2 Replies Latest reply on Dec 12, 2020 4:34 PM by Arthur Lawrence

    Seeking records about the US Marine Hospital Service

    Arthur Lawrence Newbie

      I am interested in locating local or community organizations that have archives, photos, information, etc., about US Marine Hospitals (clinics, etc. included) or activity of the US Marine Hospital Service.  As an additional sub-set, I am interested in records, photos, information, etc., from communities where the Marine Hospitals and Public Health Service established hospitals when they operated the predecessor facilities to today's VA Health System under the War Risk Insurance program.  Any tips or helps would be appreciated.

        • Re: Seeking records about the US Marine Hospital Service
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Lawrence,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 101 record series related to the Marine Hospital Service in various record groups. For more information about individual series, please email the reference units listed as the contacts in the individual Catalog descriptions.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from various NARA units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We also searched online and located information about the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital (Marine Hospital) Archives in the custody of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Park Archives and Records Center.


          Additionally, we searched the website Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) and located 5 authorities relating to the Marine Hospital Service. Clicking each authority will bring up a list of related collections and the names of the repositories where those collections are kept. Next, we searched WorldCat for archival materials related to the Marine Hospital Service and turned up 90 results.


          There may be additional collections not listed on SNAC or WorldCat. We suggest that you begin by identifying the specific hospitals you wish to research, and then directly contacting the relevant state libraries, state archives, state historical societies and history museums, public libraries, university libraries, and the local historical societies.


          The collections formerly held by the Office of the Public Health Service Historian have been transferred to the National Library of Medicine.


          Also, the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Libraries Social Welfare History Project has a brief article on the history of the Public Health Service and the Marine Hospital Service. They may have collections that are relevant to your research, or information about holdings in other repositories. VCU Libraries may be contacted at LibSWHP@vcu.edu.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

          2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking records about the US Marine Hospital Service
              Arthur Lawrence Newbie

              Thank you, Mr. Atkinson.  I guess that I should have anticipated that records were scattered.  The MHS (nee PHS/MHS) has an amazing story.  While many researchers seem to circle around the current big agencies, such as the NIH, CDC, and FDA, the pre-1950's hold the most amazing of amazing "local" stories rarely told.  I guess that I am going to have to create a data base and send letters to multiple locations, but that is the nature of research, isn't it?  I appreciate your help.