International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy


American Philosophical Society


Category Institutional Archive
Country USA
Address American Philosophical Society Library, 105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3386, USA.
Telephone + (215) 440.3400
Fax + (215) 440.3423


The papers of Victor George Heiser (1873-1972) include correspondence, as well as reports, notebooks, lectures, diaries, photographs, and reprints. Heiser, who was a preeminent public health physician, created a rich archive of material documenting all phases of his career, especially the international health work of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1905-1934. There are voluminous, detailed, and interesting diaries for the whole course of his life (ca. 68 vols., 1908-1972). There are notebooks reflecting on his early training and work (21 vols., 1890-1907), and 3 vols. from lectures he attended at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia (grad., 1898).

There is vast material documenting his work in the Philippines (1903-1914) as the Chief Quarantine Officer, then Director of Health, and also as a member of the faculty of the College of Medicine (now part of the Univ. of the Philippines). In his diaries, letterbook, correspondence, and photographs of the period there is much on health-related matters, but also one finds a wealth of data concerning the social and political matters of the Philippines, China and throughout Southeast Asia. There is similar material for Central America, where he also went for the Rockefeller Foundation. In another area was his participation in the American Red Cross Italian Commission of 1917, which toured the western front and then went on to Italy. There is a treasure of information in the diary and photo-album.

After 1934 Heiser spent his time working with American industries in an attempt to promote better health conditions, and there is much on such industrial health practices in the collection. There is much material as well on the American Medical Association, leprosy (his research, treatment of, and organization work with), the National Association of Manufacturers, and the U.S. Public Health Service.

[Papers, ca. 1890-1972. (ca. 30 lin. ft.)]

Entry made September 2005


Name Charles Greifenstein, Manuscripts Librarian
Organization American Philosophical Society Library
Address 105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3386, USA
Telephone +(215) 440.3400
Fax +(215) 440.3423

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