4701.BOH

Summary Information

Repository
City of Somerville Archives
Creator
Health. Public Health.
Title
Board of Health Records
ID
4701.BOH
Date
1903-2007
Extent
59.0 Cubic feet 986 Budgets 1998-2006 935 Burial Permits 935
Language
English

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Historical note

The function of the Board of Health is to promote public health in Somerville. The Board decides upon and enforces health regulations and policies for the city. Issues addressed by the Board include tobacco control, emergency preparedness, disease control and prevention, waste disposal, and pest control.

The Board consists of members appointed by the Mayor and subject to confirmation by the Board of Aldermen. As per Section 38 of the City Charter, members of the Board of Heath serve "two for one year, and one for two years, and each year thereafter one to serve for the term of one year, and one for the term of two years. Vacancies occurring in the board may be filled in the same manner, but only for the unexpired term." A physician must always fill one seat on the Board.

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Scope and Cotents Note

This collection consists of the records of the Board of Health. Records cover a wide range of subjects and functions including disease records, public health initiatives, Women’s Commission activities, and administrative functions.

A large section of the collection comprises tuberculosis and communicable disease records. Tuberculosis records are arranged by patient case file. Files generally include patients’ health records, nurses cards, doctors notes, symptom descriptions, and occasionally documents from the state board of charity. Communicable Disease records are arranged by disease case file. Files include patient information and patient health records. In addition, the collection includes records and reports relating to public health activities including blood lead analysis, H1N1 seasonal flu clinics, school nurse reports, and community dental hygiene. A small number of records relating to burial permits and other health-related licenses are included.

Records from the Women’s Commission, which operates under the Board of Health, are also present. Records primarily consist of event records and photographs.

The collection also documents the administrative activities of the Board, including meeting minutes, annual budgets, and staff payrolls.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

City of Somerville Archives

50 Evergreen Ave
Somerville, MA, 02144
[email protected]

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Collection Inventory

Accounts for Collection:Hospital for Contagious Diseases 1945   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 564

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Blood Lead Analysis 1973-1975   3.0 Cubic feet Box # 186 A-G Box # 187 K-L Box # 188 G-J

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Budgets 1998-2006   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 986

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Burial Permits 2003-2007   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 935

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Communicable Diseases 1984-2002   2.0 Cubic feet Box # 180 Box # 181

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Contagious Hospital Patient Files 1903-1924   3.0 Cubic feet Box # 152 1903-1913 Box # 153 1914-1917 Box # 154 1918-1924

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Contagious Disease Hospital, Night Orders and Reports 1944   1.0  Box # 565

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Correspondence TB & VD 1917-1957   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 157

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Correspondence, Annual Reports, Weekly 1996-2006   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 989

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Dental Hygiene, School Records 1924-1958   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 179

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 4701-BOH-019 Influenza 1978-1980   1.0 Cubic feet Box #810

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Infant hygiene Cards, Polio, Contagious Diseases 1950-1973   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 183

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 4701-BOH-018 Infectious Diseases 1944-1946   4.0 Cubic feet Box # 151 Box # 158 Scarlet Fever Box # 159 Scarlet Fever Box # 160 Scarlet Fever

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 4701-BOH-018 Infectious Disease Records 1946-1947   2.0 Cubic feet Box # 155 1947 Box # 156 1946

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Inspections 1989-1990   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 163

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 4701-BOH-026 Inspections - Complaints   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 815

Journal Sheets 1915-1930   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 165

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Ledger Sheets 1939-1940   0.5 Cubic feet Box # 148

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 4701-BOH-028 Licenses and Permits 1910-1947   2.0 Cubic feet Box# 167 Carbonated Beverages, Offal Stales Box # 161 Milk Oleo, Icecream

 4701-BOH-005 Meeting Minutes 1990-2003   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 963

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Miscellaneous Administrative Records 1921-2002   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 168

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Miscellaneous Financial Records 1938-1944   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 162

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Other Files 1911-1947   0.5 Cubic feet Box # 149

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Patient Files   4.0 Cubic feet Box #s 1098-1101

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 4701-TRE-002 Payroll 2002   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 556

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 4701-TRE-002 Payroll 2002   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 556

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Payroll, Payments to Treasurer, Authorization for Payments, Correspondence 1998-2006   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 988

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 4701-BOH-009 Purchase Orders 2004-2006   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 987

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School Nurse Reports 1928-1958   0.5 Cubic feet Box # 184

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Transactions 2004   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 166

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 4701-BOH023 Tuberculosis 1903-1960s   15.0 Cubic feet Box # 150 K-L Box # 169 M-R Box # 170 Hi-K Box # 171 Gi-He Box # 172 De-Ge Box # 173 C-DE Box # 174 Br-C Box # 175 A-Bd Box # 177 T-Wh Box # 178 St-Su Box # 185 Tm M-S regugee Files 1993-2004 Box # 718 Patient Cards 1 of 2 1940s-1960s Box # 724 Patient Cards 2 of 2 1940s-1960s Box # 725 Patient Cards 1900s-1940s Box # 176 Wi- Z and Nurses codes

School Medical Inspections 1924-1957   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 182

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 4701-BOH-007 Warrants, Bills and Payroll - Health Grants 2007-7-1 to 2008-6-30   1.0 Cubic feet 

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Youth and Payroll   Box #164

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Women's Commission   1745-1746

Event Recordings 1990s   1.0 Cubic feet

 2030-WOM-006 Women's Commission 1993-2003   1.0 Cubic feet Box # 1140 Photos, correspondence Disks

Meeting Minutes 

1990 

1991 

1992 

1993 

1994 

1995 

1997 

1998 

Articles for Somerville Commission for Women Meetings 

Press Articles about the Commission 1989-1993 

Mailing List 

Communication Book 1994 

Fiscal Records 1994 

Press Articles- Violence Against Women 3 files 1990s 

Press Articles- Economic Discrimination Against Women 1991 

Scrapbooks 1989-1996   2 Albums

Director's Reports 1994 1994 

Director's Reports 1995 

Director's Reports 1996 

Director's Reports 1997 

Director's Reports 1998 

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Laurence Howard, Executive Clerk, Correspondence and Records 1900s-1930s   5.0 Cubic feet Boxes 2951-2954, 2956

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged into six main subseries: 1. Administrative Records 2. Health Inspections 3. Contagious Diseases 4. School Medical Inspections 5. Pamphlets & Journals 6. Laurence S. Howard’s Personal Papers

Access

This collection is open and available for research. Copyright restrictions may apply, please consult archivist for further information.

Scope and Contents

This series contains the papers of the Executive Clerk of the Board of Health(City of Somerville?), Laurence S. Howard, from the 1900s to the 1930s. His correspondence reflects the business of the Board of Health, as well as the major public health movements and concerns in the beginning of the 20th century. Records include documents relating to administrative matters and the Board’s actions to promote health and prevent the spread of diseases. This series also broadly documents the development of vaccinations and changes in the milk and dairy industry. Also included are Howard’s personal papers that reflect his love of local theater and participation in fraternal orders.

Processing Information

Series processed by Rachel Stanton.

Controlled Access Headings

Subject(s)

  • Child care services
  • Communicable diseases
  • Dairy inspection
  • Howard, Laurence -- Executive Clerk, Board of Health
  • Massachusetts. Department of Public Health
  • Public health
  • Refuse and refuse disposal
  • School children—Health and hygiene
  • Somerville (Mass.). Board of Health
  • Somerville (Mass.)—History-–20th century
  • Tuberculosis—United States
  • Vaccination

Administrative Records 1911-1936   1.5 Cubic feet Box 2956, 2954

Scope and Contents

This series contains records relating to the management of the Somerville Board of Health, including annual reports and documents concerning budget and personnel. It also contains correspondence with other departments, organizations, and individuals concerning the Board’s practices and policies.

Budget 1911-1931 

Scope and Contents

Contains records relating to financial matters, including salary adjustments, estimates of expenses and revenue, appropriations, and individual bills and invoices for products and services rendered. Correspondents include the City Clerk’s Office, Clerk of Committees, Treasury Department, City Auditor, and Executive Department, including the Mayor and Board of Alderdmen.

Personnel 1913-1936 

Arrangement

This subseries contains the following subdivisions: 1. Correspondence 2. Massachusetts Department of Civil Service & Registration Correspondence 3. Contagious Hospital Payroll

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence relating to employment and employees of the Board of Health, including job applications for Board of Health positions, correspondence with the City Clerk and Executive Department concerning appointments, and payroll reports.

City of Somerville 1911-1931 

Arrangement

This subseries contains the follwing subdivisions: 1. Correspondence 2. Executive Department Correspondence

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence between the Board of Health and other departments of the City of Somerville, including the City Clerk, Board of Aldermen, Chief of Police, School Committee, and City Treasurer. Executive Department Correspondence includes correspondence sent to and received from the Mayor of Somerville relating to meetings, appointments, personnel, holidays, etc.

Boston Health Department 1905-1931 

Arrangement

This subseries contains the following subdivision: 1. Correspondence 2. Weekly Morbidity Reports

Scope and Contents

Contains weekly reports tabulated by the Boston Health Department measuring the morbidity rates for contagious diseases within the city of Boston. Also includes a small amount of correspondence between the Boston Health Department and the Somerville Board of Health.

Boards of Health, Massachusetts, Correspondence 1906-1927 

Scope and Contents

Contains correspodence between the Somerville Board of Health and other city's Boards of Health within Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health 1907-1931 

Scope and Contents

Contains records and correspondence from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The majority of these documents concern immunization and controlling the spread of diseases, including the adoption of regulations and public programs. Also includes monthly and weekly morbidity reports for the state of Massachusetts, and both individual and monthly reports of venereal disease for the city of Somerville.

Arrangement

This subseries contains the following subdivisions: 1. Correspondence 2. Monthly Venereal Disease Reports 3. Weekly Morbidity Reports 4. Monthly Morbidity Reports

Massachusetts, Other Departments, Correspondence 1906-1932 

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence between the Board of Health and other public departments in the state of Massachusetts, including the Attorney General, Postmaster General, Department of Public Safety, Department of Mental Diseases, Office of the Secretary, Department of Public Welfare, Massachusetts General Hospital, etc.

US Government 1912-1931 

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence from departments and committees of the US Government, including requests for statistics of death and disease in the city of Somerville, as well as completed statistical reports.

Sanatorium Correspondence 1909-1927 

Scope and Contents

Contains notifications from Massachusetts sanatoriums that residents of Somerville have been admitted for treatment.

General Practice Inquiries 1904-1932 

Scope and Contents

Contains inquiries from individuals, companies, and organizations relating to the practices of the Somerville Board of Health and the data they collect. Also contains responses to the Board of Health’s information inquiries, and correspondence from organizations and businesses offering the board of health relevant information. Folder for Solicitation and Sales includes correspondence from businesses and organizations advertising services and products.

Incoming Correspondence 1905-1929 

Scope and Contents

Contains miscellaneous incoming correspondence, including thank you notes, invitations to events, uncategorized complaints, and a series of correspondence relating to the use of rotten ergot in pharmaceuticals.

Outgoing Correspondence 1921-1932 

Scope and Contents

Contains miscellaneous outgoing correspondence to various residents, companies and organizations. Topics include acknowledgments and requests of supplies shipments, referrals of complaints and information requests to other departments, informing congressional representatives of the Board’s stance on certain bills, etc.

Board of Health Meetings 1921-1930 

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence relating to upcoming meetings of the Board of Health, including dates, invitations, and topics of discussion.

Annual and Monthly Reports 1918-1931 

Scope and Contents

Contain monthly and annual statistics on all Board of Health activities, including inspections, licensing, and rates of infectious disease.

Health Inspections 1900s-1930s   1.5 Cubic feet Boxes 2954, 2951

Scope and Contents

This series contains documents and correspondence relating to the various inspections and licensing conducted by the Board of Health for animals, food, businesses, childcare, and refuse.

Animal Inspections and Licensing 1904-1930 

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence relating to the licensing and care of domesticated animals and livestock. A large amount of the records are devoted to reports of dog bites and permits for raising chickens, with additional animals including horses, cats, geese, pigs, and goats.

Food Inspection and Licensing 1915-1931 

Scope and Contents

Contains documents relating to the production and sale of food, including inspections of and licensing for dairies, restaurants, bakeries, food stores, and slaughterhouses.

Arrangement

This subseries contains the following subdivisions: 1. Milk & Dairy Inspections 2. Milk Inspectors Association Correspondence 3. Common Victualler Licenses

Business Inspections and Licensing 1913-1931 

Scope and Contents

Contains records relating to the inspection and assigning of permits to businesses engaging in cosmetology (hairdressing, manicure, massage, etc.) or the sale of methyl alcohol.

Burial Permits and Undertaker LIcensing 1921-1931 

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence relating to the granting of permits for individuals to practice as undertakers and for the burial of the deceased.

Maternity and Childcare Inspections and Licensing 1921-1931 

Scope and Contents

Contains records relating to the licensing of practices and businesses involving the care of infants and children. Permits include running day nurseries and boarding infants.

Hospital Licenses 1921-1931 

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence relating to the inspection and granting of licenses for lying-in hospitals.

Refuse 1904-1931 

Arrangement

This suberies contains the following subdivisions: 1. Licensing 2. Residential Sanitation Complaints 3. Business Sanitation Complaints

Scope and Contents

Contains records relating to the Board’s control of refuse, including permits for the collection and rendering of grease and tallow, and complaints concerning the sanitary conditions of households and businesses.

Monthly Reports 1919-1931 

Scope and Contents

Contains monthly reports written by the Inspector of Animals and Provisions detailing all inspections conducted and permits granted.

School Medical Inspections 1910s-1930s   0.5 Cubic feet Box 2953

Scope and Contents

This series contains monthly reports on the medical inspections conducted at schools within the city of Somerville, as well as correspondence relating to school hygiene and disease prevention.

Contagious Diseases 1910s-1920s   1.0 Cubic feet Boxes 2953, 2952

Scope and Contents

This series contains records relating to the Board of Health’s work controlling the spread of contagious diseases, including reports from the Contagious Hospital and Hospital for Consumptives and correspondence relating to cases of disease within the community.

Reports of Diseases 

Scope and Contents

Contains documents relating to individual cases of contagious disease within Somerville. This includes complaints of individuals with disease, doctors reporting cases in the community, notifications from nearby cities of infected individuals, approval for ill children to return to school, requests for fumigation of residences, and results of laboratory tests on samples.

Contagious Hospital Records 

Scope and Contents

Contains reports from the nurses of the Contagious Hospital with statistics of birth, death, and disease.

Hospital for Consumptives 

Scope and Contents

Contains weekly statistical reports on the hospital’s cases of tuberculosis.

Publications 1907-1931   0.25 Cubic feet Box 2952

Scope and Contents

This series contains published materials collected by the Board of Health concerning issues of public health and disease. The majority of the publications consist of pamphlets concerning the inspection and production of dairy, including bulletins of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Experiment Stations of various state universities. Also included is the October 1926 issue of the Massachusetts Health Journal and issuess of Health News issued by the United States Public Health Service.

Laurence Howard's Personal Papers 1900s-1930s   0.75 Cubic feet Box 2952

Scope and Contents

This series contains the personal papers of the Board of Health’s Executive Clerk, Laurence S. Howard. Papers include playbills from local theaters and correspondence and newsletters relating to his participation in fraternal orders, the First Universalist Church, and procurement of life insurance.

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