Arts & Culture

HUL launches extensive ‘Contagion’ collection

2 min read

The Harvard University Library (HUL) Open Collections Program recently launched Created with support from Arcadia, the new collection, titled “Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics,” brings carefully selected historical materials from Harvard’s renowned libraries, special collections, and archives to Internet users everywhere.

The collection includes more than 500,000 pages of digitized books, serials, pamphlets, incunabula, and manuscripts. The goal is to contribute to the understanding of the global, social history, and public policy implications of disease and to offer important historical perspectives on the science and public policy of epidemiology today.

“Contagion” is the third online library collection developed by the Open Collections Program since the program’s inception in 2002.

In developing “Contagion,” the program has been guided by a distinguished committee of Harvard faculty members, including:

Allan Brandt, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine, and professor of the history of science, Harvard Medical School

Katharine Park, Samuel Zemurray Jr. and Doris Zemurray Stone Radcliffe Professor of the History of Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS)

Charles Rosenberg, professor of the history of science and the Ernest E. Monrad Professor in the Social Sciences, FAS

Barbara Gutman Rosenkrantz, professor of the history of science emeritus, FAS

Rosenberg describes the new collection as “A wonderfully accessible and invaluable tool for the scholar or student at any level. It demonstrates not only that we need to think about disease and its history, but that we can think with it — about society and its values, about government, and about changing ideas. It was an honor to have been associated with this innovative project.”