June 19, 2019

Gale Unveils New Digital Archive Series on Public Health

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – June 19, 2019 – Gale, a Cengage company, is introducing the first installment of its new Public Health Archives series. Public Health in Modern America, 1890-1970 examines the history of America’s public health systems and policy debates during the 20th century. This digital collection provides scholars and researchers access to thousands of rare and unique resources that explore the evolution of health care in the United States from the turn of the century well into the 1960s, highlighting the critical impact of public health policy on the American experience. Read Gale’s blog about this new archive.

Gale created Public Health in Modern America to address the lack of narratively focused content on the social, economic and public policy aspects of America’s public health history. While many digitized medical history collections exist, only Public Health in Modern America provides scholarly access to historical primary sources that unveil the “behind-the-scenes” story of America’s public health history, linking the immediate past with the current state of affairs as the fight over the future of America’s public health care continues.

Public Health in Modern America chronicles the many public health concerns that arose starting in the late 19th century and the responses of public and private sectors in the United States through correspondence, reports, pamphlets, ephemera, surveys, policy statements, press releases and so much more. It documents the evolution of public health legislation, policies and campaigns at local, national and federal levels, opening a window for researchers onto the roles played by key organizations and individuals to advance public health practices and outcomes.

This archive is especially informative on the effects of 20th century urbanization and industrialization, the rise of public health advocacy and the impact of medical legislation at various levels. It also examines the transformation of domestic life and the state’s evolving role in caring for citizens of differing ethnicities, races, genders, ages, abilities and classes. This collection provides vital and often rare information on the organizing and financing of public health policy initiatives for children, the elderly, women, immigrants, the poor, the disabled, workers and communities of color.

Public Health in Modern America includes collections and contributions from:

New York Academy of Medicine

  • The Library of Social and Economic Aspects of Medicine from Michael M. Davis: a unique collection of materials reflecting the work over nearly 50 years of a leading behind-the-scenes advocate in the fight for a national health care plan.
  • The Committee on Public Health of the New York Academy of Medicine – Correspondence, Reports and Documents: the documentary record of a key advisory group to the public health department of America’s most populous city, often serving as a national and international data bank for public health professionals associated with this committee.
  • Selected Publications on Public Health from the New York Academy of Medicine: more than 2,200 never-before-digitized rare pamphlets from the late 19th century to the end of the 1960s, documenting a vast array of public health issues and addressed to a variety of popular and professional audiences.

National Archives Records Administration

  • Records of the Children’s Bureau – Maternal and Child Health, 1912-1969: A collection of critical materials reflecting the public health efforts of this vital U.S. federal agency.

“Healthcare remains one of the central issues of the coming 2020 elections,” said Seth Cayley, vice president of Gale Primary Sources. “Public Health in Modern America places today’s debates around universal coverage, abortion rights, the opioid epidemic and other public health issues into their historical context. With this unique archive, researchers will have access to thousands of documents that explain the critical role of public health policy in American life.”

To provide a better research experience, Public Health in Modern America has been integrated into Gale’s Digital Scholar Lab. This integration allows researchers to apply natural language processing tools to raw text data (OCR) from the collections or Gale Primary Sources archives and perform textual analysis on large corpora of historical texts. Now researchers can analyze and explore historical text more interactively, generating new research insights not previously possible.

Public Health in Modern America offers:

  • access to thousands of pages of unique and rare content, making it the most comprehensive resource of its kind for the study of public health in America.
  • cross-searching and textual analysis with Gale’s Digital Scholar Lab and Gale Primary Sources, opening new research opportunities.

Public Health in Modern America is complementary to Gale’s American Civil Liberties Union Papers: Southern Regional Office and Archives of Sexuality and Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture collections to support the study of 20th century North American history through hard-to-access primary sources.

Gale will showcase Public Health in Modern America at the ALA Annual Conference, June 21-24 in Washington D.C. at the Gale booth #805.

To request a trial, visit the Public Health in Modern America webpage.

About Cengage and Gale

Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. The company serves the higher education, K-12, professional, library and workforce training markets worldwide. Gale, a Cengage company, provides libraries with original and curated content, as well as the modern research tools and technology that are crucial in connecting libraries to learning, and learners to libraries. For more than 60 years, Gale has partnered with libraries around the world to empower the discovery of knowledge and insights – where, when and how people need it. Gale has 500 employees globally with its main operations in Farmington Hills, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.gale.com.

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Media Contact:

Kayla Siefker, Gale, a Cengage company, 248-915-9624, [email protected]