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H MS c203

Aycock, W. Lloyd. Papers, 1919-1951: A Finding Aid.

Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)


Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: H MS c203
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Creator: Aycock, W. Lloyd.
Title: Lloyd W. Aycock papers, 1919-1951.
Date(s): 1919-1951.
Quantity: 2.1 cubic feet (1 record carton, 2 document boxes, 1 legal document box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The W. Lloyd Aycock Papers, 1919-1951, document the teaching and research activities of William Lloyd Aycock, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The W. Lloyd Aycock Papers were acquired by the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

Processing Information:

Processed by: George Despres, July 2001
Processing Note: H MS c203, the W. Lloyd Aycock Papers, were previously accessed under call number GA 5. When surveyed in 2001, WLA's correspondence was in alphabetical order; the rest was in no order. The collection was arranged into three series. Duplicates and items not created by WLA were discarded.

Conditions Governing Access:

Access requires advance notice. There are restrictions on access to portions of this collection. Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I and Series III. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult the Public Services Librarian for further information.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collections. Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Public Services Librarian. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Public Services Librarian are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright. Reference Services and Access Information.

Preferred Citation:

W. Lloyd Aycock papers, 1919-1951. H MS c203. Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.

Related Materials

Related materials in the Center for the History of Medicine include:
For further information on related materials, consult the Public Services Librarian.


William Lloyd Aycock (WLA), 1889-1951, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, specialized in epidemiology and communicable diseases research, including polio and leprosy.
WLA was born in Georgia in 1889, and received the MD from the University of Louisville in 1914. He became Instructor of Bacteriology at the New York Postgraduate Medical School and Hospital and diagnostician at the New York State Health Department prior to World War I. From 1917-1919, he served as a first lieutenant in the US Army, directing a base hospital laboratory, and as epidemiologist at the Central Laboratories of the American Expeditionary Forces. WLA directed the research laboratory of the Vermont State Board of Health from 1919 to 1931. He joined the Department of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene at Harvard Medical School in 1923 and began work in the same field at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1926. In 1928, he became an assistant professor in both departments.
WLA directed research for the Harvard Infantile Paralysis Commission from 1923 to 1951. During and after World War II, he was a consultant to both the US Department of War and the Office of the US Surgeon General on epidemiological issues. WLA conducted field research on leprosy in the Territory of Hawaii from 1949-1951 and on streptococcal and rheumatic fever in Newport, RI from 1950-51. WLA’s focus on the subclinical aspects of polio led to his thesis that polio was much more widespread than initially assumed and its paralytic form was the extreme, even atypical, manifestation of the disease. Comparative aspects of various contagious diseases and emphasis on host factors marked much of his research. He consulted with public health departments, research laboratories and institutes, including the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, and served as the President of the American Epidemiological Society in 1943. WLA died of post-operative complications in 1951.

Series Arrangement

Scope and Content Note

The W. Lloyd Aycock Papers, 1919-1951, are the product of Aycock's and professional activities as an epidemiologist and polio researcher at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. The bulk of the collection dates from 1923 to 1951 and consists of correspondence, unpublished manuscripts and lectures chronicling the development of WLA's research on polio, epidemiology, leprosy, and other contagious diseases. The papers document conclusions for which WLA was broadly recognized, such as the relative scarcity of paralysis in polio cases, post-tonsillectomy development of the bulbar form of polio, frequency of polio during pregnancy and the similarities between polio and widespread diseases such as mumps. WLA's work on the conjugal aspects of leprosy is also documented in the collection. There is little information about his early activities in World War I and a the New York Board of Health. Research data is relatively scarce, but references to research are found in Series I. WLA's correspondence with the Harvard Infantile Paralysis Commission resides in the Harvard Pusey Library. There is one photograph in the collection illustrating WLA's leprosy research in Hawaii. Personal and student information is located in Series I, in one folder, Dept. of Physiology, HMS, 1943-1945, and in Series III, in one folder, Recommendations, 1942-1950; these folders are restricted for 80 years.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Communicable diseases.
Medical education.
Poliomyelitis, Bulbar
Aycock, W. Lloyd.
American Epidemiological Society.
Harvard Medical School--Study and teaching.
Harvard School of Public Health
National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.