Friday, September 14, 2007

Public health in the Pacific Northwest

Yesterday, our fantastic and forbearing student helper completed an initial inventory of the Public Health Survey Records, Accession No. 2004-025.

The scope and content and arrangement information from the finding aid give an overview of the collection's contents:
Scope and Content Description:

These are Public Health Surveys of small Northwest towns, mostly around 1932. Two reports indicate that they are requirements of the course in Public Health with Dr. H.J. Sears. The bulk of the subjects are smaller Oregon towns near Portland and Salem, but a good portion discusses towns in Southern Washington. There are also three surveys of Central Oregon counties, three surveys of Idaho towns, one town and one territory in Alaska, and one town in Montana. Nearly all of the surveys have a similar table of contents or are divided up into these headings:

A. Descriptive data
B. Organization of Health Department
C. Activities of non-official health agencies
D. Health Department administration
E. Vital statistics
F. Control of communicable diseases
G. Venereal diseases
H. Public health nursing
I. Control of milk supply
J. Control of foodstuffs
K. Control of barber shops, beauty parlors, bath houses
L. Public toilet facilities
M. Control of water supply
N. Control of excreta disposal
O. General sanitation
P. Industrial conditions
Q. Summary
R. Recommendations

Included are official forms, photographs, newspaper clippings, maps, pamphlets, and health codes.


The surveys are arranged by state, Oregon in the first three boxes, Washington takes up all of the fourth box and the first part of the fifth. Alaska, Idaho and Montana take up the rest of the fifth box. Inside each state the towns are in alphabetical order. When there is more than one survey of a town, the surveys are arranged by date. The county surveys follow the towns.
But the really fun stuff is listed in the detailed description, where we find the unusual, outstanding, or otherwise remarkable individual items, such as:
Hand drawn diagram of water mains (Canby, OR)
Photos of railroad station, creamery, lumber mill (Carlton, OR)
Vital Statistics, births, deaths, sicknesses on hand drawn tables [9 pages] (Corvallis, OR)
Photo of Dallas Swimming Pool (Dallas, OR)
Photo of panorama view of Dalles City (OR)
Photo of Newberg Main Street (OR)
Photo of garbage in river (Oregon City, OR)
Photo of Auto Camp (Oswego, OR)
Photo of Union Street sewer discharging into Willamette (Salem, OR)
TB cases and deaths chart 1920 – 1934 (Salem, OR) and TB deaths by state, county, and country
Fold out map of Silverton Watershed – hand drawn, topographical, to scale (OR)
Hand drawn plan for prospective Mosier water system (OR)
Photos of aerial view of Camas, and regular view of West Camas, 1934 (WA)
Photos of Borden Western Co., Lewis-Pacific Dairymen’s Assn., and “St. Helen’s Hotel (entirely up to date)” (Chehalis, WA)
Photos of Main Street and Railroad Station (Dayton, WA)
Photo of part of “Skidville” (Longview, WA)
Photo of native children in a toothbrush drill at a native school (Juneau, AK)
Photos of city dump grounds and back alley in poor district (Coeur d'Alene, ID)
Alaska Nutrition Survey Report, Diet Report on four villages - Unalakleet, White Mountain, Kotzibue, and Selawik
Pamphlet: National Committee for the Prevention of Blindness Publications – no. 20 – Trachoma, How to Recognize it and How to Control it – “Beware the Roller Towel!”
While the inventory remains incomplete, we're happy to answer any queries about contents before the complete guide goes online.

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