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Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Committee papers

Identifier: ua00190

Scope and Content

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."


  • circa 1940s-1970s


Language of Materials


Access Restriction

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

Use of Materials

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


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law Title 17, U.S. Code. Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Historical Note

In the 1940's, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP), also known as the March of Dimes, awarded funds to the University of Minnesota for polio research. In response to an epidemic of polio, the NFIP, which usually worked with local chapters, made available special funds to be administered by a coordinating service committee to combat the emergency. 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 conducted, 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."


2.5 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)


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.

Source of acquisition

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

Related Materials in University of Minnesota Archives

  • Gaylord Anderson papers
  • Raymond N. Nieter papers

Minnesota Poliomyelitis Research Committee papers, circa 1940s-1970s
Karen Klinkenberg
July 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • July 2019: Contents list added

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area