1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 John T. Barrett Papers

 Providence, R.I. physician

 Papers, 1955-1957

 Size: .25 lin. ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 962

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, August 1995

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            In response to a 1953 epidemic of poliomyelitis, and the hope offered by Jonas Salk's vaccine, the nation's medical community was mobilized to fight this virus. Rhode Island was no exception. To formulate policy on the distribution of the scarce vaccine, the Rhode Island Department of Health appointed a committee composed of physicians, educators, media representatives and others, called the Rhode Island Advisory Committee on Poliomyelitis Vaccine. Dr. John T. Barrett of Providence was the chairman of this committee, which was active from at least August of 1955 through February of 1957.

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Scope and content:

            This collection consists of Dr. Barrett's personal files regarding the fight against polio. There are no personal papers, records of his medical practice, or records of individual polio patients. The collection does contain minutes, reports and other papers of the Advisory Committee; correspondence by Dr. Barrett with other physicians; some minutes of the Rhode Island Medical Society's Child-School Health Committee; mass mailings from the Rhode Island Department of Health; and numerous articles and brochures on polio, of both a local and national nature.

            Of particular note are the minutes of the Advisory Committee, which often include full transcriptions of the meeting's proceedings, as members debated distribution systems and target age groups for the vaccine.

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            The collection was donated by Dr. Barrett in 1995.

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Processing note:

            Almost nothing was weeded from this collection, other than duplicates. It was rehoused in an archival box and folders. Some of the items on delicate copy paper should eventually be copied onto acid-free paper.

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Folder 1. Dr. John T. Barrett - Correspondence, 1956

              2. R.I. Advisory Committee - Minutes, memoranda, 1955-1957

              3. R.I. Advisory Committee - Program reports, etc., 1956

              4. R.I. Medical Society - Reports, minutes, etc., 1956

                        R.I. Department of Health - Memoranda, 1956

              5. Miscellaneous Rhode Island-related press and reports

              6. Miscellaneous press and reports, out of state.

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Medical Policy - Rhode Island

Poliomyelitis - Vaccination - Rhode Island

Rhode Island Medical Society

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