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Register of the Sylvester M. Lambert Papers MSS 682
MSS 682  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The papers of American physician Sylvester Maxwell Lambert (1882-1947) relate primarily to his public health work for the International Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation. He worked in this capacity in Oceania between 1918 and 1939, documenting the prevalence of hookworm and working to eradicate ankylostomiasis (hookworm disease). The bulk of the collection is Lambert's research materials, which comprise first-hand accounts written by both Lambert and his aides, and were used as references for Lambert’s memoir A Yankee Doctor in Paradise, co-written by Wallace Irwin. Other significant series are correspondence, Lambert's medical and personal writings, and photographs and lantern slides documenting primarily Pacific Islanders and village scenes.
Background
Born in New York on December 28, 1882, Sylvester M. Lambert graduated from Hamilton College in 1903 and from Syracuse University in medicine in 1908. During the summer of 1907, Lambert took a position as a medical nurse with the Southern Pacific Railroad in Mexico where he met Eloisa Tays, whom he married in 1912. After practicing medicine in Mexico until 1916, Lambert joined the United Fruit Company Medical Service in Costa Rica for two years. Twice during this time Lambert was rejected for commission in the Medical Service of the United States Government because of his poor eyesight, so he opted instead to join the Rockefeller Foundation in July of 1918.
Extent
5.9 Linear feet 9 archives boxes, 5 card file boxes, 7 oversize folders, 1 mapcase folder