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Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Committee papers, circa 1940s-1970s

Summary Information
Title: Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Committee papers
Dates: circa 1940s-1970s
Creator: Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Committee
Extent: 2 boxes Extent: (2.6 linear feet)
Language: English
Collection Number: 190
Collection contains the records of polio research conducted by the University of Minnesota under the auspices of the Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Committee, which was funded by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.

Repository: University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was deposited in University Archives in multiple donations from 1962-1989.

Access Restrictions:

Access to this collection is restricted due to the inclusion of patient records.

Access Restrictions:

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Requests for permission to quote from the Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Committee papers should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives head.

Preferred Citation:

Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Committee papers, University of Minnesota Archives.

Historical Note

In the 1940's, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP), also known as the March of Dimes and founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt, awarded funds to the University of Minnesota for polio research. Because of the polio epidemic sweeping the nation, and especially Minnesota, the NFIP, which usually worked with local chapters, made available special funds to be administered by a coordinating service committee to combat the emergency in the affected area. The Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Committee was established and chaired by Dr. Maurice Visscher, head of the department of physiology at the University of Minnesota.

Various faculty members in the University's Medical School and School of Public Health were involved in studies investigating the causes and treatment of polio. They include Ancel Keys (physiological hygiene), Cecil Watson (medicine), Elexious T. Bell (pathology), Ernst Gellhorn (neurophysiology), Irvine McQuarrie (pediatrics), Raymond Bieter (pharmacology), Gaylord Anderson (public health), Berry Campbell (anatomy), Maurice Visscher (physiology) and A.B. Baker (neurology).

An extensive survey of polio patients was also conduced, which led to the report by the Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Commission, "A Partial Statistical Survey of the 1946 Poliomyelitis Epidemic in Minnesota with Some Details on Cases Hospitalized in Minneapolis Hospitals."

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection contains records of research conducted on polio. Materials include correspondence, reports, memos, patient records, questionnaires and research materials. Also contained in the collection are materials relating to Sister Elizabeth Kenny, patient surveys and the report, "A Partial Statistical Survey of the 1946 Poliomyelitis Epidemic in Minnesota with Some Details on Cases Hospitalized in Minneapolis Hospitals."

Related Material

Gaylord Anderson papers

Raymond N. Bieter papers

A finding aid with a contents list is available in University Archives.

Subject Terms
Index Terms
  • This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
  • Anderson, Gaylord West, 1901-
  • Baker, A. B. (Abe Bert), 1908-
  • Bell, E. T. (Elexious Thompson), 1880-1963
  • Bieter, Raymond Nicholas, 1900-1990
  • Bosma, James F.
  • Gellhorn, Ernst, 1893-
  • Kenny, Elizabeth, 1886-1952
  • Keys, Ancel Benjamin, 1904-
  • McQuarrie, Irvine, 1892-
  • Visscher, Maurice B., 1901-1983
  • Watson, Cecil J (Cecil James) 1901-
  • Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Committee -- Archives
  • Poliomyelitis -- Research