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Jonas Salk Papers
MSS 1  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Papers of a noted physician, virologist, humanitarian, and founder of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California. Salk is best known for his development of the world's first successful vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis, licensed in the U.S. in 1955. He has also conducted important research in the prevention and treatment of influenza, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The Salk Papers constitute an exhaustive source of documentation of Dr. Salk's professional activities, but very few materials relating to his personal life can be found in the collection. Most of the papers cover the period from the mid-1940s to the early 1980s. Best documented are Dr. Salk's activities from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s -- activities largely related to the development of the Salk polio vaccine. The papers include general correspondence, files relating to polio, subject files, writings by Dr. Salk, photographs, artifacts, and research materials. Also included in the collection are materials created by Dr. Salk's laboratory staff members and papers generated by offices of the Salk Institute. Additions to the Jonas Salk Papers processed in 1995 primarily document Salk's fundamental role in the revival of the live versus killed polio-vaccine debate in the mid 1970s and 1980s. Also included in this accession are materials related to the internal affairs of the Salk Institute, dated 1982-1989, files that document the work of the San Diego Growth Management Task Force put together in 1984 by Mayor Roger Hedgecock, materials related to Salk's interest in developing a vaccine for HIV, and files pertaining to Salk's advisory role on a broad range of committees and foundations. The papers include a large correspondence series, polio subject files, writings by Dr. Salk, reports, research materials, and photographs.
Background
Jonas Salk is best known for his discovery of the world's first successful vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis. In addition to this accomplishment, Dr. Salk has made significant contributions to the study, prevention, and treatment of influenza, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other diseases. He is also known for the founding and direction of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, his work for a wide variety of humanitarian endeavors, and most recently for his involvement in AIDS research.
Extent
316.1 Linear feet (573 archives boxes, 38 card file boxes, 13 records cartons, 76 art bin items, and 176 oversize folders)
Restrictions
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Availability
Materials in the POLIO FILES series are restricted, pending review by Special Collections & Archives Librarian. Original materials deemed too fragile for use are restricted. User copies must be consulted in place of these materials.