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RG P-DT08.02, Series 00573-00577

Harvard School of Public Health. Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development. Records, 1918-2015 (inclusive), 1930-1989 (bulk): Finding Aid.

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

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

© President and Fellows of Harvard College


The Harvard School of Public Health Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development records were processed with grant funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as awarded and administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in 2016.

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: RG P-DT08.02, Series 00573-00577
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Creator: Harvard School of Public Health. Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development
Title: Harvard School of Public Health Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development records
Date(s): 1918-2015 (inclusive)
Date(s): 1930-1989 (bulk)
Quantity: 145.6 cubic feet (120 records center cartons, 7 letter size document boxes, 9 half letter size document boxes, 3 legal size document boxes, 4 half legal size document boxes, 3 tall legal size document boxes, 70 flat oversize boxes, 1 lantern slide box, and 1 floppy disk box)
Quantity: 0.09 Gigabytes (electronic records on network storage)
Quantity: 0.88 Gigabytes (unprocessed electronic records on 12 9-track magnetic computer tapes)
Language of materials: Records are primarily in English. Occasional records are in Czech or Slovak, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.
Abstract: The Harvard School of Public Health Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development records, 1918-2015 (inclusive), 1930-1989 (bulk), are the product of research by the Department of Maternal and Child Health on the health, physical development, and social functioning of a set of subjects from birth through adulthood. The papers are arranged in five series: I. Data and Administrative Records (1923-2015, undated); II. Manuscript Drafts and Publications (1918-2000, undated); III. Conferences and Meetings (1954-1966, undated); IV. Data Use Policy Records and Correspondence (1963-1989); and V. Research and Resource Files (1931-1986, undated).

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The collection was originally accessioned as a manuscript collection on 2015 August 21 (accession numbers 2016-030 and 2016-031), as the Jane Gardner Records of the Harvard School of Public Health Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development. It was later reaccessioned as an archives collection under the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The new accession numbers are below.
  • Accession number 2017-016. Jane D. Gardner. 2016 July 20.
  • Accession number 2017-017. Jane D. Gardner. 2016 July 20.
  • Accession number 2017-018. Jane D. Gardner. 2016 July 20.
  • Accession number 2017-019. Jane D. Gardner. 2016 July 20.
  • Accession number 2017-020. Jane D. Gardner. 2016 July 20.
  • Processing Information:

    Processed by Amber LaFountain, with the processing assistance of Sarah Bush, 2016 October.
    Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access. Items were rehoused and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals when available; titles supplied by the processing staff appear in brackets only on the physical folders. Processing staff discarded or returned duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine. Items exhibiting mold damage were cleaned and reintegrated into the collection. All audio and audiovisual recordings were flagged for inclusion in the Center's AV survey.
    Where possible, photographic prints and negatives that were interfiled with paper records have been interleaved with buffered paper. The collection also contains a large number of rolled negatives that have been maintained in their original metal canisters until such a time as they can be digitized and rehoused.
    Where possible, all electronic media (as found in Series I) were imaged using Access Data's FTK and a Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device. Records were then transferred to secure storage. Files that could be opened were sampled for content, however researchers should be aware that not every file in the collection could be opened and assessed. Files for which specific software was needed, but not available to staff at the time of processing, were not reviewed. Files on electronic media for which the Center does not have the requisite hardware were not imaged, nor transferred to secure storage. Regardless of copy status, all original media have been retained.
    Please note: brackets have been used in several distinct ways in the box and folder lists. Where possible, abbreviations and acronyms have been written out in brackets directly after the abbreviated word (no space between the word and the brackets, e.g.. "Folder titl.[title]"). Where a word on the original folder was illegible, the guessed word has been placed in brackets with a question mark. If the word was too illegible to make a guess, the word "illegible" appears in brackets in place of the word (e.g.. "Folder [title?]" or "Folder [illegible]"). Where a patient or personnel name has been redacted from a folder title, the name has been replaced with the words "name redacted" in brackets (e.g.. "Folder title [name redacted]"). Finally, where a topical arrangement has been maintained that is not clear in the folder titles, bracketed topics have been added to the beginning of folder titles to better explain the folder arrangement (e.g.. "[Topic] Folder title").

    Conditions Governing Access:

    Access requires advance notice. Access to longitudinal patient information is restricted for 80 years from the most recently dated records in the collection. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I, II, III, and IV. Access to personnel and student information is restricted for 80 years from the date of record creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I, II, and IV. Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of record creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I, II, and IV. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.
    Access to electronic records in the collection (as found in Series I) is also subject to the above restrictions. Additionally, access is premised on the availability of a computer station, requisite software, and/or the availability of Public Services staff to review and/or print out records of interest in advance of an on-site visit.
    Please note: audio and audio-visual recordings are restricted to access until such a time as they can be converted to digital media. They are also restricted to the above restrictions. Once converted, recordings will be restricted based on the recording's title, or as per the restrictions for the folder from which the recording was removed.
    The records are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to contact Public Services for more information concerning retrieval of material.

    Conditions Governing Use:

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

    Digitized Items:

    Selected digitized copies of research data, protocols, data collection instruments, and other research regulatory records are available for download in the Center's Dataverse: https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/HSPH_LSCHD. To provide context, links to relevant Dataverse records are also provided below in each subseries from which items were digitized.

    Preferred Citation:

    Harvard School of Public Health. Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development. Records, 1918-2015 (inclusive), 1930-1989 (bulk). Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.

    Related Collections in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Center for the History of Medicine

    Related Records at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine

    Related Papers at Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

    Related Records at the University of Iowa Archives

    Related Records at Wright State University

    Separations

    One copy of A Radiographic Standard of Reference for the Growing Hand and Wrist (1971), by Idell S. Pyle, Alice M. Waterhouse, and William Walter Greulich, was transferred to the Center's Rare Books Collection, 2016 February 03. Three copies were deaccessioned and discarded. One annotated copy was maintained with the collection.
    0.1 cubic feet of Harold Coe Stuart's personal and professional papers have been separated for integration into the Harold Coe Stuart papers.
    The following records were separated for possible accessioning as separate collections: 5.33 cubic feet of records of an unidentified prenatal study conducted at the Boston Lying In Hospital; 1 cubic foot of graphs for subjects of an unidentified nutrition study; 0.25 cubic feet of patient registration forms for the Maternity and Infant Care Project, of the Boston Department of Health and Hospitals; and 0.25 cubic feet of Ruth M. Butler's personal and professional papers.
    0.1 cubic feet of reprints were discarded due to mold damage. A complete list of discarded reprints is maintained in the collection's control file.

    Historical Notes

    The Harvard School of Public Health Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development (the "Growth Study") (circa 1930-1990), Boston, Massachusetts, was founded in 1930 by Harold Coe Stuart (1891-1976), in the Department of Maternal and Child Health. It was founded in response to the 1930 White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, where Stuart and other participants recognized a lack of knowledge surrounding health and development in childhood, particularly after the health impacts of the Great Depression and the polio epidemic. The studies were one of several concurrent child health, growth, and development longitudinal studies conducted across the country, including: the Fels Longitudinal Study at the Fels Research Institute (Yellow Springs, Ohio), and later the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio); the University of Iowa Child Welfare Research Station Study (Iowa City); the University of Colorado Child Research Council Study (Denver); the Brush Foundation Study of Child Growth and Development (later the Bolton-Brush Growth Study Center) at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio); and the Oakland Growth Study, Child Guidance Study, and Adolescent Growth Study at the Institute of Child Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley. Among other results, the data collected in this and the other concurrent longitudinal studies was used to create pediatric growth curves that became the standard used by pediatricians across the country.
    Stuart served as the studies' first principal investigator. Later principal investigators include Isabelle Valadian (born 1920) and Jane Gardner (born 1939). The original study began in 1930 and followed subjects and their families from the prenatal period through to maturity (18 years). 309 subjects were enrolled between 1930 and 1939, of which 228 were followed through age 6, and 134 were followed through age 18. Those in the latter group constituted the "Maturity Series", while those followed only through age 6 were in the "Preschool Series", and those dropped from the study earlier than age 6 were classified as either "Dropped" or "Birth Series". To allow for a controlled study, subjects were primarily of North European ancestry and from the Boston area. Researchers tracked subjects' physical development, health, illness, diet and nutrition, social functioning, and psychological functioning and development. Data was gathered by a variety of methods, including: anthropometric measurements; s-rays; progressive somatotype photography; physical examinations; social worker interviews; intelligence and psychological tests and evaluations; and nutrition surveys, among other methods.
    After the original study, follow-up studies were conducted when subjects reached 30, 40, and 50 years of age, revisiting both "Maturity Series" and "Preschool Series" subjects. All follow-up studies continued to track the same health and development markers that the original study centered on, but each also had unique focuses. The 30-year follow-up study (circa 1960-1969) focused on adult health and social functioning related to child health. The 40-year follow-up (circa 1970-1979) centered on blood presser and cardiac health. The 50-year follow-up study had two focuses: gynecology and memory of diet in the distant past. A large number of researchers contributed to the studies over the course of their duration, including physicians, social workers, nutritionists, psychiatrists, dentists, ophthalmologists, and computer scientists.
    The Harvard School of Public Health Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development are most known for the male and female pediatric growth charts that were developed in the 1960s using Growth Study data, which became standard tools used by pediatricians across the country. These charts later became an international standard of reference when in 1966, the World Health Organization widely distributed a version with combined male and female data. Over 120 scientific papers were also published or presented as a product of the research. Although subject monitoring and generation of new data ceased after the 50-year follow-up study, the data generated throughout the course of the longitudinal studies continues to be used and analyzed.

    Resource on the Harvard School of Public Health Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development.

    Series and Subseries in the Collection

    Please note: the series and subseries noted below reflect the groupings of the records as they were maintained at the time of transfer to the Center. Within those groupings, many records had no further organization, and so in most series and subseries an arrangement has been imposed to facilitate access. Where the series or subseries arrangement reflects an original order or sequence, it has been noted in the series- or subseries-level arrangement note.

    Scope and Content

    The Harvard School of Public Health Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development records, 1918-2015 (inclusive), 1930-1989 (bulk), are the product of research by the Department of Maternal and Child Health on the health, physical development, and social functioning of a set of subjects from birth through adulthood. The papers are arranged in five series: I. Data and Administrative Records (1923-2015, undated); II. Manuscript Drafts and Publications (1918-2000, undated); III. Conferences and Meetings Records (1954-1966, undated); IV. Data Use Policy Records and Correspondence (1963-1989); and V. Research and Resource Files (1931-1986, undated).
    Data and Administrative Records (Series 00573) constitutes the bulk of the collection, and consists of: subject participation records; personnel records; financial records; codebooks, protocols, and methodologies; blank and completed forms, surveys, and worksheets; data tables and charts; reports; physical examinations and medical records; anthropometric measurements and growth curves; somatotype and development photographic prints and negatives; health and illness histories; social and psychological histories, observations, and ratings; nutrition histories, surveys, and charts; interview transcripts and audio recordings; and coded data on electronic media. Series I also includes data related to blood pressure, long-term memory of diet, gynecology, reproduction, bone growth, peer and family relationships, alcohol and tobacco use, and other research areas. Manuscript Drafts and Publications (Series 00574) include scientific paper reprints and photocopies, newspaper and journal clippings, manuscript drafts, and bibliographies of publications by staff members of the Harvard School of Public Health Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development and Department of Maternal and Child Health. Conference and Meeting records (Series 00575) consist of scientific paper manuscript drafts, conference programs, reports, notes, and correspondence generated and compiled through international public speaking activities and professional meeting participation by staff members of the Harvard School of Public Health Longitudinal Studies of Child Health and Development. Manuscript drafts, publications, and conference and meeting records concern: growth and development; anthropometric measurements; health and illness; diet and nutrition; social functioning and psychology; and gynecology. Records also include file inventories and location lists; data sharing policies; data use forms; and collected publications and topical bibliographies concerning various areas of child health and development (Series 00576 and 00577).
    The records include a number of access restriction types, to protect personal and institutional privacy. These types include: 80-year restrictions from the most recently dated records in the collection for longitudinal patient information; 80-year restrictions from the date of record creation for personnel and student information; and 50-year restrictions from the date of record creation for institutional records of Harvard University and its affiliates. The collection also includes audio-visual records, which are restricted to access until such a time as they can be converted to digital media. Once converted, restrictions will be determined based upon the recording's title, or as per the restrictions for the folder of which the recording is a part. Electronic records that could not be imaged and sampled for content are also restricted to access until such a time as they can be migrated to an accessible format. Once migrated, electronic records restrictions will be determined based upon the records' content.
    Records are predominantly in English. Occasional records are in Czech or Slovak, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

    Container List