The Rockefeller Archive Center
“If we assist the highest forms of education – in whatever field – we secure the widest influence in enlarging the boundaries of human knowledge.”
—John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Rockefeller Related Organizations


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Size: 6.5 cu. ft.

Contents: The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission Records are available on microfilm for use at the Rockefeller Archive Center only.

The subjects documented in these records include: dispensaries, health education, health inspection, health law and legislation, hookworm disease and treatment, philanthropy, public health planning, sanitary engineering, and state health systems.

Arrangement: The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission Records (15 manuscript boxes, 3 oversize boxes), and are organized into four series:
  • Series I, Administration, documents the administration of the Commission's Washington Office, routine requests for information, personnel files, information on mailing cases, conferences, history, general hookworm statistics, and some policy descriptions. This series is arranged alphabetically.
  • Series II, Field Offices, comprises the bulk of the records. Material in this series is arranged alphabetically by state. Material in this series include state directors reports, field staff correspondence, and all correspondence documenting a particular state.
  • Series III, Minutes and Reports, contains various Commission minutes, reports, and publications.
  • Series IV, Financial Records, consists of a ledger, journal, and a cash book.
The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission records are not complete. Important material on the organization, policies and termination of the Commission may be found in the Rockefeller Family Archives, Record Group 2, Office of the Messrs Rockefeller, Rockefeller Boards Series, located at the Rockefeller Archive Center.

Photograph Collection: Yes - photographs are located within the RF Photograph Collection

Organizational History: The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission was established in 1909 by John D. Rockefeller "to bring about a cooperative movement of the medical profession, public health officials, boards of trade, churches, schools, the press, and other agencies for the cure and prevention of hookworm disease." From its offices in Washington, D.C., the Commission furnished the initial impetus for the public health campaign against hookworm, and furnished states with relevant information about the disease, its treatment, and its prevention. It paid the salaries of field personnel, who were appointed jointly by the states and the Commission, and sponsored public education campaigns and the treatment of infected persons. Although some of the programs lasted until June 1915, the Commission's work ended formally in 1914, and the property and records were transferred to the Rockefeller Foundation, whose International Health Board succeeded by the Sanitary Commission and expanded its public health aboard.

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