HomeBrowseAdvanced SearchAboutHelpContact

Charles Value Chapin Correspondence

Scope & content

The collection consists of correspondence related to Charles V. Chapin's role as Superintendant of Health, which position he filled from his appointment in 1884 until his retirement in 1932. The bulk of the material consists of incoming correspondence from professional colleagues, including officials on various state boards of health. The correspondence as a whole documents both Chapin's work within the City of Providence Health Department, as well as a developing national discourse on the topic of public health and Chapin's role within a community of doctors, interested professionals, and state agencies.

Chapin's participation in debates around the nature and spread of infectious diseases is evident throughout the collection. His direct intervention is evident in correspondence with the State of Rhode Island Commissioner of Public Schools from 1901 which includes various drafts of a report on school children and communicable disease and a Health Department circular "Suggestions for the Teaching of Cleanliness and Decency Among School Children." Broader research interests are documented in the epistolary circulation of papers and ideas on diptheria, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, and the two types of smallpox.

Limited carbon copies of Chapin's outgoing correspondence are interfiled. The outgoing correspondence tends toward information requests sent to multiple parties, such as a 1903 mailing on birth rates of college graduates sent on behalf of G. Stanley Hall.