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Guide to the Frederick L. Dunn Papers, 1930-2005, bulk 1950-1980
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Arrangement note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Provenance
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Processing Information note

  • Title: Frederick L. Dunn papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2011.10
    Contributing Institution: University of California, San Francisco
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 14.6 Linear feet (35 boxes)
    Date (bulk): 1950-1980
    Date (inclusive): 1930-2005, undated
    Abstract: The papers of noted medical professor and researcher Frederick L. Dunn document his career as a professor, medical doctor, and anthropologist, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1950-1980. Dunn is a scholar-practitioner who was instrumental in the development of the fields of international health and anthropology in public health, formerly known as "tropical medicine," and his work has left lasting impressions on how it is continued to be practiced. The majority of Dunn's professional activities documented here were in association with the University of California, San Francisco as a staff member for over 30 years and the field research he completed in Southeast Asia relating to infectious disease.
    Creator: Frederick L. Dunn

    Arrangement note

    The collection is arranged as 2 series. Series I: Work and Research Files, 1930-2005 (11.3 linear feet) Series II: Publications and Writings, 1950s-2000s (3.3 linear feet)

    Biographical/Historical note

    Frederick L. Dunn (b. 1928) was a pioneer scholar-physician in the field of international health and anthropology in public health, formerly known as "tropical medicine,” who worked primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Southeast Asia. His research spans issues of global health, behavioral research, medical anthropology, epidemiology, and infectious disease. Dunn advocated an interdisciplinary approach that has altered the course of research in global health. He was instrumental in identifying and promoting the importance of human behavioral research in understanding infectious disease. Dunn’s theory of 'casual assemblages' takes into account the social, political, cultural, and economic factors in the spread of communicable diseases within populations.
    Dunn worked closely with the World Health Organization throughout his career, beginning in the 1960s. He served as a physician-anthropologist consultant for the organization and was involved with identifying research and training needs in tropical disease. His research has been widely published from the 1950s-1990s.
    Frederick L. Dunn was born in 1928 into a family well acquainted with sciences. His father was a well-known psychiatrist and his extended family included other physicians and scientists. Dunn attended Harvard University as an undergraduate anthropology major and returned to begin Harvard Medical School in 1952. As a medical student in 1955, he participated in the American Himalayan Expedition in Pakistan as the team physician. This expedition marked Dunn’s first experience with communicable disease among the local population in a developing country.
    Following medical school graduation, Dunn completed postgraduate clinical training in Seattle through a program associated with the University of Washington. He then began a two year service in the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), beginning in 1957, in Louisiana and East Pakistan.
    In 1960, Dunn enrolled in a course at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and received the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Through the course Dunn met J. Ralph Audy from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) who proceeded to recruit Dunn for UCSF. Dunn officially joined the Department of Medicine faculty in September of 1960 and began working in Audy’s tropical disease laboratory.
    In 1962, Dunn traveled to Malaysia to work in the International Center for Medical Research and Training (ICMRT) program. During the 1960s and 1970s Dunn spent over a total of seven years living, working, and researching infectious disease in Malaysia. His research included primate malaria, parasitic diseases among indigenous groups, and the group Orang Asli in particular.
    Dunn helped to form the country’s first medical anthropology program—a joint initiative between UCSF and University of California, Berkeley—in 1969.
    In 1973 Dunn completed his doctoral dissertation in anthropology at the University of Malaya. Dunn formally retired in 1993 at which point he had been serving as a faculty member in the UCSF-UCB joint medical anthropology program.

    Scope and Contents note

    The papers of global health physician-researcher Frederick L. Dunn date from 1930-2005, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1950-1980. The collection documents his professional life, including teaching, field research, published research, and involvement in the global health community on the topics of tropical medicine, medical anthropology, epidemiology, and infectious disease. The papers are comprised of published articles, newsletters, drafts, research data and notes, correspondence, and photographs.
    The work and research files of Series I relate to the gamut of Dunn's professional activities. The majority of the material relates to his teaching career, field research, and involvement with the global health community. Material documents his professional relationships with the University of California, San Francisco, World Health Organization, and International Center for Medical Research and Training, among others. Dunn's research was largely focused on Southeast Asia.
    Among the publications and writings in Series II are published articles and material created in support of his publications such as related drafts, notes, and correspondence.

    Conditions Governing Use note

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Library & Center for Knowledge Management. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the UCSF Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Library & Center for Knowledge Management as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.


    Donated to the UCSF Archives and Special Collections by Frederick Dunn in 2012.

    Preferred Citation note

    Frederick L. Dunn papers, 1930-2005, MSS 2011-10. Archives and Special Collections, University of California, San Francisco.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    Collection is open for research.

    Processing Information note

    The collection was rehoused by the UCSF Archives staff upon receipt in 2012. The collection was processed, arranged, and described by Margaret Hughes in 2013.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Frederick L. Dunn
    World Health Organization.
    Color negatives
    Color photographs
    Field notes
    Medical anthropology
    Public health
    Social scientists
    Southeast Asia
    University of California, San Francisco
    World health