About Pediatric History Center

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Pediatric History Center

The AAP Pediatric History Center (PHC) houses all historic and official Academy records. Publications, policy statements, selected documents, photographs, and books on AAP history are preserved as a lasting record and resource that documents the Academy role in advancing child health. The AAP arc​hives include the books that address medical and social history of childhood, pediatric texts, rare books, photographs, videotapes, and a collection of pediatric artifacts that provide a fascinating insight into the changes of infant care and feeding over the years. In addition, the PHC houses select personal papers and manuscripts from those who worked to enrich the lives of children and improve their health. View the collection policy.

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In its early years, the AAP appointed an Academy Historian, Marshall C. Pease, MD, FAAP, whose role was to gather materials and chronicle the history of the organization.  Dr Pease published the first history of the AAP in 1952, American Academy of Pediatrics, June 1930 to June 1951. He was succeeded by Paul W. Beaven, MD, FAAP, who prepared a manuscript, Background and Activities of the American Academy of Pediatrics – 1951-1956, as well as a compilation of the first 25 presidential addresses entitled, For the Welfare of Children.  After that, the position of Academy Historian seems to have disappeared. 

A Pediatric History Club was established, primarily guided by Thomas E. Cone, Jr., MD, FAAP, in the early 1960s. From the late 1960s until the early 1990s, Dr Cone continued to share his love of medical history through the publication of a series of “historical white space fillers” in the journal, Pediatrics.  Dr Cone went on to be one of the founding members of the AAP Historical Archives Advisory Committee (HAAC).

Throughout its history, many of the Fellows of the AAP have been interested in exploring the history of the organization and the history of child health in general. In the late 1980s, the Academy Librarian first proposed the concept of an archival collection in the Drs Harry and Ruth Bakwin Library of the AAP.  When Howard A. Pearson, MD, FAAP became president of the AAP in 1992, he championed the establishment of a Pediatric History Center at the Academy headquarters. He was joined in this effort by James E. Strain, MD, FAAP, Executive Director, and David Annunziato, member of the AAP Board of Directors. In 1993, a generous donation from Dr Harry A Towsley provided the funding required for the PHC.  In 1994, the PHC opened and its first Archivist was hired.

The PHC is guided by the Historical Archives Advisory Committee (HAAC). The HAAC and its members have been active in promoting an interest in the history of the profession of pediatrics and child health. Two members (Dr Howard A Pearson and Dr Jeffrey P Baker) are the authors of Dedicated to the Health of All Children: 75 Years of Caring, 1930-2005, which provides a history of child health and welfare in the US from colonial times, including the history of the AAP. 

    Current Members:
    Jeffrey P. Baker, MD, PhD, FAAP, Chair
    Lawrence M. Gartner, MD, FAAP (Founding Member)
    Jacqueline Noonan, MD, FAAP
    Howard A. Pearson, MD, FAAP (Founding Member)
    Tonse N. K. Raju, MD, FAAP
    Stanford T. Shulman, MD, FAAP
    James E. Strain, MD, FAAP (Founding Member)

    Past Members:
    David Annunziato, MD, FAAP  (Founding Member)
    Thomas E. Cone, Jr., MD, FAAP  (Founding Member)
    Doris A. Howell, MD, FAAP  (Founding Member)

Promoting Pediatric History
-The Pediatric History Center

-Oral History  Bibliography

- Pediatric Society Collections

-Chapter and Local Archives

-Chapter Archive

Writing Memoirs

Find sources that provide history on pediatrics and child health here.

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