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Books, Journals, & More
Abú Becr Mohammed ibn Zacaríyá Rází. A Treatise on the Small-pox and Measles. (1848)
A 19th century translation of a 9th century Arabic treatise written by famous Muslim physician Al-Razi (also known as Rhazes). The work contains the earliest known description of smallpox and draws a clear distinction between smallpox and measles.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Letters of the Right Honorable Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. (1763-67)
Lady Montagu, wife of the British ambassador to Turkey, observed inoculation practices in the region and described the process in her letters home. Lady Montagu inoculated her children and brought the practice home to Britain.
Benjamin Franklin. Some Account of the Success of Inoculation for the Small-pox in England and America. (1759)
Short publication authored by Benjamin Franklin in support of smallpox inoculation. He offers a brief overview of inoculation's history and mentions resistance to the procedure. The book also includes instructions, aimed at the average reader, on how to perform an inoculation.
Edward Jenner. An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae. (1798)
Jenner's groundbreaking book describing his early vaccination technique using cowpox to prevent subsequent smallpox infections. The book also includes summaries of Jenner's tests to prove the efficacy of the technique.
The Cow Pox Chronicle, or, Medical Reporter. (1808)
Anti-vaccination newspaper published in London that argued against and often mocked Jenner's vaccination method using cowpox.The library has two issues, both from 1808.
North Carolina Board of Health. Vaccination: Advice on the Necessity of Vaccination. (1882)
Short publication distributed by the North Carolina Board of Health to educate citizens about the importance of vaccination and to provide advice on the construction of smallpox hospitals. The library also holds similar material from other states.
George Henry Fox. A Practical Treatise on Smallpox: Illustrated by Colored Photographs from Life. (1902)
Written by a dermatologist with the Health Department of New York City, this short book describes the symptoms of the disease using examples of specific cases, treatment options, and vaccination procedures. The book also includes photographs showing the daily progression of the disease.
John Elmer Snodgrass. Sanitary Achievements in the Philippine Islands, 1898-1915. (1915)
Published for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, this short book describes efforts during the American occupation of the Philippines to vaccinate the population and eradicate the disease from the region.
The Story of Ms. Small Pox. (1930s)
Part of a "germ stories" series written by a family physician in Beardstown, I.L. for the purpose of teaching children about smallpox.
Digitized Content from Wellcome Library
Digitized material related to smallpox from the collections of Wellcome Library. The site provides access to many different types of sources, including complete scanned books, that can be used to research the disease's history.
Smallpox: A Great and Terrible Scourge
An online exhibit from the National Library of Medicine that provides an overview of efforts to eradicate smallpox as well as challenges to the goal of eradication.
The Antibody Initiative: Eradicating Smallpox
This site, from the National Museum of American History, provides digital versions of documents and artifacts related to smallpox. This includes items like eradication campaign posters from the 20th century and medical instruments used in 19th century vaccinations.
Edward Jenner Papers, 1800-1822
Edward Jenner helped develop and popularize smallpox vaccination in the late 18th century. This collection includes Jenner's correspondence, which often mentions vaccination, as well as patient records recording vaccinations.
Benjamin Robinson Papers, 1760-1912
Benjamin Robinson was a physician from Fayetteville, N.C. and led the town's response to a smallpox outbreak in 1824-25. The collection includes items related Robinson's work as public health officer.
Certificate of Proof for Smallpox Vaccination, 1872
Certificate indicating that a patient, probably from Hungary, was successfully vaccinated for smallpox in 1872.
Recipe and Home Remedy Book, ca. 1896
Manuscript containing recipes and remedies for various diseases including smallpox, dysentery, and cancer.
John A. Bates Memoir, 1896
A memoir written by John A. Bates recounting his military service during the Civil War. Bates was a witness to the 1864 smallpox epidemic in New Orleans and included a description of the event.
Benjamin Newton Duke Papers, 1834-1969
The papers of Benjamin Duke, tobacco manufacturer and major benefactor of Duke University, include correspondence related to a smallpox outbreak in Durham, N.C. in the early 20th century.
Wesley Norwood Jones Papers, 1912-1945
The papers of Wesley Norwood Jones, a Raleigh, N.C., resident include several letters to and from S.B. Jones, a medical officer in the British West Indies. The letters are accompanied by ten photographs of victims of the recent smallpox epidemic there.