relies in great measure on the repositories of unpublished materials -- letters, reports, memoranda, research note -- devoted to addressing the problem of venereal disease. In particular, the National Archives literally holds thousands of feet of public health and military records documenting governmental efforts regarding the control of venereal disease. Foundations, voluntary agencies, and welfare organizations also have records which I have consulted in this study. Finally, collections of personal papers of individuals active in the campaigns against veneral disease proved indispensable. A list of manuscript sources and abbreviations used in the endnotes follows.

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